Android Police



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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Amazon Fire TV gets new Alexa interface with latest update (v5.2.6.6)

With the release of the Fire TV Cube in June, Amazon also debuted a more minimalistic interface for Alexa. The new UI has been exclusive to the Cube up to now, but the version update for Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices brings them in line with their square-sided sibling.

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Eufy Genie catches up to Amazon Echos with new calling and messaging abilities

The Eufy Genie is a popular third-party Alexa-enabled smart speaker from Anker that can usually be picked up for as little as $30, making it a good alternative to the Echo Dot. It hasn't always been as capable as Amazon's own hardware, though, with the omission of calling and messaging being a prime example. The Genie is now finally getting those very features.

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New Alexa skill 'Away Mode' wards off potential burglars using the power of awkward conversations

When you leave your home for an extended time, you have a handful of ways to deter would-be burglars, including sticking signs with a security company's logo in your lawn or on your apartment door, scheduling lights to turn on at certain hours, or owning a dog with a vicious bark. But now a new Alexa skill called "Away Mode" lets you tap into the power of awkward conversations to make crooks think twice before barging into your abandoned abode.

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