Welcome back to The Week in Smart Home - and what a week it's been. I know, I know, we always say that, but this week was Google I/O, which brought a wave of news.
News that Google is killing Works with Nest, for example (we didn't say it was all good news); news that there's a nest-generation Google Assistant in the works; and news that Google Assistant is finally coming to Sonos.
We also got to try out the new Nest Hub Max. We're fans. For everything else that happened this week, read on...
Ecobee Plus thermostat and sensors spotted
When one door closes, another one opens. Works with Nest is going away, but Ecobee may have a new thermostat on the way. Dave Zatz of ZatzNotFunnyhasspotted a filing for a new Ecobee thermostat hitting the FCC. Zatz believes the thermostat might be called Ecobee4+ (but admits he's not certain) and that it will be bundled with a new, sleeker room sensor that replaces the current one's plastic base with a magnetic one.
The updated thermostat also comes with a new glass front, replacing the plastic one of the current Ecobee4. Another interesting note: the Ecobee4+ 900MHz radios have been updated in a way that suggests the thermostat could work as a hub for Ecobee's other devices, including some contact sensors Zatz also leaked. Oh, and let's not forget the Ecobee camera which popped up in April. Looks like Ecobee has a busy year ahead.
Philips Hue gets in the zone
Rejoice! Philips Hue bulbs can now be grouped by Zones. And if you're not impressed with that, we there's no helping you. What's baffling is that the feature is only just being rolled out. Until now, users have had to group their bulbs by rooms, but Zones will offer more granular control. Maybe you want to be able to control an entire floor with one tap, or perhaps you have a light fixture with multiple bulbs that you wish you could control as a single entity.
The update, first spotted by Android Police, is still in beta and pretty limited: you can't add rooms to Zones, only individual bulbs, and Routines and voice assistants aren't currently integrated. But anyone can get the feature - just update your iOS or Android app.
Deezer free tier gets Alexa support in the UK
This week, music streaming service Deezer revealed a rebrand and announced that users on its free tier will now get access to Alexa control. The update is coming to all of Deezer's markets except the US and Japan. For the rest of you - that includes the UK - the feature is rolling out over the next two weeks.
Once you have it, you'll be able to control Deezer's Flow feature by commanding, "Alexa, play Flow" and adjusting your recommendations by saying "Alexa, I like this song" or "Alexa, I don't like this".