Android Police



You can now make Skype calls on Amazon Alexa devices

Alongside its refreshed hardware lineup, Amazon (and Microsoft) announced back in September that Skype calling was coming to Alexa devices later in the year. Well, it's later in the year, and the new functionality is rolling out starting today. You can link your Skype account to your Alexa devices in the Alexa app.

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Amazon is selling a Fire TV Stick/Echo Dot bundle for just $40

If you're itching to get started on kitting out your home of the future but you're wary of the cost, here's a deal for you. Right now, you can grab a Fire TV Stick and a second-generation Echo Dot for just $40 — nearly half off the usual price of $75.

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Amazon's new FireTV Recast and voice-controlled Microwave are now available

Back in September, Amazon announced a slew of new hardware including Echos, FireTVs, and some other miscellaneous items. Many of these have already become available, but two outliers were still pending: the Alexa-controlled Microwave and the Fire TV Recast. Both are now in stock on Amazon and shipping.

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Alexa now supports adding smart home devices to groups using just your voice


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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