Smart speakers have completely changed how people live their lives. Armed with the best smart speakers, users can hear the news, listen to music, get recipe advice, and so much more.
But even with all their benefits, smart speakers are only beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible in improving our lives. With new features launching each year and exciting hardware improvements making them even more powerful and efficient, smart speakers continue to innovate and improve upon their most important features.
So whether you’re new to the smart speaker market or you’re looking for ways to utilize your smart speaker in different ways, you may wonder how they can improve your day and make you more productive. And we have you covered in helping you figure that out and use smart speakers more effectively than ever before.
When you embark on your next smart speaker purchase, it’s critical to know which software will be powering your experience.
There are a variety of services that power smart speakers, including Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana. The most popular among them is Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which are available in the vast majority of smart speakers on the market today.
Google Assistant is triggered by the “Hey, Google” command. Upon saying that, you can ask your Google Assistant smart speaker to play music, hear the news, search the internet, or give you access to the apps you use most.
Amazon’s Alexa is nearly identical to Google Assistant, but is triggered by saying “Alexa.” You can similarly ask for information from the internet, play songs, or access the apps you’ve installed on the platform.
Both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are outstanding options for the vast majority of users and which platform you choose to power your smart speakers comes back to preference. You may like Google Assistant if you’re someone who often uses Google and relies on Google platforms to power your day. If you’re not so worried about Google platforms or if you’re someone who uses Amazon Music and other services powered by the e-commerce giant, an Amazon Echo smart speaker may be preferable.
When deciding on your device, also think about design and audio. Since your smart speaker is a speaker, only buy devices that have outstanding audio performance, like Acer’s Halo Smart Speaker, which offers powerful bass and 360-degree sound. And since your device will be sitting in your home, be sure to get one with a great design that doesn’t detract from your room’s aesthetic.
If your plan for a smart speaker is to make your day a bit brighter, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy all the entertainment you can get from it.
Depending on the platform you choose, you’ll have access to a variety of music services, including YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Pandora, SiriusXM, and others. If you’re a podcast addict, you’ll undoubtedly find every show you love (and even some suggestions for other shows you may like based on your recent playback history) to make your day go by.
Smart speakers are also home to radio stations, if you want to listen to your local broadcaster. And if you’re a news nut who wants to know what’s happening in the world, most of the major news outlets around the globe provide regular audio updates to smart speakers so you can stay in the know.
Some smart speakers launch with screens, allowing you to use them as small video players. In that case, you’ll find access to popular apps like YouTube or Google Play videos, as well as a large number of video apps and services you may be accessing on your computer or smartphone.
Apps marketplaces are the secret ingredient in expanding your smart speaker’s functionality. If a smart speaker launches with Google Assistant or Amazon Echo, there are plenty of apps baked in at the onset, including smart home controls and access to Google or Amazon music services. But to expand your smart speaker’s performance, you need to add third-party apps to your smart speaker.
To do that, you can access your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant apps and search through the vast apps available to both services. Simply search for apps from your smart home company, like Wemo or Kasa, or find the Uber app you’ll use to hail your next car. If there’s an app you know you want to interact with and you typically use elsewhere, there’s a good chance it’s available to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa users.
Apps are critical to making you more productive, so think seriously about the ways you want to engage with your smart speaker to be more productive and find the programs to add to the device to help you do that.
One of the nice things about a smart speaker is how much it helps you manage your life.
With your smart speaker, you can set an alarm to wake you at the desired time. Once you wake up, you can use the smart speaker to tell you what’s on your calendar for the day. You can also use it to set tasks and reminders, and ensure you stay on track throughout the day.
As you’re working, you can also use your smart speaker to get answers to your many questions. Want to look up a word or search the internet? Your smart speaker will help you do it. You can also use Google Assistant or Amazon Echo to tell you about your stock prices, sports scores, and other information you care about.
Whether you want to shop online or offline, your smart speaker can also help you with that. You can use your smart speaker to create (and remember) your shopping list. And if you want to shop online, it’s easy to tell your smart speaker to add items you need to your shopping cart.
If you’re someone who’s invested in a smart home, your smart speaker will come in handy.
You can use your smart speaker to turn the heat on or turn the temperature from your smart thermostat down. And if you want to turn the lights on, simply use the correct voice command with your smart speaker to do it.
The number of smart home implementations may surprise you, but as long as you have the right apps attached to your device, a simple voice command lets you control any and all products throughout your home.
And that’s precisely why smart speakers are so popular and such an important addition to any home. With the right smart speaker and associated apps, you can not only be more productive each day, but also enjoy the benefits of mobile and PC apps without ever needing to pick up your smartphone or computer.