Ben PattersonSenior Writer, TechHive

Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices.

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Google Assistant’s Gentle Sleep and Wake feature now works with all smart lights

Google Assistant’s ability to slowly brighten or dim your smart lights used to be restricted to Philips Hue bulbs, but not anymore. Also: There’s a new workday routine to try.

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Spotify begins testing in-app polls for podcast episodes

"The Rewatchers" will be among the first podcasts to get Spotity’s new polling feature.

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You can now control Disney+ on a Google smart display with your voice

Hey Google, play "The Mandalorian."

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Budget-friendly Wyze Labs now has Bluetooth headphones

Yes, Wyze is making headphones now, and they come with both active noise cancellation and Alexa on board. Also coming soon from Wyze: a video doorbell and a smart thermostat.

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What we hope to see at Amazon’s annual hardware event this Thursday

Amazon unpacked a truckload of Echo and Ring devices at its 2019 hardware event. What’s in store for this year?

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Echo and Tile devices will support Amazon’s upcoming Sidewalk network

Select Echo devices will act as bridges connecting other Sidewalk-enabled devices, such as Tile trackers, to Amazon’s ambitious neighborhood network project.

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NBCU’s Peacock app finally arrives on Roku following Comcast standoff

A peaceful settlement between the sparring companies led to the arrival of NBCU’s Peacock app on Roku early Monday.

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IFTTT relents, extends “set your own” price pledge for Pro plans indefinitely

IFTTT’s original pay-what-you-want pledge for its new $10-a-month Pro plan only lasted for a year.

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You can now share your favorite Alexa routines

Trading clever Alexa routines with friends and loved ones just became a lot easier.

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Amazon Music rolls out free podcasts, taking on Spotify

DJ Khaled, Becky G, Will Smith and more are slated to produce exclusive Amazon Music podcasts.

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Nanoleaf Shapes – Hexagons review: These touch-sensitive light panels set the mood in any room

The first of its new Shapes series, Nanoleaf’s Hexagon light panels improve on a winning formula.

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Bowers & Wilkins unveils its PX7 Carbon Edition wireless noise-cancelling headphones

The headband and earcup arms in the latest edition of B&W’s high-end Bluetooth headphones are fabricated from a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer.

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Spotify now lists virtual concerts by your favorite artists

Want to know when your favorite band is hitting the virtual road? Spotify can help.

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Google will reveal new Chromecast and smart speaker in late September

Will the new Chromecast incorporate Android TV and come with a remote? What will the new smart speaker be called, and how much will it cost? We’re about to find out.

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How to set up Alexa with an emergency contact

If you need help, you or anyone in your home can ask Alexa to call an emergency contact, but you'll need to pick one first.