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For anyone who’s new to Arduino and not sure how or where to begin, Arduino For Dummies and Arduino Projects For Dummies are the ideal companions and we have 2 copies of each to give away.

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The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board. It’s being used in workshops, classrooms and homes around the world for fun, for art, for science and even for profit.

Just published, Arduino For Dummies does not assume any prior knowledge or skill on the part of the reader, and provides all the information needed to get up and running.

In his book, John Nussey guides the readers on key areas such as: where to buy Arduino; installing Arduino; creating basic projects that produce light, sound and motion; getting data in and out of the Arduino; connecting the Arduino to servos and sensors; and extending the capabilities using shields and specialist hardware.

Arduino Projects For Dummies is authored by Brock Craft, who introduced Arduino into the UK along with its creator, Massimo Banzi.

Starting with a quick refresher on the basics, it features 11 projects which are fun to build and introduce different aspects of the Arduino board. These include: Building an Arduino clock; Automating your garden’s watering system; Constructing a Keypad Entry System; Creating an RFID reader; Installing a tweeting cat flap; Automating the home; and Building a robot car.

What you have to do to win

So all you have to do to win a both Arduino books is to click on the Contact Us link here or at the top of the page and tell us what you would like to do with Arduino.

Usual contest rules apply, and the two winners will be selected at random and will each get a set of the two books. This contest is open to anyone in the world, just make sure you tell us where you are! And you can enter more than once, just only one entry per day will be accepted.

The contest closes Saturday 3rd August, so good luck.

Good luck and thanks to our friends at Wiley for the books.

The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board and Arduino Project For Dummies has recently been published.

9781118551479 cover.indd

For those who want to find out more about the Arduino and make the most of its incredible capabilities Arduino Projects For Dummies is the perfect starting point.

The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board. It’s being used in workshops, classrooms and homes around the world for fun, for art, for science and even for profit.

Arduino Projects For Dummies is authored by Brock Craft, who introduced Arduino into the UK along with its creator, Massimo Banzi.

Starting with a quick refresher on the basics, it features 11 projects which are fun to build and introduce different aspects of the Arduino board. These include: Building an Arduino clock; Automating your garden’s watering system; Constructing a Keypad Entry System; Creating an RFID reader; Installing a tweeting cat flap; Automating the home; and Building a robot car.

Primarily aimed at designers, hobbyists, engineers, developers and scientists, Arduino Projects For Dummies will take the user gently through the basics, then show them the awesome possibilities of this tiny blue board.

Arduino Projects For Dummies is available now, priced £17.99.

The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board and Arduino For Dummies has recently been published.

9781118446379.pdf

The Arduino is a cheap and readily-available hardware development platform based around an open source, programmable circuit board. It’s being used in workshops, classrooms and homes around the world for fun, for art, for science and even for profit. Just published, Arduino For Dummies does not assume any prior knowledge or skill on the part of the reader, and provides all the information needed to get up and running.

In his book, John Nussey guides the readers on key areas such as: where to buy Arduino; installing Arduino; creating basic projects that produce light, sound and motion; getting data in and out of the Arduino; connecting the Arduino to servos and sensors; and extending the capabilities using shields and specialist hardware.

Primarily aimed at designers, hobbyists, engineers, developers and scientists, Arduino For Dummies will take the user gently through the basics, then show them the awesome possibilities of this tiny blue board.

Arduino For Dummies is available now, priced £16.99.

For new and inexperienced users who want to maximize the performance of their Samsung Galaxy S 4 smartphone, just-published Samsung Galaxy S 4 For Dummies will be an invaluable guide.

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Aimed at the user who is intimidated by the technology and baffled by the documentation and online support, all aspects of the suite of devices are covered. From setup and configuration, to extensive use of the phone features and capabilities – texting, e-mailing, accessing the Internet, maps, navigation, camera and video, social networking, taking pictures, watching movies, downloading apps, synching with a PC, and expanding the phone’s potential with new software releases – this book’s approach is ideal to help users to get the most out of their Samsung Galaxy S 4 Android smartphone.

 

Samsung Galaxy S 4 For Dummies is available in paperback and e-book, priced £17.99.

Millions of people can now transform their normal TV into an internet-connected ‘smart’ TV for just £9.99 with the launch of the NOW TV Box.

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Available from today at nowtv.com, the compact and easy-to-use box connects your TV wirelessly to the internet.  Once connected, homes with the NOW TV box will enjoy convenient and contract-free access to BBC iPlayer,  Demand 5, BBC News App and Sky News, plus NOW TV – offering instant access to Sky Sports and Sky Movies. They can also access other popular online services such as Facebook and Spotify – all delivered over broadband to the big screen TV.

Despite the explosion in connected devices such as Sky set-top boxes, games consoles and connected TVs, there are still up to tens of millions of regular TVs in the UK that cannot currently connect to the internet.  The NOW TV box provides an affordable and simple way for any broadband-connected home to join the online TV revolution.

Until now, unless receiving catch-up as part of a pay TV subscription, consumers have needed to pay tens or even hundreds of pounds to purchase internet-streaming devices to watch catch-up TV on a regular TV.  With the new NOW TV Box, for less than a tenner, customers can access the best in catch-up TV.  But on top of this, they also have the opportunity to upgrade to access live sport and on demand movies from NOW TV.
Smaller than a pub beer mat, the NOW TV Box measures in at a trim 84mm x 84mm x 24mm and can be up and running in minutes. Simply plug the box into your TV set via the HDMI cable provided, connect to your wireless internet connection and you’re away.

The box launches as new research from NOW TV reveals the nation’s ever-increasing appetite to watch what they want, when they want.  Over two thirds of Brits have now taken advantage of on demand services on their main TV sets – whether via Smart TVs or other connected devices, with  two in five of us  streaming must-see shows or settling down to a movie on a weekly basis.

Over half the nation (56%) use more traditional internet-connected devices such as tablets, smartphones or laptops to access TV on demand whilst in the home.  For these people, the NOW TV Box will offer a simple and affordable way to enjoy catch-up TV, live sport and on demand movies on the big screen.

From launch, the NOW TV Box will let people access:

  • Sky Sports: Experience the best sporting action from Sky Sports with the Sky Sports Day Pass. In the next month alone, sports fans can enjoy the climax of The Ashes series, the return of the Premier League and Football League, Formula 1® Belgium Grand Prix™, the start of Andy Murray’s defence of the US Open title and much more, across 6 channels all for just £9.99 a day.
  • Sky Movies: Sign up for a Sky Movies Pass to access hundreds of films from Sky Movies – the UK’s most popular subscription service – including more of the latest and biggest movies 12 months before Netflix or LOVEFiLM Instant. New customers can also take advantage of a 30 day free trial of the Sky Movies Pass and enjoy the likes of Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and Argo in the next month.
  • Sky News: Stay up-to-date with all the latest breaking news from Sky News. Access a 24/7 live feed of Sky News’ award-winning coverage including all breaking news from home and abroad, as well as dedicated business, political and entertainment coverage.  In addition, catch up on specific stories at any time of the day via an exclusive on demand news library.
  • BBC iPlayer: The BBC’s popular video on-demand service which received 2.32bn programme requests in 2012 gives you the option to catch up on your favourite BBC programmes when you want to – and now on your TV set through the NOW TV Box.
  • BBC News app: Giving viewers access to BBC news reports, interviews and videos at the touch of a button on their TV.
  • Demand 5: Catch-up on a wide selection of Channel 5 shows for at least 7 days after they first broadcast.
  • Spotify, Facebook and flickr: Listen to music, catch up with friends and even share your photos all through your TV set.

Overtime there will be even more for people to enjoy with the addition of new content and apps to the NOW TV Box.

NOW TV is already available on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, selected Android smartphones, Xbox, PS3, YouView and Roku.

Sennheiser recently announced the launch of their new Momentum On-Ear Headphones, and here is our review.

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Injecting vibrant blue, pink, green and cream colours into Sennheiser’s range of headphones, the new MOMENTUM On-Ear is crafted from the finest materials and inspired by a team of international design experts and trend scouts.

The new compact MOMENTUM On-Ear headphones are stylish without compromising on sound quality. Incorporating a high performance transducer system which offers uncompromising rich and detailed sound performance with a slight bass emphasis, these headphones deliver a technically advanced audio experience you would expect from the Sennheiser brand.

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The new headphones feature a headband and earpads finished in high-tech Alcantara, a specialised luxury material loved by yacht and automotive upholsterers for its unique combination of softness, durability, and breathable comfort, whilst giving the wearer a great listening experience on the move, even in noisy urban environments. Lightweight sliders of premium brushed stainless steel complete the high end look and a single sided detachable cable with in-line remote and mic for Apple iDevices means easy control for music, making and receiving calls.

Technical Data

  • Impedance 18 Ω
  • Frequency response 16–22,000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL) 112 dB (1 kHz/1 Vrms)
  • THD, total harmonic distortion < 0.5% (1 kHz, 100 dB SPL)
  • Contact pressure approx. 3.2 N
  • Ear coupling Supra-aural
  • Jack plug Cable 1: 3.5 mm low profile angled plug
  • Jack plug Cable 2: 3.5 mm straight plug
  • Cable length Cable 1: 1.4 m iPod®/iPhone® cable with integrated smart remote and microphone
  • Cable length Cable 2: 1.4 m cable for computers, phones, music players and any device with a headphone output
  • Transducer principle Dynamic, closed
  • Weight 160 g (including remote)
  • Load rating 200 mW

What’s in the Box?

The box contains a carry case containing the headphones, some manuals and a spare cable (which is always useful, especially if you have cats that like to chew on cables!)

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The is quite large as the headphones themselves don’t fold up, but it looks great and offers a lot of protection.

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Inside the case there is also a pocket to store your spare cable or anything else small.

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The spare cable is just a cable, it doesn’t have the remote that the main cable has, but it’s useful non the less.

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A Closer Look

Inside the carry case is a cloth bag with the headphones in which provides another layer of protection, which you can’t get enough of!

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The iRemote has the all the usual abilities you would expect for listening to music, it also has a built in mic and the ability to be used to make and receive phone calls. It can be used with any Apple idevice (so the iPod, iPad or iPhone).

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You can easily detach the cable to either replace it with another or for easy transport. It just a small turn of the connector and pull the cable out. This is good as it stops the cable from falling out.

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Ensuring that the headphones fit comfortably on your head is easy as the ear cups are easily positioned by moving them on the headband.

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As you can see, the headband and the ear pads are covered with Alcantara (and the colour is dependant on which one you purchased). The Alcantara is very soft and even after prolonged used I didn’t feel any discomfort.

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And in the recent heat we have had here in the UK having a material that is breathable certainly helps the comfort factor, as there is nothing worse than having the ear pads stick to your ears!

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And as well as being practical, it also looks great!

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Final Thoughts

I am a big fan of Sennheiser mics – I use a set of their wireless lav mics when I do video interviews, and I have used a set of in-ear headphones in the past, so I was happy to try on a pair of the new Momentum on-ear headphones and see just how they sounded.

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I do a lot of travelling and so having a really good quality pair of headphones is really important to me. They have to have great sound (which is a given really) but also be comfortable as I can often wear them for many hours at a time.

The Momemtum on-ear headphones do not disappoint and they ticked both boxes for me perfectly. I wore them on a recent flight and they were very comfortable, however they are not noise cancelling so you may find they are better suited to quieter environments, such as your home, where they excel.

There is also the added bonus of having a built-in microphone as part of the iRemote which means that I didn’t need to take off the headphones to make or receive calls. Personally I don’t see myself using that feature much when I am out and about (that’s a personal preference) but when I am at home, that’s a different matter.

I also liked that the cable was removable and replaceable. The removable part makes it very easy to transport in the headphone case (there is a pouch for it) and the fact it is replaceable means that when one of my cats decides to eat through the wire (as so often happens with cats) I don’t need to replace the entire thing, just the cable.

There are four different colours to choose from too! So if you want a good looking, practical high quality pair of headphones then you should definitely take a look, and a listen, to the Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear headphones, you won’t be disappointed.

The Momentum On-Ear headhphones are priced at a very reasonable £169.99 and are available now from John Lewis or via Sennheiser’s online store. They come in either Pink, Green, Ivory or Blue (the colour we reviewed).

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If you have, or are interested in the Raspberry Pi, then you might want to download the new issue of The MagPi digital magazine.

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This is how the Raspberry Pi guys describe the magazine:

The MagPi, a free online magazine dedicated to the Raspberry Pi, whose first issue was released a few days ago, is a perfect example of that. It’s been put together entirely by volunteers, guided by Ash Stone, Jason “Jaseman” Davies, Meltwater and other names you may recognise from the forums and comments on this site. I was broadly aware they were up to something, but I was amazed at the scope of what they sent me to look at earlier in the week, and I’ve been really, really impressed by the first issue. There are Debian and Puppy guides, articles on computing history, ideas for robotics projects, tutorials in Scratch and Python (with code you can type in yourself, just like in the good old days), features about the Raspberry Pi itself, and other goodies to dig into. I really can’t recommend it enough, and if you haven’t been lucky enough to get to the head of the queue, you don’t need a Raspberry Pi to find it useful (you might actually find the magazine good preparation before yours arrives).

It is a really interesting read – so go download it today, and let us know what you think!

[button link=”http://www.themagpi.com/#” style=”download”]Download the new issue of The MagPi here[/button]

[button link=”http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/20/eben-upton-talks-raspberry-pi/” style=”info”]Check out the videos we made with Eben Upton[/button]

[button link=”http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/26/unboxing-the-raspberry-pi/” color=”silver”]Check out our unboxing of our Raspberry Pi[/button]

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Amazon.co.uk today announced the launch of Amazon AutoRip, a new service that gives customers free MP3 versions of CDs and vinyl music they purchase from Amazon.

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When customers purchase AutoRip CDs and vinyl the MP3 versions are automatically added to their Cloud Player libraries where they are available, free of charge, for immediate playback or download – no more waiting for the CD to arrive. Additionally, customers who have purchased AutoRip albums at any time since Amazon.co.uk first opened its Music Store in 1999 will find MP3 versions of those albums in their Cloud Player libraries – also automatically and for free. More than 350,000 albums, including titles from every major record label, are available for AutoRip, and more titles are added all the time – customers can just look for the AutoRip logo.

“What would you say if you bought CDs, vinyl or even cassettes from a company 14 years ago, and then 14 years later that company licensed the rights from the record companies to give you the MP3 versions of those albums… and then to top it off, did that for you automatically and for free?” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. “Well, starting today, it’s available to all of our Amazon.co.uk customers – past, present, and future – at no cost. We love these opportunities to do something extra for our customers.”

AutoRip features include:

· Free digital copies: Amazon customers who purchase AutoRip CDs and vinyl get free MP3 versions of the albums delivered directly to their Cloud Player libraries – automatically, immediately, and at no cost – no more hassle with ripping CDs and finding a way to get them onto your favourite devices

· CD, vinyl and cassette purchases dating back to 1999: MP3 versions of AutoRip CDs, vinyl and cassettes that customers have purchased since the launch of Amazon.co.uk’s music store in 1999 will also be delivered to their Cloud Player libraries for free

· Enjoy everywhere: Music can be played instantly from any Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, Android phone or tablet, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and any web browser, giving customers the freedom to enjoy music from more devices than any other major cloud locker music service

· Free storage and backup: All AutoRip MP3s are stored for free in customers’ Cloud Player libraries and do not count against Cloud Player storage limits. Customers can buy music and know that it is safely stored in Cloud Player and accessible from any compatible device

· High-quality audio: AutoRip music is provided in high-quality 256 Kbps MP3 audio

AutoRip is available for recent, bestselling and classic albums including 21 by Adele, Our Version of Events by Emeli Sandé, Babel by Mumford & Sons, Only By The Night by Kings of Leon, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys, London Calling by The Clash and Thriller by Michael Jackson.

The Amazon MP3 Store catalogue offers more than 26 million songs and everyday low prices on best-selling albums, many starting at £4.99.

Pure introduces Evoke D2, the new member of the iconic Evoke family of luxury digital and FM radios.

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Evoke D2 (SRP £84.99) takes design cues from the Evoke but has a clear identity of its own with a new compact size making it perfect for kitchen or bedside use. As with all Evokes, Evoke D2 has a solid wooden housing and comes in a real Walnut veneer finish.

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Nick Hucker, Pure’s director of marketing, says: “Consumers are increasingly looking for fresh and contemporary audio products that fit in with their home interior and size is often a key decision making factor. We are responding to this demand with Evoke D2 and giving customers the option to enjoy the award-winning Evoke features in a smaller footprint while delivering big sound.”

Benefitting from Pure’s heritage of British design and engineering, Evoke D2 uses highly energy efficient Class-D audio amplification to deliver the best possible sound quality, excellent battery life and low power consumption.

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Leading edge features include an input for an iPod/ MP3 player, alarm, sleep and snooze timers, 10 presets and a kitchen timer. The radio can also be taken out and about thanks to support for the optional rechargeable B1 battery pack (SRP £27.99), which gives users over 30 hours of portable listening per charge.

Evoke D2 is now available at all good electrical retailers and we should have one for review shortly.

Pure announces the availability of Jongo A2, a wireless multiroom Hi-Fi adapter with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

jongo a2

Available at an SRP of just £99.99, Jongo A2 gives users the flexibility to transform any audio system from a simple micro to a high-end Hi-Fi, into a music streamer. Jongo A2 also offers an easy way to integrate an existing Hi-Fi product into the Jongo multiroom music sys tem and enjoy perfectly synchronised music, radio and much more through their existing audio equipment.

Jongo A2 is engineered to provide high integrity and low distortion audio and comes with a high-quality 24-bit internal DAC (digital to analogue converter) as well as optical and coaxial digital and dual (RCA) phono analogue audio outputs. The digital outputs allow users to connect to a digital enabled hi-fi, DAC or home cinema amplifier and the analogue outputs allow connection to legacy hi-fi or other audio devices.

Jongo A2 is the second product in Pure’s new Jongo multiroom music system and works with the free companion Pure Connect iPad, iPhone and Android app. Music fans can enjoy a 30 day free trial of Pure Music, Pure’s on demand music service.  Pure Connect offers an unparalleled combination of the best of radio and music in one place and takes the user on a journey of discovery with recommendations based on listening patterns and a selection of curated content from a range of trusted partners.

The Pure Jongo A2 can be used on its own or combined with Jongo S3 portable, rechargeable wireless speakers (SRP £169.99) to deliver the most flexible and accessible multiroom audio system on the market today. Jongo products use Wi-Fi to stream perfectly synchronised audio within a single or multiroom environment, while Bluetooth allows users to stream content from any audio app on their smartphone or tablet, including locally stored music, to a single Jongo product. Users can simply add extra Jongo speakers or adapters on the same Wi-Fi network to build their multiroom system.

Jongo A2 has been designed to stand out and is available in a range of eye-catching colours. Users can choose from a black, or piano (white with black covers) base unit and then purchase  clip on covers in burnt orange, lime green, mango or white (from £12.99) to match their home colour scheme and other Jongo products.

The new Pure Connect app for iPad is also now available to download. Using Wi-Fi along with the free Pure Connect app, users can get the additional benefit of listening to multiple, tightly synchronised Jongo products in a single room or in a multiroom environment. The new Pure Connect app currently gives users access to local music on their smartphone or tablet, over 20,000  radio stations, in excess of 200000 free on-demand programmes and podcasts, as well as 15 million streamable music tracks via the Pure Music subscription service

To learn more visit the Pure website.

If you have, or are interested in the Raspberry Pi, then you might want to download the new issue of The MagPi digital magazine.

13

This is how the Raspberry Pi guys describe the magazine:

The MagPi, a free online magazine dedicated to the Raspberry Pi, whose first issue was released a few days ago, is a perfect example of that. It’s been put together entirely by volunteers, guided by Ash Stone, Jason “Jaseman” Davies, Meltwater and other names you may recognise from the forums and comments on this site. I was broadly aware they were up to something, but I was amazed at the scope of what they sent me to look at earlier in the week, and I’ve been really, really impressed by the first issue. There are Debian and Puppy guides, articles on computing history, ideas for robotics projects, tutorials in Scratch and Python (with code you can type in yourself, just like in the good old days), features about the Raspberry Pi itself, and other goodies to dig into. I really can’t recommend it enough, and if you haven’t been lucky enough to get to the head of the queue, you don’t need a Raspberry Pi to find it useful (you might actually find the magazine good preparation before yours arrives).

It is a really interesting read – so go download it today, and let us know what you think!

[button link=”http://www.themagpi.com/#” style=”download”]Download the new issue of The MagPi here[/button]

[button link=”http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/20/eben-upton-talks-raspberry-pi/” style=”info”]Check out the videos we made with Eben Upton[/button]

[button link=”http://connecteddigitalworld.com/2012/05/26/unboxing-the-raspberry-pi/” color=”silver”]Check out our unboxing of our Raspberry Pi[/button]

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Today Sonos have released their 4.1 software update.

This update includes:

  • Better Playlist Support. Sonos makes it easier than ever to create and edit Sonos playlists.
    • Create playlists without using the queue—simply select Sonos Playlists and choose New Playlist.
    • Add tracks to a playlist from any available source by choosing a track and selecting Add to… Sonos Playlist.
    • Easily edit playlists by selecting a Sonos playlist and choosing Edit to delete or move tracks within the playlist.
  • New Spotify features. Spotify customers can now:
    • Create and edit Spotify playlists using a Sonos controller.
    • Access and play music from Spotify playlist folders directly using a Sonos controller.
    • Use either Facebook account credentials or Spotify account credentials to add a Spotify account to Sonos.
  • More alarm options. Wake up to music from any music subscription service.
    • When setting an alarm, now you can select a music service you’re subscribed to in addition to the music choices you already have.
  • Other improvements:
    • The time it takes to update your Sonos components should be reduced significantly.
    • The Android notification feature has been improved.
  • Demo video. Love your Sonos system? Want to show your friends how it works?
    • Select Show Demo from the Sonos app when you’re away from your Sonos system.

Let us know what you think of the updates by leaving a comment below.

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