October is the month for tech upgrades : new iPhone, Skybell HD, Google home,Kevo smart lock , Roost smart fire alarm review

Well I hung onto the iPhone 6 plus for as long as I could but with the recent update to iOS 11, it became unbearably slow, so slow that I could not do work or email from the phone without running into major lag. I decided to upgrade to the iPhone 7 and so far it has been a huge upgrade in terms of speed. Everything is snappy and the new HEVC/HEIF movie/picture format is a nice touch which was not available on the iPhone 6 plus. Over all if you were like me holding into the iPhone 6 device for the last 3 years, I would highly recommend to upgrade to at-least the iPhone 7 as there are a lot of advantages in terms of speed and performance. The big thing is that google photos allows auto backup of HEVC/HEIF movies/photos and even uploads the “live” photos. (can capture some amazing memories)

I also decided to upgrade from the Amazon’s Alexa Dot to the Google Home, which so far is working well with the WeMo devices. The downside is there is not as many apps for Google Home as there are for Alexa. The plus side is that it integrates with Google Chromecast devices so you can control netflix and other content on your TV from Google Home (pretty awesome to have everything connected together). Google Home also seems “smarter” than Alexa in that it can “google” answers for you, if you ask Google Home “what time does Home depot close?” It will respond with the time home depot closes for the day ,while Alexa struggles to find an answer.

The last device I recently bought was 2 Skybells. This is the competitor to Ring video door bells which basically notifies you and allows you to view who is at your door when the door bell rings. These devices retail for $189.99 at BestBuy but hands down are probably the best smart devices you can add to your house. The Skybells also have an intercom function built in which allows you to speak to your guests from your phone. The big use for me is when I am not home and FedEx comes over with an expensive package, I can talk to the FedEx delivery person and open my garage door’s with my phone’s Chamberlain MyQ remote function and tell them to place it in my garage. Then I can close the garage door once they leave even when I am on vacation 3000 miles away (amazing technology right?). Overall it is probably the best smart device I have bought, and allows for countless other uses.

I am a bit behind on my reviews since I have been very busy lately but I have bought a few other smart home devices I have not written about as well and just wanted to touch on them a bit. I bought a Roost fire/carbon monoxide/natural gas leak smart alarm which was a pain to setup but paid off in the end when my uncle visited and left the stove on in my house when we went out for dinner (It alerted me through the phone). The setup process basically involves the Roost smart battery and playing a sound over your phone to sync the wifi settings over, but it took me about 45 minutes to get it done right because if there is any background noise (clocks tick, fans , air conditioning/wind etc) it will fail and not sync. I had to basically lock myself in my car in the garage to get it completely quiet for the smart battery to accept the sync. This device retails for $75 on Amazon and I will link to it below, I highly recommend it as it stopped my house from being turned into a smoke house from the stove top being left on. The other device I bought a few months ago but didn’t review is the Kevo smart lock. Installation was straight forward but I am still on the fence whether or not the device is useful. The device works great in that it detects your bluetooth connection from your phone or smart key fob and allows you to “touch” the lock to unlock it, but sometimes I feel like just using the keys is faster (which I do sometimes). Along with this, sometimes it locks by itself from being too sensitive when you want it to unlock. This device retails for $189 at Amazon and does not connect to Wifi without a $50 kevo bridge add on. This means you cannot remote control the smart lock without the add on. The cool feature about the smart lock is the guest keys which I can picture someone using at an airbnb which sends smart keys to email addresses/phone numbers and allows them to use the lock until a certain date. I can picture someone using this for a rental property as it is very convenient, but it requires the tenant to have a smart phone to download the kevo app and also sign up for a Kevo account which limits it to mostly the younger generation.

That is it for now, long article, but touches on some of the key features of what I am currently experiencing in terms of technology. Some of the tech coming currently is amazing,  while some are just not designed well enough