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sincity

sincity

Member Since 10 Nov 2009
OFFLINE Last Active Apr 24 2012 09:08 AM
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Apple drops doorbell category from its HomeKit accessories page

18 July 2018 - 10:33 PM

The Apple HomeKit smart home ecosystem can incorporate a wide selection of smart devices, from light switches to outlets, climate control to smart speakers. 

But one device HomeKit can’t work with, apparently, is a smart doorbell. 

On Apple’s HomeKit accessories page, you can find a list of supported devices under categories such as Lights or Locks. Doorbells, which had previously been listed as a category, no longer appears, 9to5Mac first discovered. 

We poked around the HomeKit page and didn't find any doorbells available to purchase.

Ring and August, two smart security companies that make smart doorbells, promised back in 2016 that they would add HomeKit support to their devices. Now, two years later, neither has delivered on this promise. 

Ring, which was acquired by Amazon earlier this year, reaffirmed that it would still incorporate HomeKit support in the future—despite being owned by a smart home competitor. 

Still, after such a long wait, some buyers are wondering what could be causing the holdup, and Ring hasn’t explained why HomeKit support has taken so long to implement. 

While Ring may yet fulfill its overdue promise, August allegedly has no plans to do so. CNET reports that August emailed a customer back in March to say that it “do[es] not have plans to have HomeKit for our doorbell cameras. If anything does change in the future, we will announce it on our website.”

August, which seemingly has no business justification to cancel support for HomeKit, may have run into some kind of technical delays. But it, like Ring, hasn’t explained itself either. 

Apple doorbell ditches on 2016 promises

At WWDC 2016, Apple showed off a promo for smart doorbell tech integrated with HomeKit features and iOS. But now, the prospect seems more and more unlikely.

A 2016 WWDC promo for the IOS 10 "Home" app promised a smart doorbell that would record and track visitors, notify you of their presence, and allow you to talk with them | Credit: Apple

By removing its Doorbell category, Apple ensures its customers don’t assume that smart doorbells are available right now, and could very well re-add the category once Ring or someone else adds support. 

On the other hand, Apple kept the category up for years when none were available; perhaps this is a sign that the company doesn’t think Ring or any other doorbell-maker will support its platform any time soon. 


Dyson V8 Absolute: should I buy it?

18 July 2018 - 01:18 AM

The bottom line: Before there was the heralded Dyson Cyclone V10, there was the V8 Absolute. This cordless dust-buster may not be the newest model in the lot, but it has plenty of power and clearly displays Dyson's renowned design pedigree. 

Pros: It's cordless, so you can take it anywhere in your home. Maneuverability and its quiet presence are also big plusses. It's adept at cleaning either hard wood or carpets, and can lap up animal hair. 

Cons: The biggest drawback with the Dyson V8 Absolute is the battery life. Dyson says it lasts up to 40 minutes, but most reports indicate this is when you are using attachments that aren't the motorhead brush. This means that standard cleaning with the V8 is going to last about 25 minutes before you need to recharge, which takes four hours minimum before you can reuse the vacuum again. There are also complaints that the pistol grip isn't comfortable.

Dyson V8 Absolute: Everything you need to know

As noted, the Cyclone V10 has usurped the V8 Absolute as the top cordless vacuum in the Dyson family, but the V8 Absolute hasn't yet been put out to pasture. 

It's still a powerful vacuum that can clean hardwood and carpet, handle everything from crumbs to dog hair, and comes with three separate attachments for specialized cleaning. It's battery life may be a tad deceiving, but it will get the job done... if only incrementally. 

Battery life: The battery life of the Dyson V8 Absolute is billed as up to 40 minutes, but that goes down to up to 25 minutes when you use the motorized cleaning head. So, if you are using a hose attachment, you could get up to 40 minutes of cleaning power, but if you are using the standard motorized attachment, that time will be much less. You'll also have to recharge it for at least four hours before you can use the V8 once the battery drains out.

Design: Being a cordless vacuum, you can take the V8 Absolute with you anywhere in the house, or even outside it. You can hold it up to suck down cobwebs, or use it to clean your car seats. It's adaptable to different cleaning environments thanks to its swappable brush heads.  It weighs 5.75 pounds, so it's relatively lightweight compared to some other cordless vacuums. 

Sound: By many accounts, the V8 Absolute is a much quieter vacuum than many on the market, which could be due to the HEPA filter. Not only does this capture allergens, but apparently it helps muffle the sound. This is a plus if you'd like something quieter that doesn't bother you or those you live with.

Performance: Let's not overlook the V8 Absolute's performance. It runs on a Dyson digital motor V8 and is equally adept at cleaning hardwood floor and carpet. Able to capture everything from the finest dirt to long animal hair, the Dyson V8 Absolute will leave your floors cleaner than before it got to them.

Anything else?

The Dyson V8 Absolute is still one of the best cordless vacuums on the market, and there are loads of them. Shark has put out an impressive effort in the IONFlex 2X DuoClean, which may rival Dyson in terms of design. 

But the V8 Absolute continues to be a fan favorite for a reason. It works really well, it's lightweight and it's versatile. You probably can't go wrong with picking up this cleaning machine, though just go in with your eyes open about the battery life. 


The best Amazon Prime Day deals 2018 in the US, ranked

17 July 2018 - 11:01 PM

Amazon Prime Day deals are still in full effect, and we've ranked all of the top deals before they end at 12am PDT in the US. They're still available, according to our in-depth list of deals.

There are hundreds of dollars worth of sales. You'll find laptop deals, phone deals and 4KTV deals in stock.

This 36-hour Prime Day 2018 marathon is over in a few hours time, but day two has brought us a big-screen 4KTV deal at $249, Roomba vacuums for $230, and an Echo Dot smart speaker for $29.99.

What's still on sale for Prime Day on July 17? Try the over 100 (and growing) list of deals below. We're constantly updating Amazon products with new price drops.

The Kindle, Fire Tablet, and Fire TV are all discounted. We've researched and listed all of the best deals below in a comprehensive guide. After all, we had the first beat on the Amazon Prime Day start and finish date in an exclusive report.

You're not too late, but it's getting close to the end. We'll be updating this page hourly over the course of Amazon's 36-hour deals marathon.

Prime Day quick links

The best Amazon Prime Day deals list

There's a lot more to Amazon Prime Day. Below, we continue to break down the best Prime Day deals while the sales remain in effect.

Smart home deals

Fitness tracker and smartwatch deals

Kindle, Fire Tablet, and Fire TV deals

Google Home deals

Drone and car tech deals

TV deals

Monitor deals

Toy deals

Camera deals

Phones, tablets, and accessories

Headphones and audio

Gaming

Home

Laptop and computing

Mouse and keyboard deals

Hard drives and memory cards

What time did Prime Day start? When does it end?

How to get the best Amazon Prime day deals in the US:

1. TechRadar is your ultimate Prime Day guide

Point yourself to TechRadar for the best Amazon Prime Day prices because we have a 20-strong team of deal hunters tracking down the top bargains. 

We've become experts on every major sale holiday, including the ongoing 4th of July sales that are happening right now. We can spot the difference between genuine bargains and prices that are jacked up just to pretend the products are cheaper.

Do bookmark us, or take a screenshot to remember, or whatever you do nowadays to make sure you're ready for the ultimate Prime Day deals list.

2. Get Amazon Prime membership beforehand

You're not going to get very far with nabbing the best Prime Day deals – even with our help – if you don't have a Amazon Prime membership ahead of time.

The good news is that signing up doesn't take long. But you also don't want to wait until the last minute, because lightning deals often go fast. If Nintendo Switch is on sale for the first time, expect it to sell out in seconds.

Pro tip? You can sign up for a free 30-day trial today. And that membership will last you until the top of August, well clear of the Prime Day sales period. You'll also get the other perks of the subscription, including two-day free shipping and Prime Video streaming. Here's our in-depth analysis of the benefits Amazon Prime offers.

amazon prime day deals comparison

3. See the price history in an instant

amazon delivery

4. Is it within your budget?

This is something you'll never hear from a deals site: you don't have to buy an item just because of the hype of Prime Day. There's a lot of tempting offers, but if it's outside your budget, even when on discount, it doesn't mean it's the right deal for you.

There are still several shopping holidays (invented by marketers and real) in the 2018 calendar year that you're going to want to wait until you see the best price for you at the best possible time. After all, you're going to have spent a lot of money on BBQ and seeing fireworks during the 4th of July. Sometimes delicious hotdogs and hamburgers are more important than buying a new 4KTV on Prime Day.

We always have a Deals section running 24/7/365, too. We never close.

amazon prime day deals time running out

5. Who cares, buy it anyway!

Prime Day purchases should be a calculated, not rash decision. You shouldn't buy something just because it's on sale; you should buy it because you'll be able to use it to better your life (a productivity tool), or simply enjoy it (entertainment content).

"Am I going to be better off if I purchase this now on Amazon Prime Day today at the given discount?" is what you should ask yourself. Let's give you a concrete example, according to our Prime Day deal experts on this. If you're going to buy a brand new DSLR camera this year, and it's 15% off list price, and you're going to take photos for special occasions coming up between July and the rest of the summer, then that's worth getting today. Don't miss out on putting tools to work today, especially if they are cheaper and you really want to buy them.

best amazon prime day deals

Phones and apps are dominate in 2018, but going back to an old-school computer to visit Amazon.com (and us first) is the best way to save strategically. It's the most reliable way to canvas the official website and weave in and out of pages to find the best Prime Day deals.

You also have to keep in mind that there's going to be a huge surge on traffic to the website and app, so we recommend browsing the deals on a laptop or PC. It's been more stable for us in years past.

Amazon delivery

7. Late Amazon Prime Day deliveries offer savings

There's a huge rush for Amazon Prime Day goods across the country, so much so that the hours after July 16 and July 17 are going to be difficult on UPS drivers across America. We're ordering so much, and the promise of two-day free shipping is likely to be a part of most everything we buy.

Deliveries don't alway show up on time – or at all. That's difficult during Christmas when it ruins the big day, but you still deserve to get your items quickly right after Prime Day. Here's a tip: if it doesn't arrive on the promised date, complain to the customer service on Amazon.com. They'll usually add an extra month to your Prime membership, or sometimes refund the item in full if it's a bad enough slip up.

other stores amazon prime day deals

8. Check Amazon rivals: Walmart, Best Buy, Target, etc

Obviously, Amazon has the best and only Prime Day deals, but plenty of other retailers discount items in droves in July to attract online shoppers. They figure, well, you're online, so maybe you'll be swayed by their pricing.

That's why our tech reviews are always updated with the best price through a widget. You can see which retailer is giving you the best value for your dollar. Also, keep in mind, you won't need to be a member of retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, Target and Khol's in order save on electronics and other goodies from them.

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Amazon Prime Day is the retailer's big members-only summer sale and it's been a massive success in the few short years it's been going. If you want to get involved with the best discounts though, you'll need to be a member of Amazon Prime. With free next-day delivery on thousands of items and the excellent Amazon Instant Video streaming service being just two of the membership's key highlights, millions of you are already signed up.

Brilliantly though, you can always sign up for a free 30-day trial to take advantage of the sale and other membership benefits. And if you don't want to continue the service after Prime Day, just cancel the trial before the 30 days are up. Amazon know too well that many shoppers will find it hard to say goodbye to those super perks though.

More people signed up for Prime on Prime Day last year than on any other day in Amazon’s history. As of April 2018, Amazon confirmed it had passed 100 million subscribers for Amazon Prime, that's up from around 80 million before Prime Day last year and 58 million in 2016. That's some pretty incredible year-on-year growth for the last few years. We wouldn't be surprised to see Amazon Prime's 2018 numbers grow dramatically again by the time Prime Day arrives.

Amazon also reported that sales via the Amazon app more than doubled year-on-year and "tens of millions of people" used the app to buy items last Prime Day.

So is Amazon Prime Day just another Black Friday? Actually, no. As Amazon puts it, Black Friday is largely about gifts for other people (it's ok, we had a laugh at that too) - it takes place just at the start of the Christmas shopping season - but Prime Day is all about treating yourself.

The overwhelming majority of decent deals on Prime Day were on things you might buy for yourself or for your home. As you’ll see from the best sellers there were lots of smart home devices sold to Prime customers as well as quite a lot of kitchen gear. There were good deals on laptops and consoles too of course, but they were alongside deals on hammocks, juicers, robot vacuum cleaners and pressure cookers.

Prime Day: do Amazon's rivals respond?

They did. It was Free Slurpee Day at 7-Eleven and Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A, which offered free food to anybody in an animal costume. Meanwhile eBay threw some shade, with a front page claiming that “Their Prime Deal Is Our Everyday Deal”.

According to research firm Bazaarvoice, 76% of US Prime Day shoppers visited rival retailers to check whether they were getting the best deals. And as PwC Consumer Markets analyst Steve Barr told CNBC, “We are seeing other big box retailers use Prime Day as an opportunity to capture shoppers' appetite for deals and as way to compete against Amazon for share of wallet and mindset.” 

So we won't just be calling out the best Prime Day deals at Amazon, we'll keep an eye on all your favorite retailers to see what bargains they have. At the very least we expect some sneaky price matching from many stores like Walmart, Newegg and Jet in the US.


Dyson V8 Absolute vacuum cleaner deal will suction less money from your wallet

17 July 2018 - 07:00 PM

Amazon Prime Day can be a great time for deals on flashy smart home tech. But this year Prime members can save big on one of our favorite premium vacuum brands, Dyson, to keep those smart homes clean. 

Amazon just dusted off a Prime Exclusive deal on Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaners that will save you 27% off the list price.

The V8 Absolute was Dyson’s premier cordless option until it unveiled the V10 line. It has a 40 minute battery life, tools and filters for picking up pet hair and allergens, and an option to convert it to handheld mode. 

Now Dyson and Amazon are discounting the incredibly popular V8 model for the more budget-conscious consumer. With this deal, you’ll pay $364.99, a $135 savings from the original $499 price.

Non-Prime members do have a smaller savings deal available: $420, or 16% off, for the V8 Absolute—still a price worth considering. 

You can claim the deal on Amazon until midnight (PT) on Wednesday or until supplies last. If you’re looking for a powerful, versatile vacuum you couldn’t normally afford, now’s the time to give your carpet the posh cleaning it deserves.


The best coffee machine deals on Amazon Prime Day

17 July 2018 - 06:26 PM

Pour yourself a hot cup of deals because it's officially Amazon Prime Day

We've been gathering up the best deals to be had for Prime members, and one category worth checking out is the best coffee machine deals.

These machines will perk you up in the morning, not only because they make a nice cup of coffee (or espresso or cappuccino), but also because you can smile knowing you got a great deal on a top-of-the-line coffee machine. 

Check out the best coffee machine deals on Amazon Prime Day below: