Android Police

Articles Tagged:

amazon alexa

7

Beware: Using Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri to call businesses could connect you to scammers instead

Voice assistants make our lives easier for the most part. Instead of having to get up to turn on the lights, we can simply ask them to do it for us. Similarly, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa allow you to call businesses via voice, with no need to input a phone number anywhere. There are risks associated with blindly calling unknown numbers, though. According to the Better Business Bureau, some scammers have apparently gamed Google and Amazon's phone number ranking systems. Unsuspecting users could end up talking to an imposter instead of the desired business.

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7

Ecobee Switch+ smart light switch with Alexa is down to $45 ($35 off)

When I set up my smart home infrastructure, I went on an uncontrollable buying spree to make sure almost everything from the lights to the vacuum was connected. The Ecobee Switch+ is a neat all-in-one smart switch that comes with Alexa and a bunch of sensors, to avoid multiplying the number of smart things you buy. Given the number of things it can do, its initial $80 price was reasonable, but it's now dropped another $35, making quite an exciting deal.

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8

Amazon brings Alexa integration to Android TV starting with Sony Bravias

Hell officially froze over when Google and Amazon decided to bury their squabbles and stop locking each other out of their respective TV ecosystems. Of course, Amazon apps have been available on Android for a long time, and the company would've shot itself in the foot if it didn't distribute its content and store to the biggest mobile OS in the world. However, TVs have always been a sensitive topic for Amazon and Google, as they're both directly competing with their Chromecast and Fire TV. Shortly after their truce, Amazon announced in April that it's bringing Alexa integration to Sony TVs powered by Android.

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4

TripIt integrates with Assistant and Alexa to get you quick updates about your next flight

For those of us who only travel occasionally, Google search and alerts about upcoming flights are more than enough. But if you're a frequent traveller, you likely use a service like TripIt to stay on top of every detail regarding your flights. Starting today, you won't need to open the app on your phone to do so, you can simply ask your Google Home or Echo speaker and get the answer.

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33

Ring announces renter-friendly doorbell camera that goes into the door's peephole

Connected security cameras are one of the first smart home devices people think about buying, yet it's understandable that not everyone feels comfortable with a camera inside their house recording their personal life. That's why video doorbells make a lot more sense — they provide the benefit of a security cam aimed at your home's entrance, while also offering several other perks like checking deliveries or answering the door when you're not home. But not everyone has the luxury to install one of them: if you can't mess with the wiring of your existing doorbell, you've probably skipped the product category entirely.

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1

Amazon extends Announcements to Alexa built-in devices

Back in April, Amazon announced a new feature called Announcements that let users broadcast voice messages to Echo devices. Although these could be initiated from a phone with the Alexa app, they required an Echo speaker for the message to be played out loud. However, the company is now extending the functionality to other devices with the voice assistant built-in.

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21

Right before Google I/O, Amazon says Alexa now supports 60,000 smart home devices

Google I/O is kicking off in a few hours and we expect to hear a lot about Android, Assistant, and various other Google products and services during the conference. Just in time for this parade of all things Google, Amazon has updated its Alexa smart home compatibility page to say that a staggering 60,000 smart home devices from 7,400 brands are now compatible with the voice assistant. Sixty thousand.

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1

Alexa picks up free ad-supported Amazon Music playlists in totally non-reactionary move

Music is one of the most popular uses of smart speakers, and owners are getting more free options. Yesterday, a limited, free version of YouTube Music came to Google Home speakers, and now, Amazon is following suit with a free Amazon Music playlists and stations for Alexa devices.

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25

Harmony Express is a $250 minimal universal remote with built-in Alexa

Logitech's Harmony are the best universal remotes out there, even if their user-friendliness is questionable. It's been nearly four years since the Elite was announced, and it shows. User interfaces have evolved and so has the smart home, yet the Elite's remote and app both feel stuck in the past. So it only made sense that Logitech would announce a new remote: enter the Express.

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36

Soma smart shades review: Retrofitting your blinds for Google Assistant requires many compromises

Automating the light in your home is easy if you only consider getting some smart bulbs or switches or plugs. But once it comes to natural light, the equation gets a bit more complicated. Smart shades/blinds/curtains aren't as ubiquitous, and the current solutions aren't ideal. You either have to replace your entire shades (Ikea, Lutron), the motor (Neo Smart Blinds), or if you're not feeling particularly adventurous, you can try to retrofit your existing window coverings.

The solution for that is both a little genius and ridiculous: there's a cord to control your shades, so how about adding a motor that just pulls on that cord instead of you?

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