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Get the Ecobee4 thermostat with an Echo Dot for just $199 from Best Buy ($100 off)

As Black Friday approaches, tons of deal are already dropping, with Best Buy getting heavily involved in the discount season. Another good one we've spotted there is an Ecobee4 WiFi thermostat for $199, and while that's not that incredible by itself — we've seen it that low before — they're also chucking in a free Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) with it.

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You can pick up a refurbished 1st-generation Amazon Echo for just $50 ($30 off)

A smart speaker is a sensible place to start when building a smart home setup. If you're not sure the cost of entry will be worth it, though, this deal may speak to you: Amazon has refurbished units of its first-generation Echo speaker for just 50 bucks, $30 off its historical price of $79.99.

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You can now control your NVIDIA SHIELD TV with Alexa

Nvidia continues to improve the Shield TV experience, now offering users another way to control their Android TV box. Assistant support has been around for a little while now, but Alexa is joining the party thanks to a new skill. Simply activate said skill, link your Nvidia account, and you can start controlling your Shield with your Echo or other Alexa devices.

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Amazon Echo and Alexa skills are now available in Italy and Spain

Amazon is now officially selling Echo devices in Italy and Spain, and there are dozens of local Alexa skills from various developers ready to go. This follows launches into France and India earlier this year, as Amazon looks to new arenas of competition with Google Home products.

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Alexa's Whisper Mode is now available, but you have to turn it on

One of my few remaining complaints with my Google Home is that it responds to questions at whatever the current volume is. If I was listening to loud music earlier in the day and forgot to turn down the volume later, my request to turn off the room lights results in "OKAY, TURNING OFF THE BEDROOM LIGHTS" being blasted. This is no longer a problem for Alexa owners at least, with the new 'Whisper Mode' feature.

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Lenovo is working on more tablets with Alexa integration

Last year, Lenovo unveiled an add-on for its flagship tablet, called the 'Home Assistant Pack.' By docking a Lenovo Tab 4 into the Home Assistant Pack, it became an Alexa speaker. The company is now working on similar products, according to a recent announcement.

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More than 20,000 smart home products are now supported by Alexa

If you have ever wondered how many smart home products work with Amazon Alexa, the answer is a lot. Alongside announcements for new Echo speakers and other devices, Amazon revealed that over 20,000 smart home products from more than 3,500 brands can be controlled by Alexa.

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[Deal Alert] Buy a Moto Z3 Play, get an Amazon Alexa smart speaker mod for free ($112 off)

Modular smartphones haven't taken off the way we'd hoped they would back before Project Ara got canned. Motorola hasn't yet given up on the dream of an à la carte future, though, and for a limited time, you can snag a free Alexa smart speaker mod when you buy a Moto Z3 Play.

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Marshall Voice smart speakers with Amazon Alexa launching October 2, Google Assistant versions coming later this year

Marshall, famed maker of guitar amps and, more recently, cutesy Bluetooth speakers that resemble guitar amps, has announced that it's got a slew of new devices on the horizon. The lineup includes refreshes of both its Acton and Stanmore speakers that will each include support for Amazon Alexa, coming October 2 — with versions sporting the Google Assistant coming later this year.

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Smart speaker sales up 187% in Q2 2018: Google Home leads the pack, Chinese market sees rapid growth

With the ultra-affordable Google Home Mini and Echo Dot often on sale for as little as $30, it's no surprise that sales of smart speakers have gone through the roof over the past 12 months. The global market saw year-on-year growth of 187% in Q2, with total shipments increasing from 5.8 million in 2017 to a staggering 16.8 million for the same period in 2018. Google's lead from Q1 has been retained — it sold 5.4 million Home devices in the second quarter.

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