Ungrateful Google Plebes Somehow Not Excited to Work on Military Industrial Complex Death Machines

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“Don’t Be Evil” has been one of Google’s corporate maxims for over 15 years. But it’s recent dealings with the Department of Defense has put that ideal on ice. For some reason, Google’s workers aren’t psyched about this!

Over three thousand Google employees signed a recent public letter demanding CEO Sundar Pichai shut down Project Maven — a Department of Defense contract to create a “customized AI surveillance engine” — and publicize a clear policy that “neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.”

The letter’s got some pretty direct language, calling the company out on its loss of the aforementioned core value: “Google’s unique history, its motto Don’t Be Evil, and its direct reach into the lives of billions of users set it apart.” The commoditization of people’s personal data (ergo, their psyches) not withstanding, obviously.

Gizmodo reported on Project Maven earlier last month, when they described it as “using machine learning to identify vehicles and other objects in drone footage, taking that burden off analysts.” Google and the Pentagon fired back, stating that the technology wouldn’t be used to create an autonomous weapons system that can identify targets and fire without a human squeezing the trigger.

CEO Pichai spun the letter and public exchange with the company as “hugely important and beneficial” in a statement to the New York Times, but of course, didn’t refer to any plans to throw the brakes on the project. Pichai’s statement went on to say that the tech used by the Pentagon is available to “any Google Cloud customer” and reserved specifically for “non-offensive purposes.”

Thing is, Google’s far from the only tech industry player in cahoots with the military. Red flags immediately went up when news broke that a team of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) was partnering up with weapons company Hanwha Systems — a company that produces cluster bombs, not exactly a popular form of warfare, as far as these things go. Fifty researchers from thirty countries called for an immediate boycott of the Korean institute.

Microsoft and Amazon both signed multi billion dollar contracts with the Department of Defense to develop cloud services. Credit where it’s due: At least the DOD isn’t trying to spin this as anything other than death machine-making. Defense Department chief management officer John Gibson didn’t beat around the bush when he said the collaboration was designed in part to “increase lethality and readiness.”

So that’s fun! And if Google’s recent advancements in AI tech faced a similar fate, think: Weaponized autonomous drones, equipped with private data, and a sophisticated AI. Not saying this is exactly how SkyNet starts, but, this is basically how SkyNet starts.

The counter to this argument, insomuch as there is one, is that these technological developments lead to better data, and better data leads to better object identification technology, which could also lead to more precise offensives, which could lead (theoretically) to less civilian casualties, or at least (again, theoretically) increased accountability on the part of the military (analog: the calculator should make it exponentially more difficult to get numbers “wrong” on your taxes, so the automated hyper-targeted death robots should make it exponentially more difficult to “accidentally” murder a school full of children).

All of which should go without saying that collaboration between the Department of Defense and various Silicon Valley tech companies is a dangerous game, and we have seen how quickly the balance can tilt in one direction. Having informed tech employees call out their CEOs publicly could hopefully lead to tech companies choosing their military contracts more carefully, or at least, more light being shed on who’s making what technologies, or rather, what technologies Silicon Valley coders are unknowingly working on.

More likely is that it just results in these companies being more discreet about the gobstoppingly shady (but profitable!) death machine work they’re doing. Good thing — like the rest of the world with a brain in their heads — we’re all ears.

The post Ungrateful Google Plebes Somehow Not Excited to Work on Military Industrial Complex Death Machines appeared first on Futurism.

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Leading AI researchers boycott Korean university over its work on ‘killer robots’

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<em>An unmanned military robot operates on a beach during a training exercise organized by the US Navy.</em>

More than 50 leading AI and robotics researchers have joined a boycott of South Korea’s KAIST university over the institute’s plans to help develop AI-powered weapons. The boycott was announced ahead of a UN meeting set in Geneva next week to discuss international restrictions on so-called “killer robots.” It marks an escalation in tactics from the part of the scientific community actively fighting for stronger controls on AI-controlled weaponry.

The boycott was organized by Professor Toby Walsh of the University of New South Wales, who warned in a press statement that the race to build autonomous weapons had already begun. “We can see prototypes of autonomous weapons under development today by many nations including the US, China,…

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The 8 Best Language Learning Apps That Really Work

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Whether you’re gearing up to go on vacation, studying for exams, or just want to expand your mind, it’s always a great time to learn a new language.

You can stock up on books, spend hours listening to CDs, take an online class, or try learning as you browse the web. But these mobile apps give you easy ways to integrate learning into your daily routine no matter where you go.

1. Duolingo

With a bright and intuitive interface, Duolingo lets you naturally progress at your own pace. You start with simple phrases and gradually move to more complex sentences. There’s help every step of the way as Duolingo points out mistakes and praises your efforts.

Duolingo addresses reading, writing, and pronunciation by challenging you with a fun range of activities. It’s amazing how quickly you can pick up the basics without even realizing it. Plus, it’s easy to revisit the lessons and work on your weaknesses.

Duolingo offers an upbeat experience, lets you join clubs for healthy practice, and really does make learning enjoyable.

Download: Duolingo for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Memrise

Many students use flashcards to help them through their exams and Memrise takes a similar approach. It starts off slowly. To learn Russian, for instance, you’re guided through the Cyrillic alphabet, but that’s by no means a bad method. There’s something quaint and inviting about its simplistic visual aids, as if a friend is showing you tips to remember each lesson.

Memrise has a friendly interface that’s encouraging and attractive. If you are interested in expanding your new language skills, take a look at Memrise Pro which offers games, chatbots, and an offline mode for learning on the go.

And if you like the game idea, you can also learn Spanish with a set of fun and educational games.

Download: Memrise for Android | iOS (Free)

3. Busuu

Boasting over 80 million users worldwide, the best aspect of Busuu is its interactivity. With 12 languages, full courses, exercise reviews from native speakers, and accent training, you get a complete experience with Busuu.

You can begin with a placement test so that you start at the right level. This is terrific if you are not a complete beginner but want to practice language skills you learned earlier. The app also provides offline access, grammar tips, and official certificates with its premium upgrade.

Busuu is an all-around super option that gives you a wide range of learning activities.

Download: Busuu for Android | iOS (Free)

4. HelloTalk

HelloTalk connects you to people who speak the language you want to learn. In return, you help them learn your language. It’s an incredibly basic idea that lets you talk to native speakers. Everyone’s there for the same reason and you can be both a student and teacher without much hassle.

HelloTalk lets you select your entry level, then find a stranger to talk to. A variety of neat tools like correction, translation, and speaking make this a full-featured chat experience.

There’s a huge list of languages to choose from, and you can refine your list of possible tutors by age and country. HelloTalk breaks down the barriers between countries and that’s what learning another language is all about.

Download: HelloTalk for Android | iOS (Free)

5. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone has been a leader in teaching languages for 25 years. So it’s no surprise that it has a mobile app too. Choose from 24 languages and then start learning the basics. Listen to the words and repeat them, then match photos to phrases.

You can easily review your progress with correct answers in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. Rosetta Stone is a subscription-based learning tool, but you can try out the first lesson for free to see if you like it. If you are serious about learning a new language, then Rosetta Stone is an excellent option.

Download: Rosetta Stone for Android | iOS (Free)

6. Babbel

Babbel is similar to Rosetta Stone in that it’s a subscription-based app where you can try out the first lesson free. Select from 14 languages, listen and repeat words, and then test what you learn. You can also disable the microphone and just hear the words spoken to you with a brief quiz at the end.

When you finish the lessons, you can view the vocabulary lists and then choose from flashcards or writing exercises to review what you learned. If you are serious about learning another language and don’t mind the subscription price, Babbel is another great choice.

Download: Babbel for Android | iOS (Free)

7. Beelinguapp

If you want a unique learning experience that involves books, Beelinguapp is for you. The app offers your favorite stories with an audiobook reader in a variety of dialects. You can read the story yourself if you prefer and see it in both your language plus the one you are learning on the same screen.

Pick from a classic like The Three Musketeers or let your child enjoy a tale like Cinderella. What’s great about Beelinguapp is that you can follow along with the audiobook reader as the words are highlighted with the narration. This is quite helpful with pronunciation. For a two-in-one app that lets you appreciate a story while learning a new language, Beelinguapp is a winner.

If you like tunes or news instead of tales, then take a look at how music can help you learn a foreign language or how to learn a new dialect with the daily news.

Download: Beelinguapp for Android | iOS (Free)

8. Clozemaster

Clozemaster for iPhone

For a gamified language learning experience with an old-school look and feel, check out Clozemaster. The app offers over 100 languages, an optional text-to-speech feature, and a free account signup for saving your progress.

You can start with the most common words where you earn points for selecting the correct word missing from the sentence. Then when you’re ready, take on the grammar challenges.

Clozemaster is a good follow-up for testing what you recently learned or brushing up on a language you learned years ago.

Download: Clozemaster for Android | iOS (Free)

Are You Ready to Parlais Francais?

Speaking more than one language improves your memory, enhances your perception, and gives you a greater command of your native tongue. It can help your business expand and introduce you to new friends. Put simply, it’s a wonderful way to better yourself.

With so many easy-to-use apps out there, there’s no reason not to dabble in Spanish, French, Gaelic, or even Mongolian. And if you want something out of the box, take a look at some unusual ways to learn a new language.

iPhone and iPad – MakeUseOf

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Nearly 40% of American gamers play at work

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A new survey, released last week, suggests a good chunk of gamers are spending time on their favorite hobby at work — meaning several of you reading this article are gaming when you shouldn’t be. The survey, compiled by Limelight Networks, was taken by over 3,000 gamers across six countries: the US, UK, France, Germany, South Korea, and Japan. The questions ranged from “How many hours do you spend playing video games per week?” to “Will you continue to play online games or make purchases from a gaming website that has previously experienced a security breach or been hacked?” Perhaps…

This story continues at The Next Web
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Waymo may work with Honda on an autonomous delivery vehicle

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Last week, Waymo announced a partnership to build autonomous Jaguar vehicles for its upcoming self-driving taxi service, which will augment its existing fleet of Chryslers. But today Bloomberg reported that the Alphabet company is nearing a deal with…
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How To Make Your IPad Work For You

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Of all the amazing technology in the world, the iPad is probably at the top of your list! It’s small, cute and incredibly capable of just about anything. One of the few drawbacks to the iPad is it’s complexity and all the info you need to learn about it! The following article is here to help with useful tips and handy tricks.

Before you purchase an iPad, you should take the time to make a list of the features you need and decide what kind of storage size you want. There are different models of iPads available and there is no point in spending money on features you are never going to use.

Buy a good-quality case and screen protector for your iPad. You probably paid a lot of money for your iPad, so you need to ensure that you keep it protected against damage. A good-quality case will protect your iPad from minor accidental falls, while a screen protector will stop the screen from getting scratched.

Are you getting too many notifications? If some apps send notifications, you do not need, you should go to your settings and tap on notifications. You will then have access to a complete list of your apps and be able to choose which notifications you want to receive.

Even though your iPad does not come with a user manual, you can download one for free. Apple has a free PDF on their website containing the User Guide for the iPad. It also comes as an e-book you can read in iBooks, which is a free downloadable app available in the App Store.

If you enjoy frequently using smiley face or alternate emoticons, have the Emoji keyboard. To get this keyboard, tap settings, then General, and finally, Keyboard. Tap the international keyboards’ icon and look for Emoji. To add it, all you have to do is simply tap it. The next time you see the onscreen keyboard, it will be there.

You can stop annoying Wi-Fi joining messages on your iPad. If you’re tired of getting asked to join various Wi-Fi networks constantly, this can be taken care of under Settings and Wi-Fi. Switch off Ask to Join Networks. You may still join any network that you’ve already got from this screen, you just will not be harassed constantly.

To protect your investment, you need to understand how to properly care for your new iPad. Try to move your device out of the sun and heat, as this can cause burnout. The battery will begin to degrade in extreme heat. Don’t let it get wet either. Buy a type of padded cover to add protection to the iPad.

The iPad does not come with a user manual, but sometimes it is useful to have one. If you’re trying to figure out how to set a particular feature on your iPad, having the manual handy can help. To get a copy, simply visit the Apple website. There you will find a Pdf version that is easy to download.

Change the passcode on your iPad. You automatically are prompted for only a four-digit password. However, this is not as secure as you would like since this not only gets you into your iPad but also is used to encrypt your data. Therefore, go to Passcode Lock under your General Settings and turn off Simple Passcode. After that, you will be able to make the password any length you like using any keyboard characters.

You do not have to save documents to your iPad to share them. Access them via the Internet and open your share menu. You will then have access to a list of all the documents you opened. Tap on the document you want to share. If you want to share an entire page, you will be able to send it as a Word document or as a PDF.

By clicking two times on your iPad’s Home button you can quickly view a list of the applications that are currently running. They will appear in a bar located at the bottom of your iPad’s screen. If you want to change to a new app, just tap on it once. You can remove this bar by swiping the screen down.

Buy a custom case to hold your iPad. These cases look like book covers, and they enable you to use the iPad without taking it out. The case protects your expensive equipment if you accidentally drop it. It also makes it easier for you to carry around your fragile equipment.

The same light settings are not necessary when you are in different environments, which is why you are given the option to change that. The normally bright screen can be dimmed by tapping the Home button twice and swiping until you see the brightness setting. This will allow you to manually adjust the brightness to fit your surroundings.

There are a couple of ways to view PDF’s with your iPad. You can email them to yourself and then open in iBooks. You can also drop and drag these files into your iTunes. When you sync your iPad and click on the Books tabs, you select the PDFs and it is automatically transferred to your library in iBooks.

You cannot go from day-to-day in the calendar function by swiping. It requires that you use the navigation icons that are near the bottom to get to the date you need. The date you are looking at now is highlighted in blue for easy reference.

Dim or brighten the screen within the iBooks app itself. Rather than entering the Settings menu while you are reading, select the sun-shaped icon in the upper right of the screen. Use the slider to adjust the brightness of the screen. This shortcut allows you to tweak the brightness without navigating away from your book.

You know the iPad is a beloved gadget, otherwise people wouldn’t devote so much time to figuring it out! Hopefully this article has given you a jump-start on learning to use yours. With a little bit of practice and research, you will be an iPad master in no time flat!

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HomeKit Weekly: Using Automation to put sensors to work

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HomeKit Weekly is a new series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework. 

In our third installment of HomeKit Weekly, we’re going to explore how to make HomeKit-enabled sensors more useful through automation in Apple’s Home app. 9to5Mac has also teamed up with FIBARO to offer a HomeKit bundle giveaway, so this week we’ll highlight ways to put those products to work.

more…

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How To Make The IPad Work For You

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The iPad is a creation so amazing that few other tablets can compare. The vast number of apps on iTunes truly blows away the competition. That said, do you truly know what you can do with the iPad? If not, keep reading and we’ll guide you through tips to become a better iPad owner.

When you are looking into purchasing an iPad you need to consider a few things to get the best price possible. If you want to use the iPad outside of your home or office, then you will want to purchase the more expensive version that includes 3g as well as WIFI.

You can take screenshots of what you are doing on your iPad. Press the home button and then the sleep/wake one. A screenshot will be taken instantly and saved into your photo gallery. You can then email these screenshots to your friends to show them the different features of you iPad.

Create folders to better organize your iPad screens. Just get your screen to jiggle mode and then place the icons on each other if you would like them in the same folder and repeat until you have everything where you want it. This feature is great when you have twenty or more icons.

If you have young children who will be using your iPad, you might want to restrict their access to mature content. Even by accident, it is easy for a child to access an inappropriate website unless you do this. Simply go to your settings, and then click on general. There you will find “enable restrictions.” Tap on this and you will find a list of restrictions that you can select from.

You do not have to save documents to your iPad to share them. Access them via the Internet and open your share menu. You will then have access to a list of all the documents you opened. Tap on the document you want to share. If you want to share an entire page, you will be able to send it as a Word document or as a PDF.

Get a USB keyboard. When you get a keyboard, you expand your abilities with the iPad. Keyboards are often more comfortable for posting on Facebook, forums and doing other online writing. That allows you to be more efficient. Some keyboards double as a case, so check out the options available.

If you have some recently purchased apps from the app store you want to hide, it’s quite easy! Open up the App Store and click on the ‘purchased’ tab on the bottom of your screen. It should give you a list of apps and choose the one you wish to hide. Swipe over the app or right over it, and it should now grey out over the ‘installed’ button. A red button will pop up and you will now have the option to hide the app.

The new iPad and iPad 2 can be connected to an HD television. This can be done with an Apple Digital AV Adapter that is connected from the 30-pin Dock adapter to the HDMI port or even a regular Apple VGA Adaptor. Both of these iPads support video mirroring, which allows your whole Home screen to appear on the television, not just your videos.

Multitask your web browsing experience using tabs. You need not leave the site you’re on because you wish to follow through to another link. Holding the link, rather than tapping, brings up the options menu. From this point, opt to open that link inside a new tab to remain on your current tab while the new one opens.

Different environments don’t need similar light settings, which is why you’re able to change it. The brightness can be turned down by pressing the home button two times and then choosing the proper setting. This lets you personally control your iPad screen illumination level so that you can match your current environment.

The same light settings are not necessary when you are in different environments, which is why you are given the option to change that. The normally bright screen can be dimmed by tapping the Home button twice and swiping until you see the brightness setting. This will allow you to manually adjust the brightness to fit your surroundings.

Do you want your emails to stop saying at the end that they were sent from your iPad? That is actually an email signature, and you can change it to anything you want. Go to your Mail section under your Settings. Then select Calendars under Contacts and use the Signature setting.

Would you rather use a search engine other than Google on your iPad? You can easily change the default to your favorite search engine. Under your Safari Settings menu, select Search Engine. Once you are there, you will see options for Yahoo and Bing in addition to the default Google browser.

One of the most amazing features of the iPad is the Maps app that runs off of Google’s street view. Many people get confused trying to use it so it is often overlooked. Simply open Google Maps and when you have a red pin drop after a search, simply tap the icon to enter street view.

Filling out long forms using the iPad’s touch-sensitive keyboard is time-consuming and frustrating. Access the settings for the Safari browser, then select the AutoFill feature. Whenever you need to fill out a form while browsing with Safari, you can have your information plugged in automatically. This makes signing up and providing basic information much more convenient.

Is the battery percentage notification making you crazy? There’s a solution! Go to Settings and then General, click on Usage and set Battery Percentage to Off. This will mean you have to watch your battery charge on your own, but it could save you a ton of annoying notifications down the road.

While you may have thought that iPad ownership is no more than just downloading apps and using them, you should now know it’s more than that. What you’ve read here will get you started down the road to iPad mastery. The more you know, the better you’ll find the iPad works out for you.

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How does Logitech’s Crayon stylus work?

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Logitech worked with Apple to create a kid-friendly version of the Apple Pencil, but how exactly does it work?

You’ve probably heard by now about Logitech’s $ 49 Crayon stylus, which uses similar technology as the Apple Pencil on the 2018 iPad.

There’s a bit of confusion about Logitech’s Crayon, what it supports, and when it will be available. So, I’ve done some digging to give you all the details right here.

Can I use the Crayon with my iPad Pro?

Sorry, but this little guy is specifically designed for the 2018 9.7-inch iPad. It uses a special type of connection technology that is not available on other Apple Pencil supported devices. It’s not a difference in the iPad’s screen or software. It’s specific to Logitech’s unique connection technology.

Did you say special connection? So not Bluetooth?

That’s correct. The Crayon will not use Bluetooth to pair with an iPad. This will make it significantly easier for students trying to use it at varying times and for teachers trying to help 30 kids get their Crayons connected to their iPads. Instead, it uses a single-frequency pairing.

There is a button at the end of the Crayon that you press for two seconds, which connects it directly to your iPad. Nothing else. No going into settings to make sure Bluetooth is on or having disconnect issues — just press a button and you’re connected.

Does it work across the iPad’s entire operating system?

It sure does. As far as the internals are concerned, Logitech Crayon works the same as Apple Pencil. You can swipe on the Home screen, use it in a variety of supported drawing apps, tap the keyboard with it, highlight text in iBooks, and pretty much anything else. It works very much like a standard stylus but has a few super cool extra features that are exclusive to the 2018 9.7-inch iPad.

Does it write like Apple Pencil?

Almost entirely, yes. It uses the same internals as Apple Pencil, which means low latency, palm rejection, and tilt support so you can make wider and thinner lines and add shading.

But unlike Apple Pencil, Crayon is not pressure-sensitive: It won’t allow for lighter/darker or thinner/thicker lines based on the amount of pressure you place on its nib.

Why no pressure support? It’s likely that creating a pressure-sensitive Crayon would have been cost-prohibitive; instead, Logitech and Apple chose to omit pressure to keep the price point lower for education customers. If you want pressure, you can always get an Apple Pencil.

My students break everything. Will Logitech Crayon be kid-proof?

Logitech is way ahead of you here: The designers knew what they were doing when they came up with the structure of the Crayon.

It’s made of aluminum and rubber, so it’s tough: The tip, which lasts for approximately 1.25 miles of writing according to the company, is protected with a special cover that can’t be removed without a special tool; as such, little fingers can’t pry the nib out of its base.

The bottom of the stylus has a removable cover which houses a female Lightning port (instead of Apple Pencil’s male port); not only do you charge using a traditional cable, but the cover is tethered to Crayon so it won’t get lost (or swallowed) during class time.

Additionally, the Crayon has a flat design similar to pencils used in kindergarten and early grades; it’s flat, so it won’t easily roll off the table, down the hallway, and into the principal’s office. It also won’t find its way down the bottom of a locker quite as easily, either.

Of course, kids will be kids, and I’m sure many of them will find a way to do damage to the Crayon over time, but the basic structure of the stylus will probably last a long time. Educators will also be able to buy replacement tips and caps if they get lost (or broken).

How long does the battery last?

The Crayon is estimated at up to 8 hours of writing. There’s also an automatic shutoff feature, so if you’re not using it after 30 minutes, the stylus will power down and no longer drain any battery (not even low-level trickle drain).

If the Crayon does run out of juice in the middle of a report or note taking, you can supercharge it: A 90-second charge will juice up the Crayon for another half hour of use.

OK, I want one. How do I get it?

If you’re not an educator, that might be a problem. Starting this summer, along with Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 iPad case, schools and school districts will be able to order the Crayon for $ 49.99 with a minimum buying order of 10 units. If you’re working in education, you can sign in to your schools account or sign up for a new one through Apple’s Education Channel, where you’ll be able to order the Crayon or Rugged Combo 2 iPad case this summer.

That’s not to say that Logitech won’t eventually offer it for stand-alone sale, but for now, it’s education only.

Any more questions?

Do you have any more questions about what Logitech Crayon is and how it works with the 2018 iPad? Put them in the comments and I’ll dig up the answers for you!

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These Smart Plugs Work With Siri and Apple’s HomeKit

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These are the smart plugs that work with Siri and Apple’s HomeKit!

If you’re new to home automation, a smart plug can be a good first step — a toe in the water, if you will — in building out your connected home. If you’ve gone all-in on HomeKit-enabled accessories, this list can help you track down the perfect HomeKit-enabled plug for your smart home.

ConnectSense Smart Outlet

The ConnectSense Smart Outlet is a Wi-Fi-connected outlet that features two independently controlled plugs. Along with two physical buttons on the side of the device, you can control the ConnectSense outlet using Siri, the Home app for iOS, and the free ConnectSense app.

Here’s what you need to know about the ConnectSense Smart Outlet:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) Two
Voice control Siri
Energy monitoring No
Extras USB Charging Port
Price $ 59.95

See at ConnectSense

Elgato Eve Energy

The Elgato Eve Energy is a Bluetooth-connected smart plug. With in-depth energy monitoring stats, the Elgato Eve Energy can help you keep a lid on your utility bills. Thanks to the device’s Bluetooth LE connection, you won’t need to struggle with a Wi-Fi setup process or crowd your network with another device — the Eve Energy communicates directly with your phone or through an Apple TV or iPad via Apple HomeKit.

Here’s what you need to know about the Elgato Eve Energy:

Category Features
Connectivity Bluetooth
Outlet(s) One
Voice control Siri
Energy monitoring Yes
Extras None
Price $ 49.95

See at Amazon

iDevices

iDevices Switch

The iDevices Switch is hands-down my favorite Wi-Fi connected, HomeKit-enabled plug. The unique design, which shifts the plug to the side of the device, keeps the smart plug from unappealingly jutting out of the wall and the multicolor LED light strip serves as an excellent night light. The iDevices Switch also features a physical button for controlling whatever you choose to plug in.

Here’s what you need to know about the iDevices Switch:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) One
Voice control Siri, Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant
Energy monitoring Yes
Extras LED light strip
Price $ 28.55

See at Amazon

iDevices Outdoor Switch

The iDevices Outdoor Switch is a dual-outlet switch that’s meant to be used outdoors. It features a rugged, rain-tight design, so you can be sure it’ll work in the winter just as well as it works in the summer, spring, and fall. Perfect for outdoor lighting during the holidays, you can turn off ol’ Frosty the Snowman at the end of the night without ever having to set foot outside.

Here’s what you need to know about the iDevices Outdoor Switch:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) Two
Voice control Siri, Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant
Energy monitoring Yes
Extras Rain-tight design
Price $ 71.85

See at Amazon

iDevices Wall Outlet

The iDevices Wall Outlet is an in-wall smart home product that you can use to replace any standard outlet in your home. Instead of having to augment your current setup with external plugs and switches, you can get two independently controlled outlets that actually look like they belong. It’s worth noting, too, that each outlet features a physical button for turning on and off whatever you’ve decided to plug in.

Here’s what you need to know about the iDevices Wall Outlet:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) Two
Voice control Siri, Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant
Energy monitoring Yes
Extras LED night light
Price $ 99.95

See at Amazon

iHome

iHome Connect Smart Plug iSP6

Save for the design, the iHome Connect Smart Plug iSP6 is exactly like the iHome Connect Smart Plug iSP5. It’s a Wi-Fi enabled smart plug with no frills.

Here’s what you need to know about the iHome Connect Smart Plug iSP6:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) One
Voice control Siri, Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant
Energy monitoring No
Extras None
Price $ 35.00

See at Amazon

iHome Connect Smart Plug iSP8

The iHome Connect Smart Plug iSP8 is just like its iSP5 and iSP6 siblings, except for one extra feature: The iSP8 plug comes with a pre-paired remote control that you can use to operate the plug while you’re in your home. If you’d rather not use your voice or fumble with an app, you can use the small remote included in the box!

Here’s what you need to know about the iHome Connect Smart Plug iSP8:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) One
Voice control Siri, Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant
Energy monitoring Yes
Extras remote control
Price $ 47.95

See at Amazon

Koogeek

Koogeek Smart Plug P1

The Koogeek Smart Plug P1 is a simple, Wi-Fi connected smart plug. The device features one standard plug, a physical on/off button above the outlet, and it can be controlled using Siri, the free Koogeek app, and the Home app for iOS.

Here’s what you need to know about the Koogeek Smart Plug P1:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) One
Voice control Siri
Energy monitoring Yes
Extras None
Price $ 29.99

See at Amazon

Koogeek Smart Plug P2

The second iteration of the Koogeek Smart Plug, the P2, is a slight upgrade on the P1. Along with a new slim form factor, the P2 features a built-in night light. Both the night light and the plug itself can be controlled using the free Koogeek app, the Home app for iOS, and Siri.

Here’s what you need to know about the Koogeek Smart Plug P2:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) One
Voice control Siri, Amazon Alexa
Energy monitoring Yes
Extras Night light
Price $ 34.99

See at Amazon

Koogeek Smart Outlet

The upcoming Koogeek Smart Outlet is a three-outlet, three-USB Wi-Fi connected smart power strip. You can use it to power up to three electronic devices (and control each separately) and charge up to three USB-powered devices. The USB charging ports are smart, meaning they can push more power to larger devices and less power to smaller devices. Koogeek has also packed in a ton of safety features, including short circuit protection, over current protection, over voltage protection, over heating protection, surge protection, and over load protection. It’s got a 5-foot cord and a built-in circuit breaker.

Here’s what you need to know about the Koogeek Smart Outlet:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) Three
Voice control Siri
Energy monitoring Yes
Extras USB charging ports
Price $ 63.99

See at Amazon

PureGear PureSwitch

The PureGear PureSwitch is a Wi-Fi enabled smart plug that features a USB charging port. While you’re using the device to remotely control your lighting, fans, etc., you can also use it to charge your USB-powered devices! The plug, which works with Siri and the Home app for iOS, can also be controlled using the free PureGear app for iOS.

Here’s what you need to know about the PureGear PureSwitch:

Category Features
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Outlet(s) One
Voice control Siri
Energy monitoring No
Extras USB charging port
Price $ 49.95

See at Amazon

Thoughts?

Any smart plugs on the list catch your eye? Already using one (or many)? Give us a shout in the comments! We’re curious to hear about your experience.

Updated March 2018: This article was updated with new HomeKit-enabled plugs and switches as well as updated pricing information.

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