Amazon first introduced its Alexa voice assistant alongside the Echo speaker around two years ago. Though the Echo line of products has proved to be exceedingly popular, the audio that even the flagship model produces still leaves something to be desired. If you like the idea of Alexa but have been holding off on buying an Echo because of the lackluster sound quality, Amazon has something in the works that may appeal to you - a touchscreen-equipped Alexa device with premium sound. Read More
Amazon's Echo success took me a little by surprise. It seemed like we went overnight from questioning the idea of a voice assistant in a speaker to almost everyone owning an Echo and companies rushing to add Alexa support for their services and products. Part of what seemed like a quick success is due to the Echo Dot, the smaller cheaper version that you can sprinkle around the house in places where you don't care about excellent sound quality.
The second generation Echo Dot builds on that. Unlike the first one, you can order it directly from Amazon without having to use another Echo. Read More
Confused about all the paid Amazon subscriptions? Well, join the club. The way I understand it, there's Amazon Prime that gives you plenty of perks and its little brother, Prime Video, that only lets you access movies and TV series. But you can also get more reading and audiobook material through Kindle Unlimited and now you'll be able to add Music Unlimited to the list.
Whereas Amazon Prime members already had access to Prime Music with a selection of more than 2 million songs, Music Unlimited opens up the catalogue to tens of millions of songs and curated playlists. Read More
It seems like ever since the Google Home launched, we can't have enough of these Amazon Echo deals. Maybe it's related, but maybe it's just the fact that the Echo is about 2 years old now, or that the new Echo Dot is super cheap and causing internal competition in the line-up. Regardless of the reason, we love it when prices drop so we can get the same gadgets for less — or more gadgets for the same budget, because let's face it, the bucks we save here will be spent on other gear.
The Amazon Echo normally costs $180, but recently we've seen its price drop to $140 new and $260 with a Philips Hue A19 Starter Kit. Read More
In light of the recent release of Google Home, it should come as a surprise to no one that former king (or queen) of connected speakers, the Amazon Echo, would start seeing more deals. Well, here it is. The Echo is $140 on Amazon today in both colors, which is a savings of $40. Read More
When I was but a sarcastic teenager full of Read More
promise snide commentary (no, I really haven't grown up), I would spend a week or two at my grandmother's house every summer when school was out. One thing that 13-year-old-me found endlessly fascinating yet profoundly annoying was her Big Mouth Billy Bass, which I can only assume was purchased via QVC. Her Big Mouth Billy Bass never went on to be more than a wall fixture, though, unlike one Brian Kane's, who has suffered a fate that is both awesome and slightly terrifying.
Do you have an Alexa-enabled device sitting around the house? You might have a new reason to talk to it (and maybe not toss it out when Google Home arrives). Amazon is promoting its Alexa deals by tossing an extra $5 gift card at you. The deals themselves are pretty good too. Read More
Amazon's Alexa voice control assistant is undeniably slick, but the initially limited availability and high price of the flagship Echo device kept it out of the hands of a lot of people. New Alexa-powered gadgets like the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap have lowered the barrier to entry, but the real opportunity is in devices that license Alexa for use on other hardware. Such is the case with FABRIQ, an inexpensive wireless speaker that works with Alexa out of the box. Read More
Tell me your thoughts on the Amazon Echo. Do you like the product but don't buy into the Amazon ecosystem? Are you into the concept but don't want a black plastic cylinder taking up shelf space in your home? In case of the former, you might want to wait for Google Home. But if you're feeling the latter, then maybe you should check out the Triby portable speaker that comes with Alexa built-in. Read More
Lately I've been looking at security cameras for homes and small businesses. Among the different options, Blink makes a very compelling proposal. Forget about wires and always-on connectivity, forget about monthly plans and limited server storage, the system works wire-free, hassle-free, and well, completely free after the hardware purchase. You just need to put in 2 AA batteries and they'll last up to 2 years, getting triggered only when motion is detected and uploading 5-10sec clips to the cloud.
The one problem with Blink though? Until today, it didn't integrate with any other smart home product. That summarizes most of the complaints on its online reviews: users say that you have to manually arm/disarm each camera separately in the app. Read More