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.

amazon echo dot kids edition music

Distance learning: 4 smart tech solutions for keeping kids on track

Get some badly needed school-from-home help from Alexa, Google Assistant, your smart lights, and more.

google nest display multi room audio

Google smart displays now let you take charge of multi-room audio

You can now create instant speaker groups from your Google Nest Hub, Hub Max, or another Google Assistant-compatible display.

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Confused by the flashing lights on your Amazon Echo device? Here’s what they mean

The indicator lights on your Echo speaker can flash in seven different colors. Here’s what they’re trying to tell you.

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Apple TV+ now bundles CBS All Access and Showtime for $9.99 a month

The CBS All Access and Showtime bundle essentially gives you both channels for half off, but only if you’re an Apple TV+ subscriber.

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Now you can add DirecTV movie purchases to your Movies Anywhere digital locker

DirecTV is joining eight other online retailers whose users can sync their digital movie purchases with the Movies Anywhere service.

vizio smartcast free linear kids tv channels

Vizio’s SmartCast TV platform gets 12 new streaming TV channels for kids

Ameba, HappyKids Junior, Kidoodle.TV, and The Official LEGO Channel are among the free streaming channels coming to Vizio SmartCast TVs.

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Recently squashed Alexa bug could have allowed hackers access to voice histories, researchers say

Yet another good reason to regularly clean your stored Alexa voice recordings.

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'Diana: A New Musical' will debut on Netflix before opening on Broadway

A staged production of 'Diana,' filmed without an audience at Broadway’s Longacre Theater, will arrive first on Netflix.

tcl 2020 6 series

TCL’s 6-series 4K UHD smart TVs with mini-LED backlighting are eye-poppingly affordable

Touted as the next best thing to OLED, mini-LED display technology has made its way to TCL’s affordable 6-series, while the budget 5-series is getting quantum dots for the first time.

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Sony HT-G700 review: This Atmos- and DTS:X-enabled soundbar boasts a trifecta of virtual 3D modes, but no Wi-Fi

Its arsenal of virtual 3D modes is impressive, but without Wi-Fi, the HT-G700 is missing a bevy of key features given its price tag.

philips hue lightstrip plus

Philips Hue Lightstrip Plus (2020) review: Hue’s versatile, delicate LED light strip gets Bluetooth control

The latest version of Philips Hue’s Lightstrip Plus is perfect for accent lighting and it doesn’t require a bridge, but we’re concerned about its durability.

google assistant family bell

Google Assistant’s new Family Bell feature adds structure to endless summer days

Now you can ask Google to set daily reminder bells for the whole family, as well as set the mood for school and broadcast messages to a specific room.

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ADT will sell and install Nest devices under $450 million Google deal

Nest cameras and displays will soon become the “cornerstone” of ADT’s smart home offerings, Google says.

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The revamped Alexa app features much more useful home screen

A simplified and more personalized version of the Alexa app for iOS and Android is rolling out over the next few weeks.

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Wyze's new people detection forces a price hike, but existing subscribers get a reprieve

The pricier Cam Plus plan, complete with Wyze’s revamped people detection feature, is replacing the old Complete Motion Capture plan, but current subscribers won’t see any price hikes for a year.