Chrome 63 offers even more protection from malicious sites, using even more memory

Chrome 63 offers even more protection from malicious sites, using even more memory

Enlarge / You might need more of this stuff if you want to use Chrome’s new Site Isolation mode. Well, not this stuff exactly; it’s RAM from a very obsolete VAX computer.

To further increase its enterprise appeal, Chrome 63—which hit the browser’s stable release channel yesterday—includes a couple of new security enhancements aimed particularly at the corporate market.

The first of these is site isolation, an even stricter version of the multiple process model that Chrome has used since its introduction. Chrome uses multiple processes for several security and stability reasons. On the stability front, the model means that even if a single tab crashes, other tabs (and the browser itself) are unaffected. On the security front, the use of multiple processes makes it much harder for malicious code from one site to steal secrets (such as passwords typed into forms) of another.

Chrome’s default model is, approximately, to use one process per tab. This more or less ensures that unrelated sites are kept in separate processes, but there are nuances to this set-up. Pages share a process if they are related through, for example, one opening another with JavaScript or iframes embedding (wherein one page is included as content within another page). Over the course of a single browsing session, one tab may be used to visit multiple different domains; they’ll all potentially be opened within a single process. On top of this, if there are already too many Chrome processes running, Chrome will start opening new pages within existing processes, resulting in even unrelated pages sharing a process.

Chrome 63 introduces a new mode called “Site Isolation.” In Site Isolation mode, this sharing is eliminated and the browser applies a much stricter policy to ensure that individual sites remain in separate processes. Even pages that were formerly “related” (and hence eligible for a shared process) will be separated, and a long browsing session within a tab that spans several different sites will get a new process each time a new domain is visited. The process sharing due to having a large number of processes is also disabled with this mode.

Google has had to update Chrome to enable this mode. One of the reasons that sharing was used initially is that some pages are allowed to communicate with one another, using certain JavaScript mechanisms. Originally, these mechanisms only worked when the different pages used the same process. In Chrome 63, that communication can cross between processes. Similarly, embedded iframes can use a different process for the parent than for the child.

Naturally, this greater use of multiple processes incurs a price; with this option enabled, Chrome’s already high memory usage can go up by another 15 to 20 percent. As such, it’s not enabled by default; instead, it’s intended for use by enterprise users that are particularly concerned about organizational security.

The different blockable extension permissions.

Enlarge / The different blockable extension permissions.

The other new capability is the ability for administrators to block extensions depending on the features those extensions need to use. For example, an admin can block any extension that tries to use file system access, that reads or writes the clipboard, or that accesses the webcam or microphone.

Additionally, Google has started to deploy TLS 1.3, the latest version of Transport Layer Security, the protocol that enables secure communication between a browser and a Web server. In Chrome 63, this is only enabled between Chrome and Gmail; in 2018, it’ll be turned on more widely.

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Android Wear gets updated to Android 8.0 Oreo

Android Wear gets updated to Android 8.0 Oreo

Enlarge / The LG Watch Sport.

Remember Android Wear? Google’s struggling smartwatch OS is getting updated to Android 8.0 Oreo, just like the rest of the Android lineup. Google announced the update on the “Android Wear Developers” Google Plus group. It seems like the only supported watch right now is the flagship LG Watch Sport, which makes sense since that was the only watch to get an Android O beta in the beginning of October.

Wear’s last big update was Android Wear 2.0, which was released with the LG Watch Sport the beginning of the year. Most users won’t notice the move to Oreo. Like Android TV, Android Wear has its own interface and set of features that are developed separately from the base OS version. This update to Oreo changes the under-the-hood OS, but the user-facing features will mostly remain unchanged.

Android Wear has not been doing well in the market. In Q1 2017 the Apple Watch had 57 percent of the market, according to Strategy Analytics, with Samsung’s Tizen OS in second place at 19 percent of the market, and Android Wear in third place at 18 percent. The group is probably undergoing a bit of a shakeup right now, as Android Wear VP of Engineering David Singleton recently left Google.

As I wrote in the LG Sport Watch review, Wear’s biggest problem isn’t really Google’s software but the fact that no one is selling good smartwatch chips. Qualcomm is the only SoC vendor addressing the smartwatch component market, but it is doing so with woefully out-of-date chips. The latest, the Snapdragon Wear 2100, is built on a 28nm process, which last graced a flagship Qualcomm smartphone chip in 2014. Apple and Samsung make their own chips with a more up-to-date manufacturing process, resulting in faster, cooler, smaller chips.

Oreo is rolling out the LG Sport Watch now, while Google says the timing for other watches is “determined by each watch’s manufacturer.”

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macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 is here with enterprise and security updates

macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 is here with enterprise and security updates

Enlarge / High Sierra wallpaper. The low-hanging clouds in the background may or may not be related to the name.

Rounding out several days of OS updates that included iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2, and watchOS 4.2, Apple today rolled out macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 for supported Macs. You can download the update now from the Mac App Store.

The update offers no new features; rather, it is focused mostly on enterprise and security updates. Consumer-facing changes include improved compatibility with some third-party USB devices and accessibility changes like improved VoiceOver navigation in Preview and Braille in the Mail app. The enterprise updates improve keychain performance and fix a few bugs.

As for the security updates, macOS 10.13.2 includes a permanent fix for the widely reported and previously addressed root user credentials bug, several issues related to the Intel graphics driver, the Mail app (S/MIME encryption issues), and more.

This is the second major update to macOS High Sierra after 10.13.1, which addressed the KRACK Wi-Fi vulnerability, added new emojis, and fixed several bugs.

Here are the full update notes Apple has provided to users in the App Store and its support documentation:

The macOS High Sierra 10.13.2 Update improves the security, stability, and compatibility of your Mac and is recommended for all users.

This update:

  • Improves compatibility with certain third-party USB audio devices.
  • Improves VoiceOver navigation when viewing .pdf documents in Preview.
  • Improves compatibility of Braille displays with Mail.

Enterprise content:

  • Improves performance when using credentials stored in the keychain to access SharePoint websites that use NTLM authentication.
  • Resolves an issue that prevented the Mac App Store and other processes invoked by Launch Daemons from working on networks that use proxy information defined in a PAC file.
  • If you change your Active Directory user password outside of Users & Groups preferences, the new password can now be used to unlock your FileVault volume (previously, only the old password would unlock the volume).
  • Improves compatibility with SMB home directories when the share point contains a dollar sign in its name.

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Snapdragon 845 unveiled with 25-percent faster CPU, 30-percent faster graphics

Snapdragon 845 unveiled with 25-percent faster CPU, 30-percent faster graphics

Qualcomm is hosting the “Snapdragon Technology Summit” in Hawaii this week, where it unveiled its flagship system-on-a-chip (SoC) for 2018: the Snapdragon 845. Qualcomm has a near-monopoly on the high-end smartphone SoC market, so unless you’re buying an iPhone or non-US Samsung phone, you can expect most 2018 flagship smartphones to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest. You might even see the chip in your next laptop, with Qualcomm breaking into the Windows 10 market.

The SoC is manufactured by Samsung on the company’s 10nm process, just like the Snapdragon 835. The Kryo 385 is once again a derivative of ARM’s Cortex CPU, with four “performance” cores (based on the Cortex A75) clocked at up to 2.8GHz and four “efficiency” cores (based on the Cortex A55) that run at up to 1.8GHz. Qualcomm is boosting the performance core clock speeds by 19 percent over the Snapdragon 835, but thanks to a CPU redesign, Qualcomm is promising a “25-percent performance uplift” over the previous generation. The CPU also gets a new 2MB L3 cache and 3MB of system cache.

The GPU is now the Adreno 630, and Qualcomm is promising “30-percent faster graphics” and “30-percent better power efficiency.” The company says a 2.5×-faster display throughput will allow for a 2K×2K display at 120Hz. Qualcomm is really pushing AR and VR with the Snapdragon 845, promising out-of-the-box support for eye tracking, hand tracking, foveated rendering (adding more detail to the part of the screen you’re looking at), multiview rendering (great for rendering the left and right eyes in VR goggles), and HTC Vive-style six degree of freedom (6DoF) tracking for headsets and controllers. In fact, the Adreno 630 GPU isn’t even called a “GPU” anymore—now it’s a “Visual Processing Subsystem.” It’s not that any of this was impossible before, but now Qualcomm is officially supporting all of these VR/AR use cases out of the box.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 diagram.

Enlarge / Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 diagram.

The Snapdragon 845’s ISP (image signal processor), the Spectra 280, can now capture 4K, 60fps video in an “HDR” 10-bit color depth. Slow motion video is up to 480fps at 720p. For photos, the ISP can capture 16MP images at 60 frames per second (does it still count as a “photo” at that point?), and there’s out-of-the-box support for depth sensing.

The 845 also includes a new secure processing unit (SPU) that can handle encryption, payments, and biometric authentication in an isolated subsystem away from all your potentially nasty application code.

For connectivity, the cellular modem is now a Qualcomm X20 LTE modem, with a theoretical max download speed of 1,200Mbps, provided your carrier supports this ridiculous level of connectivity. The Wi-Fi now supports the 60GHz 802.11ad standard, which isn’t a replacement for the usual 802.11ac connection but is instead an ultra-fast, short-range, “wire replacement” technology. It only has a useful range of a few feet (theoretically 30 feet), but the 4.6 Gbps max speed makes a great way to send a ton of data to something without plugging in (assuming you can find something else that supports 802.11ad). There are “proprietary enhancements” to Bluetooth 5, which Qualcomm says will “reduce battery consumption of wireless earbuds by up to 50 percent.”

“Artificial Intelligence” is another big focus, with Qualcomm using the Hexagon 685 DSP as an AI and imaging co-processor. The Hexagon 685 is three times faster than the Hexagon 682 in the Snapdragon 835 and will support Android 8.1 Oreo’s new Neural Networks API. Google Assistant addicts (or Bixby addicts, I guess?) will be happy to hear about the “improved always-on keyword detection and ultra-low-power voice processing.”

The Snapdragon 845 is expected to begin shipping in devices in early 2018.

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“Always Connected” Windows PCs won’t just use ARM chips as Intel, AMD join the fray

“Always Connected” Windows PCs won’t just use ARM chips as Intel, AMD join the fray

Enlarge / Intel’s XMM 7560 modem is, like Qualcomm’s X16 modem, capable of gigabit speeds.

Central to the promise of a new generation of Windows 10 on ARM PCs (the first two of which were announced yesterday) is the idea of being “Always Connected:” that your mobile PC, like your smartphone, is almost always online, using Wi-Fi where it’s available or LTE where it isn’t.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 ARM processors are a good match for this because they integrate Qualcomm’s X16 LTE modem. Paired with the right mobile network and antenna hardware, the modem is capable of downloading at gigabit speeds. But Intel and AMD have both been keen to highlight that you don’t need an ARM processor for this kind of connectivity—and you might not need one for the other claimed ARM advantages either.

AMD announced a collaboration with Qualcomm to produce machines using its new Ryzen Mobile processors along with Qualcomm LTE modems, offering the same LTE performance as you’d get with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

And Intel systems with the X16 modem are already out there; Microsoft’s own Surface Pro with LTE uses that same Qualcomm part to offer up to 450Mb/s LTE performance. Intel also builds its own LTE modems—Apple, for example, started using a mix of Intel and Qualcomm modems with the iPhone 7—and these too could be used in an LTE-enabled x86 PC. Intel is also working on 5G modems, taking mobile connectivity beyond gigabit speeds.

Intel and Microsoft are also claiming another feature of these ARM PCs will be available for x86. The ARM systems are intended to support instant waking, just like a smartphone typically does. According to slides published at Microsoft’s WinHEC event for hardware companies, this should materialize through 2018 on regular PCs.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard these companies promise instant waking from low-power modes for PCs. With Windows 8, Microsoft introduced a feature called “Connected Standby,” which combined a low-power system state with a certain amount of network connectivity. This enables machines to respond, for example, to new Skype calls and continue to receive new emails while experiencing battery drain comparable to that from being suspended—much the same combination of features as smartphones depend on to get through the day. With Connected Standby, waking should be near-instant.

Connected Standby proved hit-and-miss; it needed the right hardware with the right drivers to work properly. In Windows 10, the same concept of an ultra-low-power mode that nonetheless could still respond to external events was renamed to “Modern Standby.” Modern Standby has a connected mode—equivalent to old Connected Standby—and a disconnected mode. In disconnected mode, the system can still be woken by, for example, a “Hey Cortana” voice command or a swipe of a fingerprint reader, but it doesn’t pass any network traffic.

Modern Standby, like Connected Standby before it, isn’t quite as reliable and consistent as one would like, again being picky about precise hardware and driver combinations. Microsoft and Intel have, however, been working to improve that situation by developing compliance tests and having “PlugFests.” These events allow hardware companies to come together to test different combinations of their devices to shake out any lingering incompatibilities.

If this work pays off then Intel-powered systems should be able to rival the instant-on experience offered by these new ARM machines.

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Ring Video Doorbell 2 review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 review

Smart doorbells are an interesting category that focus partly on convenience and partly on security. However, those two things can mean different things in different parts of the world. 

Ring has been successful in the US with it’s Ring Video Doorbell 2 but with its recent launch in the Middle East, we find out it fits well into the UAE culture. 

Priced at AED 799 and the fact that it doesn’t require a wired connection definitely give it a head start.

 Design and setup 

The first thing you’ll notice about the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is its design: it’s a good looking device. In the box we were treated to two face plates – a silver one and a black one, and we ended up going with the black. 

Measuring 12.9 cms tall, 6.3 cms wide, and 2.75 cms thick, the doorbell is somewhat large, and could be a problem for those who want to install it in a small space or doorframe. 

That said, it doesn’t look too out of place on a wall next to a door, and while large the trade-off is that the battery is bigger – which is always nice. Ring claims the battery will last between six months to a year. For obvious reasons we couldn’t fully test that, but we haven’t heard of any customers or reviewers claiming the battery did not last that time.

Setting up the smart doorbell is really quite easy and there are a few options for installing the device – you can choose to wire it to replace your existing doorbell, or simply use it separately from your existing doorbell. 

If you do that, however, you may want to pair it with the Ring Chime or Ring Chime Pro, which will, as the name suggests, chime when someone presses the doorbell. The Chime Pro also extends your Wi-Fi range which will most likely be needed for villas and sells separately for AED 229.

Ring bundles in all kinds of tools to help you install the bell on all kinds of surfaces and corners. There’s a drill-bit, a screw driver and rivets along with lots of different sized screws to make sure that Ring is secured on your walls whether they’re concrete or wooden.

One the bell is installed you download the Ring app on your Android and iOS device and create an account, if you don’t already have one. Then, simply follow the in-app instructions to configure it.

 Day-to-day use 

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a breeze to use. When someone approaches your door, you get a notification on your phone, and if they press the button, a video call appears on your phone. 

That’s definitely helpful if you’re away from your home – as you can initiate a two-way call with whoever is at the door. However, lots of people in the region have hired help in their homes and there is no way for them to know if anyone is at the gate unless they also have a smartphone with the Ring app installed. If you fall into that bracket, we suggest buying the Ring Chime (AED 139 without Wi-Fi extender) to have the sound relayed inside your home.

The Ring video doorbell has motion tracking and initiates video recording if it detects motion. By default, it was a little too sensitive for our use – especially considering it was facing a road with cars driving by. Thankfully, that can be changed in the app simply by heading to the “My Devices” section and hitting the “Motion Settings” option. 

You can also set a schedule as to when motion detection kicks in which is very helpful if you live on a street that is busy during particular times such as the mornings or evenings. Once configured to your liking, the motion tracking really works quite well.

the app keeps a track of all recent activity, and you can sort activity based on things like rings, motion, and “starred.” That last option is helpful if you see something that you want to return to later. 

Other features we would expect are present too. You can check the battery status of your connected devices pretty easily, change the chime sound to a sound you like, and so on. You can also easily add another user – so if you live with someone else they can access the doorbell as well. 

 Subscription costs

As is the case with most video recording security devices, you are prompted to subscribe to the video recording service – and if you don’t you won’t be able to use the Ring Video Doorbell 2 to its full potential. 

You won’t, for example, be able to watch back video recorded over 24 hours back when motion tracking is activated, and your previously recorded video will be deleted from your account.

With Ring, you’ll have to pay $3 per month or $30 per year for one device, or $10 per month/$100 per year for multiple devices – which comes in handy if you have Ring security cameras. That amount is considerably less than what many dedicated security companies charge for monitoring and storing video.

 Final verdict 

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a solid device. Setup is easy, the app is a breeze to use, motion tracking works great, and the battery lasts long enough to not be a hassle. We also liked the layout and ease of use of the app.

But should you buy it? There are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself first. Does your Wi-Fi signal reach the area where you want to install Ring? Also, would you require the bell to ring inside your house besides just on your smartphone? 

Adding a Chime would solve the second problem for you but with Wi-Fi coverage, that’s something that varies from house to house and the Chime Pro with the Wi-Fi extender could possibly solve that. In either case, that’s something extra that you need to buy so the costs for using Ring optimally add up.

That being said, we think the Ring Video Doorbell 2 is a fantastic product that brings a connected home closer to reality.

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Upgrade your Airbnb

Upgrade your Airbnb

black panther coverEnlarge Image




See more from CNET Magazine.

Mark Mann

Airbnb hosts in popular destinations face a lot of competition when renting their homes. To make your pad appealing to potential guests, it takes more than comfortable furniture and natural light: Smart home technology can help turn it from an overlooked listing into a five-star property.

Ease check-in and checkout

Forget fumbling with keys that can disappear or be copied. With a smart lock like the August Smart Lock ($229), you use your phone to lock and unlock the front door when you’re in Bluetooth range (about 30 feet). If you won’t be greeting your guests in person, you can send them a virtual key via the lock’s app (they’ll need to download the app, as well) that will grant temporary access during their stay. You’ll also get notifications on your phone when they arrive and leave. “It circumvents a lot of the complexities around making sure that you’re around to hand someone a physical key and that they return the key, and then that the key works in everything,” says Patrick Srail, an Airbnb product manager. There are some risks with smart locks (there have been cases of folks getting locked out of their home because of a botched firmware update), so make sure to research smart lock safety issues.

Give the gift of entertainment

Rather than setting up a cable TV subscription for your rental, install a streaming device like an Apple TV ($149), Amazon Fire TV Stick ($40) or Chromecast ($35) so guests can watch movies and television programs and listen to music during their stay. To avoid using your personal accounts, you can set up accounts just for your rental or let guests log in to their own. Just be sure to leave instructions on how to use the equipment.

airbnb-magazine-2Enlarge Image




A smart speaker like this Amazon Echo Dot could help welcome guests to your Airbnb.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Leave an in-home friend

The Amazon Echo ($180), the Google Home ($129) and Apple’s HomePod (due to be released in early 2018 for $349) are internet-connected speakers with voice-activated virtual assistants (Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri, respectively). Both fun and useful, these devices can do a little bit of everything — control your lights, play music, order you a pizza, and more. All your guest needs to do is ask. Just don’t forget to disable settings that could pose a security risk to you. If you’re not careful, for instance, a guest could use an Echo to order something from your Amazon account.

Keep guests comfortable and energy costs down

If you manage a property where you don’t live, you can remotely control the temperature from your phone with a smart thermostat like the Nest Learning Thermostat ($249) or the Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat ($150). Smart thermostats also help conserve energy between guests — if your property is going to be empty, you can adjust the temperature accordingly. And some thermostats’ apps will let you set up notifications if your place reaches certain temperatures, so you can make sure guests aren’t cranking up the heat or AC to extreme levels.

Give peace of mind

You can set up smart-home security cameras like the Canary Flex ($199) outside your home so that you can monitor what’s going on at your property via a mobile app. Just be sure to mention the security cameras and provide pictures of them in your Airbnb listing so guests are aware before they arrive. Also, make sure that you’re following Airbnb’s rules about camera use on your property. For example, surveillance devices are prohibited in bedrooms and bathrooms, and a violation could prompt the company to suspend or remove your listing completely.

Alternatively, a video doorbell like the SkyBell HD Wi-Fi Video Doorbell ($199) lets you check your phone to view who’s at your door. Many video doorbells also have two-way audio communication so you can speak to whoever has come knocking (and August’s $199 doorbell cam works with the company’s smart lock). But it’s not just for your benefit — guests can give you a ring if they need to talk to you during their stay.

Don’t forget the basics

Whether you install just one device on this list or all of them, double-check that everything is working properly and the instructions are clearly outlined. Even more important, make sure your Wi-Fi connection is stable and that you have enough outlets and extra charging cables for your devices and your guests. And while you’re at it, leave out a few outlet power adapters for your international visitors. 

This story appears in the winter 2017 edition of CNET Magazine. For other magazine stories, click here.

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Honeywell’s Lyric security system is ready to sync with Apple HomeKit

Honeywell’s Lyric security system is ready to sync with Apple HomeKit


The Honeywell Lyric security system features a variety of sensors that connect to a central hub with 7-inch touchscreen and built-in camera.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

It wasn’t long after the debut of the Honeywell Lyric smart thermostat that Honeywell decided to start offering dealer-installed, professionally monitored Lyric home security systems, too. Now, as the company teased back at CES 2017, those Lyric security systems are finally set to sync up with Apple’s HomeKit.

A set of iOS-based smart home protocols, HomeKit allows a given gadget to sync directly with your iPhone or iPad via Apple’s Home app. From there, you can control that gadget using spoken Siri commands, or automate it alongside other HomeKit-compatible gadgets by programming scenes. 

In the case of Lyric, you’ll be able to put any of the system’s lights, locks and thermostats under Siri’s control, or arm your system with a quick voice command. You’ll still need to enter your code in order to disarm the system, though, which seems like a sensible precaution to me.

Honeywell tells me that the Lyric system is now officially certified for use with HomeKit, and that existing users should expect to see a software update by the end of December. The systems were designed to work with HomeKit from the beginning, so you won’t need to buy a separate HomeKit accessory or pay any extra fees. And, lest you fear getting locked into a single smart home ecosystem, the Lyric setup is also compatible with IFTTT, and with Amazon’s Alexa.

The same can be said of Honeywell’s upcoming DIY security system, which the brand is currently offering on Indiegogo for release in 2018. Like Lyric, that camera-centric system plans to hop on board with HomeKit next year.

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Bond smartens ceiling fans so you can lose that remote for good

Bond smartens ceiling fans so you can lose that remote for good

A ceiling fan might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the smart home, but there are perks to an automated fan. Adding voice controls, schedules and even IFTTT recipes to a ceiling fan creates a more convenient smart home and a more comfortable living environment. The problem? Smart fans are expensive. Both Hunter and Big Ass Fans offer Alexa and Nest compatible models, starting at $300 and $550 respectively. That’s where Olibra’s Bond device comes in. This $99 disc smartens your remote-controlled ceiling fan. With the ability to control up to six fans with one unit, the Bond is a useful, cost-effective way to pick up the slack where your fans or finances left off.


The Bond uses Wi-Fi, infrared and radio frequency to pair and copy functions from a ceiling fan’s existing remote. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Bond device is the flagship product for its parent company, Olibra. The Bond smartens ceiling fans by acquiring the signal from the device’s original infrared (IR) or radio frequency (RF) remote. Ceiling fan remote controls come in both IR or RF varieties, but most are RF. If you do have an IR remote control, you’ll need to be sure the Bond is placed so it has a clear line of sight to the fan. I didn’t find that to be an issue, since the Bond is a relatively small, black device that fits on most tables and shelves. My disappointment here is the device’s color. It would be nice if the Bond came in options like white or gray, since it will be sitting out in the open.

The Bond works with Amazon Alexa devices and the Google Home ($79.00 at Bed Bath & Beyond), so you can ask your voice assistant of choice to control your smartened ceiling fan. The Bond app is available for iOS and Android devices, but the Bond itself doesn’t work with HomeKit or Siri.

Download the app and create an account to get started. Follow in-app instructions to connect the Bond to your Wi-Fi. Next, you’ll pair your device’s original remote with the Bond by pairing through the Bond app with step-by-step instructions. The Bond’s LED light ring uses different color indicators for each step. From there, the app asks you to identify which function of the remote you are pairing and allows you to test the new function in the app. Once you’ve repeated this process for each function of your original remote, you’re all set.  

Connecting your newly smart ceiling fan with Alexa requires downloading the Bond skill for Alexa and logging into your Bond account. The same is true for Google Home. Your fan should be recognized by the name you assigned it during the Bond setup. Voice control with both the Google Assistant and Alexa were responsive and easy to configure. You won’t need to include a “tell Bond to…” phrase with either assistant. A simple “turn on the fan” phrase after the assistant’s wake word is all you need.

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