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alexa

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Alexa is finally rolling out to Amazon's Android app, starting this week

Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant is best known for being on its Echo line of speakers, but it's available on both iOS and Android. There's a dedicated Alexa app on both of those operating systems, but only iOS has Alexa built into the main Amazon app. However, that's changing very soon.

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[Update: HTC Alexa app released for the U11, enables hands free or Edge Sense activation] HTC U11 Edge Sense now updated to include Alexa integration, but it's not working yet

The HTC U11 is a pretty good phone, but it has one particularly divisive feature: Edge Sense. Squeezing the frame of the device can activate various software features, most notably a personal assistant (a feature the next generation Pixel XL is apparently set to borrow). When it was announced by HTC, the U11 was supposed to have a choice of three assistants, including the company's own HTC Companion, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. The last of those didn't make it in time for launch, but it appears to be included in the latest update to Edge Sense.

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Sony's latest 4K HDR Android TVs will work with Amazon's Echo devices

Today Sony has announced that the company's latest 4K HDR televisions, powered by Android TV, will soon be updated to work with Amazon's Echo devices. This new feature will arrive via a firmware update sometime this month. So the next time you yell at your TV, there might be some purpose to it. 

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Alexa devices can now control your Fire TV

One of the Google Home's best features is the ability to control playback of a Chromecast with voice commands. For example, you can ask "OK Google, play Gravity Falls on the living room TV" to start playing content without having another device nearby. Now the Fire TV can do that, but with Alexa devices.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Echo Dot is down to $29.99 ($15 off) on Amazon Prime, early Prime Day deals available for Alexa users

Amazon is preparing for its 'Prime Day,' which arrives July 11 with major site-wide discounts in tow. It's like the Steam Summer Sale, except you buy real physical objects instead of games you'll never get around to playing. Amazon has made a few deals live early for Prime users, and dropped the price of the refurbished Echo Dot to just $29.99.

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[Update: App updated] Amazon's Echo devices now double as in-house intercoms

With Amazon enabling voice calling and messaging on its Echo line-up, the rumor of the Echo also gaining intercom ability that had circulated back in March was bound to come true sooner than later. And it's now here so all of you multi-Echo households can start, erm, echoing each other from room to room.

In the latest Amazon Alexa app (v2.0.1216.2), you can enable the option by turning on Drop In from your household in your Echo's settings and making sure your device has a friendly name so that people in other rooms can easily specify which Echo they want to contact you on.

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[Deal Alert] Get an Amazon Echo for $130 ($50 off)

Amazon struck gold with the Echo. The speaker/personal assistant has grown significantly since its birth, with only the Google Home to compete with. If you've been itching to get your hands on an Echo, you can get one from either Amazon or Best Buy for $129.99, a savings of $50.

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Amazon’s new Dash Wand with Alexa is a real-life magic wand for your kitchen

The next time you run out dish soap, you could add the item to your shopping list via Google Home, or you could ask Alexa to add one to your next AmazonFresh order. You could even pull out a paper and pencil like an Aunt Tillie and write "dish soap" on a real, literal, physical shopping list, before the long and tedious trek to the supermarket. Or, you could grab your magic wand, point it at the empty bottle, and go about your day. Really. That's what Amazon's Dash Wand with Alexa is for, and with a $20 Amazon credit after purchasing, it's basically free. That's magic. 

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Amazon's Alexa updated to block contacts from calling or messaging you

Since Alexa was updated to support voice calls and messaging, the common complaint has been that one can't block communications. There was no whitelist or blacklist so anyone with the app and your phone number would be able to call your device and force you to listen to their message. Even if a number were blocked on your phone, it would still ring your Echo. Well as of today that's no longer a problem. The Alexa app has now been updated to fix the privacy omission. You can now block contacts.

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Alexa now supports reminders and named timers

It has been a little over 200 days since the Google Home was officially released, and owners are still waiting on Google to implement support for reminders. Perhaps in response to the growing competition, Amazon has been hard at work improving Alexa, and has now added reminders and named timers to the assistant.

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