The Apple HomePod Is Nearly Here

Remember the Apple HomePod? You could be forgiven if you had forgotten about it, because we haven’t heard much about it since it was announced last June. After Apple’s promised ship date of December passed by, we didn’t know what to expect. But now we’ve heard that preorders will be opening on Friday, January 26, and the first HomePods will ship to customers on Friday, February 9.

It’s finally coming! But if you’ve already bought into Alexa or the Google Assistant, you might be wondering if you should care about the HomePod. Is it worth the $350 price, and how will it stack up to the competition?

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My Experience With iPhone X Wireless Charging

Apple iPhone X on a wireless charger

When I got my new iPhone X, one of the things I was most excited to check out was the wireless charging feature. Wireless charging has been around on Android phones for years, but iOS users have been out of luck. Apple finally added wireless charging to the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and I didn’t waste much time in trying out a wireless charger for myself. Here are my thoughts.

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My Tips For Setting Up Philips Hue Lights

Did you get a new Philips Hue smart lighting kit for Christmas? I bet you’re not alone–I feel like I’ve seen tons of people getting into it recently. If this is your first foray into smart lighting, you might be trying to figure out how to set up your new Hue lights, so I decided to write down a few things I’ve learned in the time I’ve been using mine. Read on for tips on naming your lights, setting up automation, and more!

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Smart Home Tech I Want To See In 2018

It’s a new year, and as we’ve been thinking about what we’ll be covering on the blog this year, my mind naturally turned to smart home tech. 2017 was a big year for the smart home, with Google coming on the scene and quickly turning into a key player, an explosion in Philips Hue adoption, and more. I feel like an increasing number of my friends are getting into the game with smart lights, thermostats, and voice assistants.

But I don’t think we’ve reached “peak smart home” by any means. So what’s next? I decided to take a stab at what I think we can expect to see this year.

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AOL Instant Messenger Is Dead (And Why It Mattered)

After a twenty-year run, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) closed its doors for the last time on Friday. There were a few news articles about this back in October, but it feels like it happened suddenly–I haven’t heard anything about it in a while, but as promised, it’s gone now.

On one hand, it’s not surprising that no one was talking about AIM. To be honest, when I saw the news of the closing back in October my first thought was, “Wait, AIM is still around?” But on the other hand, I think AIM was a meaningful part of the earlier days of the Internet, and from that perspective it’s sad to see it finally go.

I’m not really intending this to be a eulogy for AIM, because I think writing eulogies for non-living things is kind of weird, but this news did spark me to think about my own history with AIM, so here goes!

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Five Tips For Taking Christmas Light Pictures With A Smartphone

One of my favorite aspects of the Christmas season is seeing all of the lights. It’s fun to see how the places I normally visit are turned into bright displays during the holidays. As with everything else in my life that I think is cool, I always find myself wanting to take way too many pictures of Christmas lights so I can bomb my friends’ phones with more photos than they could possibly want to see.

But what I’ve learned over time, and what you’ve probably seen if you’ve ever taken a photo during the holidays, is that it’s not necessarily easy to get a good picture of Christmas lights. I’ve picked up on a few things that make a big difference for these types of photos, so I’m going to share a few tips for taking Christmas light pictures.

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