Apple considers streaming stick launch – and the week's big smart home news

All the big happenings this week

Apple considers streaming stick launch

Welcome to the week in smart home – WISH as we like to call it. It’s been a fairly quiet week in the world of tech this week, overshadowed as it is by the big mega Black Friday sale.

Yes, this week is when the tech world stops everything and starts flogging its wares on the cheap. So as such we’ve included a few top picks below, to save you the hassle of doing any searching yourself. You are welcome.

Apple considers streaming stick

The streaming stick market has really taken off, with Amazon’s slew of Fire TV devices offering cheap and easy way to get content to your TV. And with the latest Fire devices offering 4K support, its left Apple TV looking like an expensive option.

That’s fuelled rumours that apple could be looking at a cheaper streaming stick, to add to its line up. That comes from a report in The Information. It reckons that it could debut with Apple’s new TV streaming service, which is set to land in 2019.

Apple considers streaming stick launch – and the week's big smart home news

Google Duplex rolls out

Google Duplex, the automatic AI calling service that stole the show at the company’s I/O conference earlier this year is getting a rollout – according to The Verge. Google has confirmed that a “slow rollout” of the service is underway and would only go as far to say it was “select cities” and to a “small group of Google Pixel users”. Pretty vague.

Google Duplex works by selecting businesses on your Pixel phone, and then having a short conversation with the Google service to hammer out the specifics of your booking e.g. people, times etc. When the booking is done, you get a notification.

Check out our full guide to Google Duplex, and of course, the Google Assistant.

Alexa and Google launch new features

A slew of new Amazon and Google Assistant features rolled out this week, showing that the arms race has no sign of abating.

Alexa has added the ability to wake up smart home devices over LAN and now make Skype calls, too. On the other side of the coin, Google Chromecast can now be added into audio groups with Google Home speakers, which comes hot off the heels of the big Google Assistant holiday update.

Apple considers streaming stick launch – and the week's big smart home news

Our top smart home deals

Now, it would be remiss of us not to highlight some deals here – given that this Black Friday seems to be dominated by fantastic smart home deals. Here are our favourites.

Amazon Echo Black Friday deals

Echo Dot (2018) – 50% off
Echo Dot (2018) – 50% off

Echo Spot – Save $40
Echo Spot – Save $40

Echo Plus (2018) and Philips Hue bulb (save $54.99)
Echo Plus (2018) and Philips Hue bulb (save $54.99)

Google Home Black Friday deals

Google Home Hub - $99 down from $149 - Best Buy

Lenovo 8-inch Smart Display - $99 down from $199.99 - Best Buy

Google Home Mini - $25 down from $49 - Walmart

Apple HomePod Black Friday deals

Apple HomePod - $249 down from $349 - Best Buy

Apple HomePod - £299 down from £319 - Currys

Apple HomePod - £279 down from £319 - John Lewis

Philips Hue Black Friday deals

Access the full Philips Hue sale storefront
Access the full Philips Hue sale storefront

Philips Hue White and Colour A19 $79.99 (save 47%) – Amazon

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) with Philips Hue White and Colour A19 starter kit - $94.99 (save 53%) - Amazon

Echo (2nd Gen) with Philips Hue White and Colour A19 starter kit - $139.99 (save 44%) - Amazon

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