Siri, which was first announced at Apple’s WWDC in June, has now been distributed to Ecobee SmartThermostats.
The Ecobee4 is the first third-party device to include Apple’s virtual assistant Siri, although the functionality isn’t limited to it. Starting this year, all HomeKit accessory manufacturers will be able to integrate Siri voice control into their products.
The Ecobee thermostat only works with the most recent Smart Thermostat with voice control ($249.99), which has built-in microphone and speaker support and was introduced in 2019.
I’ve been anticipating this upgrade because Siri is my major smart home motivator. This weekend’s release landed on my thermostat, and so far the experience has been pleasant (with the exception of a few hiccups in getting it up and running). It’s basically like having a HomePod on your wall.
The Ecobee’s microphones and speakers aren’t as well positioned as the HomePod’s, which is a shame because it meant that it couldn’t hear me as well as I expected. If you have an Apple device close by — phone, watch, etc. – –the request will typically be received first by that device.
The Ecobee speaker appears in the AirPlay list, which was surprisingly enjoyable, especially because it can be paired with other Airplay speakers. I had a huge smart home geek moment when I was playing music from a smart smoke alarm (Onelink Safe & Sound) and a smart thermostat at the same time.
The integration of Amazon’s Alexa with the Ecobee thermostat is superior than the Siri integration with the Ecobee thermostat. While Amazon’s voice assistant works out of the box with the thermostat and you can play music through it, Alexa’s multiroom function does not work.
Pair the Ecobee with HomeKit from the thermostat’s screen, then add it as an accessory in the Home app, and a ‘Speak to Siri’ option will appear.
By making Siri more accessible throughout the house, you can make it an even more valuable smart home controller. However, incorporating it into a $250 thermostat does not make the HomeKit experience any less pricey. You’ll also need a HomePod Mini to utilize it.
It’s like having a HomePod on your wall, right? It’s basically the same as having one.
The Ecobee Smart Thermostat 3 has also been updated. According to a Reddit post, one modification is to replace the fiddly slider used to change the thermostat’s temperature with a touch option.
The Apple Watch Series 4 has a faster processor, better speaker design, and larger display. With all of these upgrades, some people are wondering if the device would be able to run more efficiently without slowing down over time. I believe the future looks bright for smartwatches because they have become so popular.
Ecobee is releasing the Siri integration on October 12th, and it’ll come to Ecobee SmartThermostats in the coming weeks.
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