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Apple HomePod Mini Adds Hands-Free Music Streaming on Gaana

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Apple HomePod Mini Adds Hands-Free Music Streaming on Gaana
Music streaming service Gaana now supports hands-free streaming through voice commands on the Apple HomePod mini. The smart speaker from Apple is priced at Rs. 9,900 in India, and supports direct streaming of Apple Music as a default service, but the addition of Gaana adds a new streaming service and its entire library to Siri’s capabilities on the HomePod mini. Gaana has a library of over 45 million tracks across 25 languages, and largely covers music in various Indian languages.

Gaana’s service is available in both free and paid tiers, and support for hands-free streaming on the HomePod mini works regardless of whether you’re on the free or paid plan. Gadgets 360 was able to successfully test the feature on the Apple HomePod mini on a free plan.

The service needs to be activated on the Gaana app on iOS first, and has to be done on a device which is linked to the HomePod mini using Apple’s Home app. To set up Gaana to stream on the HomePod mini, users need to go to the Settings > Connect with HomePod, and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Once complete, users can have the HomePod mini play tracks from Gaana using voice commands, such as “Hey Siri, play (track name) on Gaana”. This is a notable change, as the HomePod range earlier only supported hands-free music streaming from the company’s own Apple Music streaming service.

It is possible to stream music from other services such as Spotify and Amazon Music, but this requires the use of a smartphone as the controller, with an AirPlay connection between the smartphone and the HomePod mini.

Unlike smart speakers from Google and Amazon, the Apple HomePod and HomePod mini are fairly limited it their support for third-party services, with a focus on Apple Music as the default service for hands-free streaming. And although the speaker is Bluetooth enabled, you can’t directly pair it to play music from your phone or other devices — the only way to stream other services and content is through Apple AirPlay.

However, the introduction of direct hands-free streaming of Gaana on the HomePod mini suggests that Apple could be opening up its ecosystem for the smart speaker, and other services could similarly support hands-free streaming going forward.


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Wakefit Brings Temperature-Control Mattress, Contactless Sleep Tracker

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Wakefit Brings Temperature-Control Mattress, Contactless Sleep Tracker


Wakefit unveiled its AI-powered sleep solution suite dubbed Wakefit Zense on Wednesday. The Zense range features Regul8, a temperature-adjustable mattress, and Track8, an artificial intelligence (AI) contactless sleep-tracking device. With these, the company said it aims to integrate technology into the sleep environment to help users optimise sleep quality and improve sleep health. Both devices come with dual-zone sensors to create a custom sleep environment on each side of the bed. The Wakefit Zense range of sleep solutions is currently available for pre-booking.

Wakefit Zense Regul8, Track8 price and availability

Regul8, under the Wakefit Zense range, can be purchased at the price of Rs. 44,999. The mattress is available in Queen (78×60 inch) and King (78×72 inch) sizes. Track8, the sleep tracking sheet, is priced at Rs. 10,499. Both devices can currently be pre-booked on the official website for Rs. 499 each, or Rs. 899 combined.

Wakefit Zense Regul8 features

According to the company, the Regul8 mattress features a water-based system to control the temperature of the mattress surface. The mattress’ temperature can be set between 15-degree and 40-degree Celsius using the companion app. Regul8 has a dual-zone temperature controller, which allows the user to set different temperatures for each side of the bed.

Regul8 also comes with integrated temperature sensors that can monitor the temperature of the mattress surface and make real-time adjustments to keep it consistent throughout the night. It also features five different presets — Neutral, Cold, Warm, Ice, and Fire — to easily set the desired temperature. Wakefit claims that the Regul8 mattress consumes 60 percent less energy than a 1.5-ton AC.

Wakefit Zense Tack8 features

Track8 is a sleep solution under the Wakefit Zense range, which can track users’ sleeping patterns and other metrics without any contact. The device, which is a thin rectangular sheet of fabric with two sheet sensors, is placed under the mattress. It has dual-zone sensors, one for each side of the bed, and can track two users at the same time. The device directly sends the collected data to the companion app, which then processes the information to present a detailed sleep report.

The company claims the device uses AI and machine learning algorithms to capture data around sleep stages, respiratory rate, movement, sleep and wake up time, on and off bed time, and snoring. Once analysed, it also offers an aggregated sleep score.



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Apple’s tvOS 18 Gets InSight, Automatic Subtitles and Other New Features

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Apple’s tvOS 18 Gets InSight, Automatic Subtitles and Other New Features


Apple announced several new features for tvOS 18 – the latest operating system for Apple TV devices, at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 on Monday. One of the key highlights is a new feature known as InSight, which provides the user with information about the content that is currently being played. In addition to InSight, Apple announced improvements to existing Apple TV features such as a smarter Enhanced Dialogue, automatic subtitles and support for a new aspect ratio. Apple said that new screensavers will also be available to users soon.

tvOS 18 Updates

At its developer conference, Apple announced InSight – a feature which displays real-time information about the currently playing content, such as the characters, cast and the music playing. To get further information, users can select a specific actor and bring up their background and filmography page, the iPhone maker revealed.

Moreover, tvOS 18 is also said to offer the ability to add the currently playing music to the user’s Apple Music library. The Cupertino-based tech giant also announced that the InSight information can now be accessed on the iPhone while using it as an Apple TV remote.

Stan Ng, Vice President of Apple Watch, Audio, Health, and Home Product Marketing, said, “This fall, tvOS 18 and our services take entertainment in the home to the next level by bringing timely information to fans about their favourite characters and scenes.”

With tvOS, the Enhanced Dialogue feature is claimed to have become smarter, leveraging machine learning (ML) and computational audio to provide better vocal clarity. This feature can now be taken advantage of when playing supported content through the TV’s in-built speakers, Bluetooth-connected audio devices and AirPods, Apple said.

Subtitles are also said to receive improvements, with Apple claiming they now automatically appear in places where the audio does not match the device language. In addition to new screensavers such as films, TV shows, portraits and even Snoopy, Apple is also introducing support for a wider 21:9 aspect ratio for video playback on projectors.

Apple also announced updates to the Home interface, with users now able to share control when playing music through HomePod and HomePod mini using SharePlay and Apple Music. Furthermore, Live Captions will be coming to the US and Canada to read what others say during FaceTime calls when using the iPhone as a Continuity Camera on Apple TV.

The iPhone maker claims to have also introduced a new look for the Apple Fitness+ app to “help users make the most of its robust library, stay motivated, and keep consistent with their fitness routine.”


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Siri May Soon Be Able to Control Robot Vacuum Cleaners for You

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Siri May Soon Be Able to Control Robot Vacuum Cleaners for You


Apple Home will gain support for robot vacuum cleaners with the upcoming iOS 18 update, the company announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2024 keynote on Monday. The app enables users to control their smart home accessories such as lights and security devices, using a HomePod or Apple TV as a smart hub. When the iOS 18 update arrives, the Cupertino-based tech giant will also introduce a new a guest access feature, granting users temporary access to smart home devices located in a household.

Apple Home App Updates

At WWDC 2024, Apple announced that it will soon allow users to control their robot vacuum cleaners via the Home app. After the functionality is rolled out later this year, commands may be relayed to the vacuum cleaners via Siri. These include commands to clean floors, change cleaning modes, or check the battery status.

The core functionality of robot vacuum cleaners will be supported via the Apple Home app, according to the company. These include managing power controls, setting the cleaning mode, and performing vacuum and mop cleaning, and checking charge status.”

Guest Access on Apple Home

Device owners will be also able to provide guest access to smart home devices to those people who don’t visit their homes too often. In addition to that, they can also set schedules for when guests can access their homes with smart home keys utilising the ultra wide-band (UWB) technology, it further added.

This functionality will be rolled out when iOS 18 is released to the public, which Apple says will happen in the Fall. As per the previous trends, this might coincide with the launch of the upcoming iPhone 16 series in September.

iOS 18 Eligible Devices

While iOS 18 is bringing upgrades to existing features in addition to new ones, not all iPhones will be eligible. As per the company, only the iPhone XR and newer models up to the iPhone 15 Pro Max (as of now) will receive the update. This means the iPhone models that received the iOS 17 update last year will also be updated to iOS 18.

However, the newly announced features powered by Apple Intelligence (or artificial intelligence) will only be available on handsets running on the A17 Pro SoC, which means the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, according to the company.


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