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amazon echo

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Amazon's Echo Wall Clock drops to $25, still can't do much

Back in September, Amazon announced new hardware to complete the Alexa ecosystem, including a wall clock. Although some people thought the gadget would function like an Echo device and come with a built-in voice assistant, it's only meant to connect to one and display timers you might set using Alexa. Besides that, it can't do anything more than a traditional timepiece, which hardly justified its original $30 price tag. In case you wanted one but found it too expensive, it's now selling for $5 less, making it psychologically more acceptable.

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[Update: Now on Fire TV too] Apple Music is coming to Amazon Echo devices in December

Music streaming is a popular use for smart speakers, but the particular speaker you have dictates which services you have access to. Amazon's speakers are getting better in that regard in the near future, as the company has announced that Apple Music will be available on Echo devices later this year.

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Second-generation Amazon Echo is now $70 ($30 off) at B&H

Earlier this month, B&H offered the second-generation Amazon Echo for the discounted price of $80, while the smart speaker remained at $100 on Amazon's own platform. Now, after Amazon and Best Buy reduced their prices to $90, B&H managed to keep them beat with a price reduction to $70.

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This Google Home and Amazon Echo hack lets you change your voice AI hotword — but it's far from elegant

Google and Amazon are both constantly improving the capabilities of their voice AIs, but there are some issues that tech giants have little incentive to fix. For instance, from a branding standpoint it makes no sense to let people change their assistant hotword from "Okay Google" or "Alexa" to anything else - even if that's what users want (and it definitely, definitely is). It's this consumer desire, along with the issue of user privacy, that prompted designers Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen to create a Google Home/Amazon Echo hack called Project Alias.

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Second-generation Amazon Echo is $80 ($20 off) at B&H Photo

If you prefer Alexa over Google Assistant, this is the deal for you. Amazon's second-generation Echo smart speaker (the latest model) is $79.95 from B&H Photo right now — a $20 discount from the usual price.

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The best smart home devices you can buy right now (Winter 2018)

Worldwide sales of voice assistant smart speakers have seen tremendous growth in the last year alone, and the same can be said of the smart home sector as a whole. The technology underpinning the products will continue to get better as prices come down, and new categories will keep springing up, but there’s a lot out there worth investing in right at this moment.

With that in mind, and to ensure you won’t end up gifting (or being gifted) a dud this holiday season, we’ve put together a list of the best smart home devices you can buy. Whether you want to just dip your toes in the water with a cheap Google Home Mini or dive into the deep end with smart lights, cameras, thermostats, and doorbells, we’ve got you covered.

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Forget Skynet: Big Mouth Billy Bass with Alexa is the tech hell we deserve

Back in 2016, an absolute madman hacked a Big Mouth Billy Bass to speak using the Alexa API. It was weird. The soulless monsters at Gemmy Industries evidently took notice, though, and have engineered an official Alexa-powered singing fish to bring to market. What have we wrought?

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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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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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Amazon Music Unlimited now available in Canada

Amazon Music Unlimited is now available in Canada. Yesterday, the e-commerce giant announced details of the expansion which includes a 90-day trial (4-month trial for residents of Quebec). The launch of the service also brings Alexa to the app (iOS and Android) and Echo smart speakers. Pricing for the service is a bit cluttered due to the different plan options and Prime status of the customer so let’s break it down: 

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