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Control4 smart home tech now works with Amazon Alexa voice control

The smart home revolution doesn't seem to be coming as quickly as some had hoped, but whenever it does break out, Amazon intends to be on the ground floor. To that end, the latest addition to Alexa's growing list of voice control connections is Control4, a semi-proprietary collection of home automation tools. The company announced a new Alexa skill that works with the Echo, Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, and any other device that can connect to the voice service.

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Amazon announces cheaper and better $49.99 Echo Dot, will issue $10 Alexa Shopping credits to first-gen owners who order

Amazon's Echo has been a surprising hit product for smart home integration and its Alexa feature-rich Assistant has definitely grown since its introduction to become more capable and more interesting. Today, along with the announcement that the Echo is coming to the UK and Germany and is now available in white, Amazon has unveiled a new Echo Dot, the tiny puck version of the Echo.

The first generation Echo Dot was introduced in March this year, but you could only order it through Alexa, i.e.

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Amazon bringing Echo to the UK and Germany this fall, white model coming to the US

Echo! Echo! Echo! This sound reverberated around the UK and Germany (sorry, Germans, I'm unsure what 'echo' is in German) as Amazon announced it would be releasing its Echo speaker in the two countries this fall, along with a new white model that will also be coming to the US.

For the UK release, Alexa has some new skills, partnering with world-renowned cook and school dinner ruiner Jamie Oliver, Sky Sports, National Rail, The Telegraph, The Guardian, the BBC, Uber, and Spotify. Want to know the train times for your trip? Ask Alexa, she'll tell you. Want a fantastic recipe for your hot date?

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Amazon announces new Fire HD 8 tablet with Alexa integration

Amazon is filling in the gaps in its Fire tablet lineup, small though they are. Starting today, you can order the Fire HD 8. As the name implies, this is an 8-inch Fire tablet with an HD screen; one inch larger than the regular Fire. However, it does offer something new for Amazon's tablets—the Alexa voice assistant.

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Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick update will expand Universal Search, add Alexa voice control for Amazon Video, more

Amazon's hardware ventures weren't all quite popular (remember the Fire Phone?!), but beside the Kindles and Fire tablets, and obviously the Echo, the Fire TV is easily counted one of the company's success stories. It has become one of the best streaming and gaming solutions, battling Roku, Apple TV, and Android TV for a spot on every TV's HDMI port.

That's also thanks to continuous updates and improvements from Amazon who keeps adding features to its products. In the latest update to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick rolling out now (or very soon), Amazon is adding more apps and channels to Universal Search so you have fewer and fewer reasons to open apps individually to do a search in them.

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CyanogenMod 13 comes to various Xperia and Kindle devices

CyanogenMod 13 is the latest version of the popular open source custom ROM. It delivers Android Marshmallow to hundreds of devices, many with no hope of ever receiving an official update. On other hardware, CyanogenMod offers a chance to remove heavy skins and enjoy a mostly stock Android experience. The latest wave of devices receiving version 13 represents both types.

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Amazon wants to sell a cheaper music subscription service that will only work on its Echo devices

Music subscriptions are all the rage now - most people I know use either Spotify or the services offered by Google and Apple. Not mentioned as much is, erm, Amazon, and its oft-forgotten Music service that acts as a locker for music purchased on and through Amazon. According to Recode, the company plans to reinvent it by introducing two music streaming services with different aims.

The first is similar to what you'd expect: $10 a month for all-you-can-stream music, akin to Spotify or other offerings. The other option Amazon is considering is more unusual. This would only work through Amazon's Echo hardware, so not on phones, tablets, or the web, and cost $4 or $5 a month.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Tap and Echo on sale for $50 off ($79.99 and $129.99)

It's not often that we get to post a deal at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but I guess this one fits in the "beyond" section. If you look up the Alexa-infused Echo and Tap on the Amazon site, you'll see the same old prices. You can save some cash by heading over to Best Buy or Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick up these devices. Both models are $50 off right now.

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Amazon's BLU R1 HD gets rooted, bootloader unlocked, TWRPed, and debloated

The BLU R1 HD is a cheap Android phone, made even cheaper by its release as an Amazon Prime Exclusive device. You pay $50 (or $60 for the 16GB/2GB RAM version) for the phone instead of its original $100 price tag, but you get Amazon's apps pre-installed and its ads on the lockscreen. It's not that bad really: David has been trying to live with it for a month and hasn't faced many issues beside the "slowening", ie. the fact that the phone gets slower the more you use it.

If you've had an eye on this device either as your main phone or maybe as a Pokémon GO phone (hey, we understand), but you just can't bring yourself to accept Amazon's bloat, there's good news for you.

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Motorola confirms the bootloader on the Amazon Prime Exclusive Moto G4 can't be unlocked

Motorola's relationship with unlockable bootloaders, and thus with the ROM-flashing aftermarket community, can be summed up as "complicated." While its default approach is to offer a consumer-friendly bootloader unlock on most of its phones, it nonetheless bows to the whims of its carrier masters (Verizon and AT&T) whenever they insist that said feature be disabled, and they don't offer those handy full-price Developer Editions anymore, either. Add Amazon to the list, because the retailer's customized, super-cheap edition of the fourth-generation Moto G can't be bootloader unlocked.

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