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alexa

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Amazon brings Alexa, Echo, Prime Music, and related developer tools to Canada

Today is a big day for Canada, at least when it comes to mega-retailer Amazon's products and services. The company has announced Canadian availability of its Alexa-powered smart hardware with a special short-term promotional discount, as well as the regional availability of its Prime Music streaming service. Developers can even get in on the action, as some Alexa-related software and hardware development tools are also now available in the country. 

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Amazon Key hardware and Cloud Cams are out today, get them here

Two weeks ago Amazon announced both the new Cloud Cam and Amazon Key service, with November 8th set as the official release date for both. According to the calendar, that day is today. Right now you can order both the standalone Cloud Cam as well as the Cloud Cam Key Edition, an Amazon Key kit, or the separate individual Amazon Key Edition smart locks. 

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Amazon releases Fire TV Stick Basic Edition for $50

If your TV is tragically not smart enough—or otherwise lacks a way to play Amazon Prime Video—Amazon has been heavily pushing their line of Fire TV devices since 2014. While the 3rd generation Fire TV started shipping last month, Amazon just announced the new Fire TV Stick Basic Edition. Problem is, there's absolutely nothing new about this at all.

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Amazon Alexa now supports routines, smart home groups, and more

You might remember Google announced a lot of Assistant things at its big event last month. One of those things was routines for linking multiple Assistant devices together with a single command. Well, Amazon just beat Google to the punch. Alexa now supports routines and several other new features.

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Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock now works with Amazon Alexa for voice control

Schlage recently announced Android support for its Sense Smart Deadbolt lock, along with the launch of a new Wi-Fi adapter that enables remote access through the company's app. The same lock is now getting even smarter as it gains Amazon Alexa integration, which will allow you to lock or check the status by voice via an Alexa-enabled device such as the various Amazon Echos.

As well as control and checking capabilities, the Schlage Sense skill can be used in conjunction with the Alexa app to add door locking to multi-step routines – a good way to ensure your door is locked before bed by adding it to your 'good night' routine.

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Amazon's new Echo and Echo Plus are shipping today

Amazon's Alexa smart assistant has wormed its way into a ton of products, including some Android phones. It all started with the Echo speaker, though. The original Echo has been available for the last few years, but now the time comes for it to retire. Amazon's recently announced second-generation Echo and the Echo Plus are now shipping.

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Amazon announces Cloud Cam security camera and Amazon Key in-home delivery service

Around a month ago, we heard rumors that Amazon was planning to release a home security camera and a pair of smart glasses. Today, one of those became official, as Amazon announced the Cloud Cam. The intelligent indoor camera costs just $119 and aims to bring home security features to consumers who might not previously have been able to afford such hardware.

At the same time, the company is launching a new home access service called Amazon Key. This Prime-exclusive scheme is designed to allow Amazon delivery personnel to briefly enter your home and leave packages inside your door, all under that watchful gaze of the Cloud Cam.

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The Moon is an all-seeing, levitating robotic eyeball that can control your home [Update]

We've seen levitating Bluetooth speakers and connected smart cameras before, but the Moon, a fully funded Indiegogo project, melds those technologies in a $209 ($330 at retail) floating robotic eyeball and base that can also act as a smart hub for your home. That is, if it ever ships. The typical crowdfunding caveats apply. Some Indiegogo projects don't have much of a future, and this is 1-Ring's first.

The Moon, which comes from 1-Ring Inc., comprises a wide-angle lens embedded in a sphere made of plastic, aluminum, and rubber. When the smart camera is levitating above its base unit, it can give its owner a 360-degree scan of whatever room it's placed in.

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Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa is a tiny smart GPS unit for your car

If you think it looks like a miniature Echo Dot for your car, you're basically spot on. The Garmin Speak is a GPS navigation unit with Amazon Alexa built-in. It was announced yesterday and is the first in-car device of its kind to add Alexa capabilities. At just an inch and a half, it's tiny, and yet it offers the same turn-by-turn GPS navigation as Garmin's other products while also including Amazon's smart assistant.

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Alexa catches up to Google Home and adds individual voice profiles

The back-and-forth of feature additions between Google and Amazon on their smart speakers is becoming one long, tedious yet fascinating, tennis rally. "I have this," "Now I have it too, and I added that as well," "I just added that too." It might get tiresome, but it's definitely making things better for all of us consumers. If these two weren't pushing each other that hard, we might have waited longer for Google to implement calling and Alexa to add voice profiles.

And this is what we're here to talk about.

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