Tiny WeMo smart plug makes trying HomeKit so easy [Review]

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Belkin Wemo WiFi Smart Plug review
The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug can be your ticket to easy home automation.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Home automation is convenient and even kind of fun. And a smart plug is the easiest way to get started. The redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug from Belkin lets you find out if you really want to be able to control your lights or other appliances from your iPhone, without making a big investment.

A couple of weeks of testing this pint-size HomeKit accessory went into this review. Here’s what I found out.

7 stellar Apple Watch charging stands for under $30

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AW-charging-stands
Give your Apple Watch a great place to rest.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Your beloved Apple Watch deserves more than to be slapped on top of its included charging cable every night. Treat yours to an actual charging stand without breaking the bank and give it a better place to rest.

Here are seven stellar options, handpicked by Cult of Mac, for $30 or less.

Belkin’s smallest Wemo HomeKit smart plug hits store shelves

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Wemo WiFi Smart Plug hardly takes up any room.
A redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug brings HomeKit support to regular appliances.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin on Monday began offering a much smaller version of its Wemo WiFi Smart Plug. Like the original, it supports Apple’s HomeKit home automation system. But the updated version of this smart outlet doesn’t crowd the wall socket nearly so much.

Wemo’s mini HomeKit smart plug is right around the corner

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Wemo WiFi Smart Plug hardly takes up any room.
A redesigned Wemo WiFi Smart Plug brings HomeKit support to regular appliances later in July.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin began taking pre-orders on Monday for a much smaller version of the Wemo WiFi Smart Plug. Like the original, it supports Apple’s HomeKit home automation system. But in a design that doesn’t crowd the wall socket.

Belkin Thunderbolt 3 dock is ready for a professional office on the go

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Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Core includes 8 ports.
Belkin Thunderbolt 3 Dock Core can be the hub of your mobile office.
Photo: Belkin

Belkin’s newly-unveiled multiport adapter uses Thunderbolt 3, not just USB-C, and can drive two 4K monitors at 60 Hz. But that’s just the start, as the Dock Core can also transfer data over a USB-C connection at up to 40 Gbps. Plus it includes Gigabit Ethernet, a pair of USB-A ports, audio in/out, and more.

It’s designed to be part of high-performance mobile office, as it does not need a second power source.

Best wireless chargers for your iPhone, AirPods and Apple Watch too

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Best wireless chargers for iPhone
There are plenty of good wireless chargers, but here are Cult of Mac’s favorites.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Wireless charging can really help keep your iPhone topped off and ready to go. Every model since the iPhone 8 supports it, and Cult of Mac brings you our list of the best wireless chargers available today.

This includes multi-device models too, for everyone who needs power up an Apple Watch or AirPods too.

CES 2020 trends: AirPower alternatives, rise of 5G, tasty TVs

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CES-2020-trends
It's shaping up to be an exciting year for tech.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

CES 2020The post-holiday tech fest that is CES shutters its doors today for another year. This week’s event has been as weird and as wonderful as any other, giving us a glimpse of all kinds of innovative gadgets on the way in 2020.

Better AirPods alternatives. Wireless chargers that achieve what Apple couldn’t. iPhone cases you can throw on the compost heap when they’re no longer needed. Here are the biggest trends from CES 2020.

Wemo WiFi Smart Plug with HomeKit is Belkin’s smallest yet

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The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug both support HomeKit
The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug and Wemo Stage were both unveiled at CES 2020.
Photo: Belkin

CES 2020Belkin’s latest version of its Wemo smart plug with HomeKit support is significantly smaller than its predecessor, making it less obtrusive on wall sockets.

The company also unveiled at CES 2020 the Wemo Stage, a remote than can be used to launch HomeKit scenes with the punch of a button.

How to get started with HomeKit home automation

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Wemo WiFi Smart Plug is a nice start to home automation
A Wemo WiFi Smart Plug is a simple way to learn more about home automation with Apple’s HomeKit.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Controlling the lights and other gadgets in your home from your iPhone is convenient and fun, too. There are plenty of HomeKit and Alexa accessories that make home automation a snap.

I’ll go over some of the best options I’ve found that will get you started with as little trouble as possible.