AirPort Express gets Air Play 2 support for whole-house audio

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AirPort Express
With Air Port 2 support a strong possibility, the AirPort Express might be your ticket to whole-house audio.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Air Play 2 in the first beta of iOS 11.4 lets users add AirPort Express base stations as speakers. Sort of. This could become a relatively inexpensive option for whole-house audio.

What makes this move surprising is that Apple hasn’t updated the AirPort Express since 2013. That said, the wireless router is still being sold on the company’s website. 

Week’s best Apple deals: Save on HomeKit lights, an iMac and more!

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You'll find big savings on cool apple related gear in this week's roundup of best Apple deals.
You'll find big savings on cool apple related gear in this week's roundup.
Photos: Olebr, Apple, Sylvania

Sweet deals on HomeKit-compatible LED light bulbs and an iMac make it easy to gussy up your home or office. Plus, we found a great buy on a refurbished iPhone SE, and an aluminum charger that will store and juice up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all in one place!

Catch the weird, wonderful and wacky gadgets of CES 2018, on The CultCast

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Forephus
This ping pong machine is part cyborg, part Forrest Gump.
Photo: Engadget

This week, on a jam-packed, tech-tastic episode of The CultCast: We’ll tell you the weirdest, wackiest and most wonderful products revealed at CES 2018, the world’s craziest consumer electronics show. We’ve dug deep to bring you some strange ones!

Our thanks to Casper for supporting this episode. Learn why Casper makes the internet’s favorite mattress, and save $50 off your order at casper.com/cultcast.

4-in-1 HomeKit smart switch puts Alexa in your wall

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The Instinct smart light switch packs a smart speaker and also works with HomeKit.
The Instinct smart light switch packs a smart speaker and also works with HomeKit.
Photo: iDevices

CES 2018 bug iDevices’ new HomeKit-compatible smart switch will do much more than just control your lights. With sensors, a speaker and Amazon’s Alexa baked in, the Instinct packs four different functions into a standard light switch.

You can use Alexa voice commands to play music or control your lights. Or, if you’ve got your iPhone or Apple Watch at hand, you trigger HomeKit activities with Siri.

Eve Button is a remote control for your HomeKit devices

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The Elgato Eve Button puts control of your HomeKit devices at your fingertips.
The Eve Button puts control of your HomeKit devices at your fingertips.
Photo: Elgato

CES 2018 bug Sometimes Siri isn’t around to help you manage your smart home. The new Elgato Eve Button puts your HomeKit-enabled devices and scenes at your fingertips when you don’t have your smartphone at the ready.

The new HomeKit controller also means guests or kids can easily turn on the lights, lock the doors or whatever else needs doing — all with a quick press on the Eve Button.

This smoke detector can also run Siri and be an AirPlay 2 speaker

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smoke detector
That's one versatile alarm.
Photo: First Alert

CES 2018 bug Want a smoke detector that can double as a premium HomeKit-enabled smart speaker? Of course you do, and smoke detector company First Alert is here to help.

Debuting at CES 2018, First Alert’s Onelink Safe & Sound smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is an in-ceiling device that could save your life. But it also can be utilized as an entertainment system, with support for Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assistant AI voice assistants.

This smart shower can be controlled by Siri

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moen shower
"Hey Siri, run me my morning shower!"
Photo: Moen

CES 2018 bug Even in the days of water-resistant iPhones, taking a shower with Siri sounds risky. But bathroom fixtures company Moen wants to make it possible, useful and, well, less dangerous with its new smart shower system.

Unveiled at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the new U by Moen shower system allows users to control the water temperature and other features with voice control, either using Apple’s AI assistant or Amazon’s Alexa via an in-shower control panel.

New HomeKit smart plug cures your house of wall warts

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The upcoming ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet puts the power of HomeKit in your walls.
This stealthy smart outlet will put the power of HomeKit in your walls.
Photos: ConnectSense

If you want a HomeKit-compatible electrical outlet, but don’t want an ugly wall wart jutting out of your conventional plug, you’re about to get a new option. The ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet will work like other smart plugs. But it looks like the ordinary power outlets hardwired into your walls.