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[Deal Alert] Amazon Tap is down to $79.99 ($50 off) for today only

The Amazon Tap has always been a solid option for a portable Bluetooth speaker, especially since it has all the functionality of the Echo and Echo Dot. The speaker has occasionally dropped in price since it was released, but this is the lowest it's been yet - $79.99. That's a whopping $50 off the MSRP.

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Amazon's two 2017 Fire TV models are a mid-range dongle and a cube-shaped flagship box

Two of Amazon's 2017 additions to its popular Fire TV lineup have been leaked courtesy of AFTVnews: a mid-range dongle and a flagship set-top box. Both will be capable of 4K60, and the cube-shaped one is notable because it reportedly has new built-in hardware that allow it to act as an Amazon Echo Dot when you want it to.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Echo Speaker plus two months Music Unlimited and three Audible book vouchers, just $75 ($25+ off)

Amazon's Echo is one of the most popular smart-speakers out there, and we've pointed out discounts on it before. Not only is today's the lowest we've seen, but it also comes with a few treats. If you've been waiting for a bonus to sweeten Amazon's Alexa-powered pot, right now over at QVC, you can pick one up for just $75, along with three vouchers for Audible books, and two months of Music Unlimited (three for new subscribers). What a savings... savings... savings. Is there an Echo in here? 

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Bragi's The Dash and The Dash Pro will get Amazon Alexa support in October

Completely wireless earbuds are everywhere at IFA this year, and so is the voice assistant war. While Google Assistant is busy getting its foothold into many speakers, Alexa is expanding into headphones and earbuds and the latest to join its rank is Bragi's The Dash series.

Both The Dash and the newer The Dash Pro will get a software update in October to Bragi OS 3.1 that will enable Alexa integration. You'll also need to update your Bragi app on Android (or iOS) and link an Amazon account obviously, so that The Dash knows which credentials to use. Once that's done, you can use The Dash's gestures and movement sensors to trigger Alexa, either by a "tap of the cheek" or a "nod of the head." The former seems a little ridiculous and the latter could be falsely triggered during vigorous exercise, so I hope The Dash's sensitivity has been more appropriately tuned for these.

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Amazon encourages developers to create Alexa skills for children

Amazon's Alexa assistant already has a massive number of 'skills' - third-party add-ons that can extend the functionality of Alexa. For example, you can use the Domino's skill to order pizza with just your voice, or the BBC News one to hear recent world events. But now, Amazon is encouraging developers to create skills aimed at children under the age of 13.

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This home robot integrates with Amazon's Alexa and costs $2800

Robots are cool and, when designed and executed properly, robots can be quite endearing and awesome. But at $2800 a pop with very little added benefits, this one is definitely straddling the line to absurd territory.

Announced at IFA by QIHAN Technology (apparently a company specialized in AI and robotics), the Sanbot Nano is a 2.7 feet tall (848mm) robot that tries hard to look like a little kid. It has rotating head and arms, and is decked with sensors (IR, PIR, obstacle detection, touch sensor), 7 microphones, 250 lights, 2 tweeters and a subwoofer, a 3D camera, and a 10.1" touchscreen display.

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[Who Needs Humans?] Alexa and Cortana will start talking to each other later this year

Some companies see competition in the same field as an adversary that needs to be eliminated in the most cutthroat way, and others see it as a potential for synergistic growth. That latter approach seems to be the philosophy Microsoft and Amazon are taking when it comes to voice assistants. The two companies have just announced that their two brainchildren will be able to talk to each other by the end of the year.

Well, not exactly talk, talk, because that would be creepy if Alexa and Cortana started chit-chatting together without any human input (although at the rate we're going, that doesn't seem to be too far a possibility), but they will be able to call upon each other when asked nicely.

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[Update: Live] 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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More than two years later, Amazon still can't keep its Echo in stock

In line to pick up an Amazon Echo? Join the club. It's been more than two years since Amazon's inaugural Alexa-powered smart speaker hit the market, and the retail giant is still having problems keeping it in stock. For the last 24 hours, the Echo has been listed as "Currently unavailable" on Amazon.

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Amazon announces multi-room Alexa music syncing and new developer tools

It was always a matter of time, but now Alexa has the ability to turn Echo devices into multi-room speakers that many owners have long been clamoring for. Starting today, the feature is available for Amazon Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora, while support for Spotify and SiriusXM is said to be "coming soon." This so far only applies to users in the US, UK, and Germany.

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