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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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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Amazon Fire HD 6 8GB w/Special Offers just $30 at Woot today

If you are sad with the current state of Android tablets, perhaps you need something cheap to tide you over while you wait? Today you can pick up refurb Amazon Fire HD 6 Tablets over on Woot with 8GB of storage and Special Offers, all for the low price of $30. With a little elbow grease, you can even toss Google Play on it and enjoy a slightly dated Android experience while we all collectively cry over what could have been.

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Amazon's new Fire 7 and Fire HD 8 are shipping today

Amazon announced the two new tablets for the popular Fire series last month, and as of today, they have started to ship. If you live in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, or Spain, and you happened to pick one of the new devices when they went on sale, it should be in your hands sometime soon. They might not be at the high-end, but the Fire tablets fill an affordable niche.

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Amazon may launch 'Ice' smartphones in India running Android with Google services

Amazon famously misread the market when it launched the Fire Phone in 2014 without any Google apps. Scarcely a year later Amazon had abandoned the device in the face of minuscule sales figures. Now, it's rumored to be prepping a new smartphone, but unlike the Fire Phone, this one will apparently run a version of Android with Google services.

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[Deal alert] Get the previous-gen 7" Amazon Fire tablet for $39.99 ($10 off)

Earlier this month, Amazon unveiled new Fire tablets. The new models aren't really much different from the previous generation - just a bit thinner and lighter for the most part. Now Amazon is clearing its inventory, and you can get the previous-gen Fire tablet with special offers for just $39.99.

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[Deal Alert] Get a second-generation Amazon Echo Dot for only $40 ($10 off)

Amazon and Google are the proverbial rulers of the personal assistant/speaker space. The Home is rapidly catching up in terms of integrations and its featureset, but the Echo family still has quite the lead in some areas. One of those is the different price tiers, with the entry-level Dot representing the best value in this arena. But now, you can get it for even cheaper; the second-generation Echo Dot is currently $39.99, which is a savings of $10.

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Amazon announces new $50 Fire 7 and $80 Fire HD 8 tablets, with kids models for both

Back in 2015, Amazon released its cheapest tablet yet - the 'Fire tablet' for just $50 (with lock-screen ads). There's still a sizable developer community around the device too, with plenty of hacks and ROMs available for owners.

Now the company is following up with a new model, named the Fire 7. The Fire HD 8 is also getting a minor refresh, in case you need something a little bigger. The 7-inch tablet still starts at $50 with lock-screen ads, and $64.99 without. The Fire HD 8 starts at $79.99 with lock-screen ads, and $94.99 without.

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Alexa will support notifications in an upcoming update

One of my main problems with 'smart' assistants is that they aren't great at delivering information. Yes, you can ask "will there be storms," but having your Echo or Google Home proactively inform you about dangerous weather would be far more useful.

Amazon today announced that it is working on notification support for Alexa, which will allow skills to send notifications to the user (if allowed).

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