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iRobot’s new $599 i3 Plus Roomba comes with automatic emptying but no smart maps

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iRobot’s new $599 i3 Plus Roomba comes with automatic emptying but no smart maps

iRobot has announced a pair of new midrange vacuum cleaners that have some of the perks of its top-range models but a few compromises, too. They are the $599 i3 Plus, which comes with the company’s automatic bin-emptying station, capable of holding 60 days’ worth of dirt, and the plain old $399 i3, which has no emptying station but is otherwise identical.

The big drawback for these vacuums compared with iRobot’s pricier models — the i7 Plus and i7 ($799 / $599 with and without automatic emptying) and s9 Plus and s9 ($899 / $1,099, ditto) — is that they don’t include the company’s smart mapping features. This allows the Roombas to map your house so you can tell them to clean specific rooms and even specific areas of specific rooms (like “under the kitchen table” or “under the sofa”). That puts it in line with the company’s old top-of-the-range 900 series.

But the i3s do get all the features that came with the company’s recent AI-assisted update, which it refers to as iRobot Genius Home Intelligence. These are less useful but still handy, with iRobot’s app offering suggestions for cleaning schedules based on your past cleaning routines and the option for smart home-connected automation. So, if you use a location service like Life360 or have a smart lock, you can connect that to your Roomba so it’ll start cleaning whenever you’ve left the house (if you are leaving the house much these days).

Hardware-wise, the design is completely in line with other current iRobot models while the cleaning system is the same as that found in the i7s. Both models are available in the US and Canada today and will be coming to international markets some time in Q1 next year.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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The first ‘Left 4 Dead 2’ expansion in years is available now for free

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The first 'Left 4 Dead 2' expansion in years is available now for free

In yet another unexpected development from 2020, there’s a massive content update available for Left 4 Dead 2. Valve’s co-op zombie shooter was originally released in 2009, but the community is still active enough to produce a new content pack dubbed The Last Stand. There are new achievements, weapons and dialog, as well as “twenty new Survival Arenas, four Scavenge Arenas and a Campaign based on The Lighthouse Survival map.”

The Last Stand DLC is available for free to all players on PC, and even if you haven’t purchased Left 4 Dead 2 on Steam, the entire game is available for free this weekend so you can play it over the next three days. A changelog details over 1,000 tweaks, and if you’d like to keep playing beyond Sunday, the game is available for just $2.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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Don’t worry, you can still buy a dot-shaped Amazon Echo Dot

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Don’t worry, you can still buy a dot-shaped Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon unveiled a radically redesigned $49.99 fourth-generation Echo Dot smart speaker today that doesn’t look like a dot at all — instead, the new Dot is shaped like a ball, or maybe an orb. The new design is a notable departure from the look of previous Echo Dots, which were short, puck-like cylinders that could be said to resemble, well, dots.

If you just can’t get on board with having a ball-shaped smart speaker but are in the market for a new Dot, I have good news for you: Amazon is still selling that dot-shaped third-generation Echo Dot. Amazon confirmed to The Sports Grind Entertainment that it’s keeping the older Dot in its lineup in part to provide an option for those who want to mount their Dot to a wall. An Echo Flex, a small Echo speaker that plugs right into a wall outlet, is another option.

And as of this writing, the third-gen Dot is also the cheaper Dot, though it’s one of those Amazon listings with a price displayed as $49.99 $39.99, so I’m not totally sure if that cheaper price is going to stick around.

We haven’t gotten to try the orb-shaped Dot yet, so we don’t know if the new model will be a better buy than the dot-shaped Dot. But in his review of the third-gen Echo Dot, my colleague Dan Seifert found that it had surprisingly loud and rich sound for its compact size, so if you’re in the market for a small smart speaker right now, it could still be a good choice for you.

I forgot to mention one distinct advantage the older dot-shaped Dot has over its ball-like successor: it fits inside a base shaped like Baby Yoda’s head. Given that, I don’t know why Amazon decided to change the old Dot’s clearly perfect design.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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iOS 14 update fixes a bug that reset your browser and mail defaults

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iOS 14 update fixes a bug that reset your browser and mail defaults

One of the notable changes in iOS 14 is that it finally allowed users to set new default apps for their web browser and email. Chrome, Firefox, Gmail and others are already taking advantage of the setting, but after the update rolled out last week, many iPhone and iPad owners noticed their devices would go back to the original settings after a restart.

This afternoon Apple pushed out iOS 14.0.1 and iPadOS 14.0.1, which addresses that issue. If you haven’t received it already then you should be able to nab the download by manually checking for an update, which 9to5Mac shows is around 171MB to download. Other tweaks in the update address camera previews, problems connecting to WiFi, and a problem that could block images from the widget for Apple News. tvOS and watchOS have also received small bug fixes, so go ahead and update everything Apple just to be sure you’re covered.

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Devon is a fitness enthusiast who loves playing Golf in his free time. He keeps in touch with the Golf events happening all around the world and jots down fine news pieces for the website.

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