Amazon's second generation of Alexa-enabled gadgets is ready to go. The Amazon Tap, a smaller, battery-powered version of the Amazon Echo, as well as the Echo Dot, which can use external speakers for its primary function, should both be heading out to those who purchased them after their recent announcement. The latter is only available to Amazon Prime members who order using Amazon's voice service, with a Kindle Fire tablet or Fire TV. The Tap, along with its cover accessories, are both labelled as "in stock" on Amazon's US storefront.
Both devices represent an expansion of Amazon's Alexa voice command platform, which is itself a competitor to services like Google Now, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana. Read More
Amazon really wants people to use voice command to buy stuff. So much so that the new Echo Dot, the smaller, cheaper version of the Amazon Echo that can use an existing speaker can only be bought through voice commands, specifically on an existing Amazon Echo unit or through Amazon's Fire TV platform. At least, that's what the launch announcement says. It turns out you can get one through the Amazon Android storefront app just as easily, no extra hardware required (though you do need to be an Amazon Prime subscriber). Here we go:
1. Download and install the Amazon Shopping app on an Android phone or tablet. Read More
Amazon Echo (her friends call here Alexa) has been steadily improving since it launched a little over a year ago. Starting today, this little electronic monolith has a new trick up its sleeve: it can now play music directly from Spotify.
Playing music on Echo isn't exactly new: owners can already stream from services like Amazon Music, Prime Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn. On top of that, Echo has always been able to play audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device. However, official Spotify support gives users a lot more control over their listening experience than having to manually manage everything (a common first-world problem). Read More
Amazon's little plastic cylinder packed with electronics has one purpose in life—to answer whatever inane questions you send its way throughout the day. Okay, if you happen to order products from Amazon in the process, that would be nice too, but the other stuff is more interesting.
Take, for instance, the new ability to ask Alexa (that's what you call the lady that lives inside the cylinder with all the electronics) about movies and showtimes. Read More
It's Black Friday, and everything must go! Amazon is offering considerable discounts of over 30% on plenty of devices, including Fire TV sticks and Fire tablets, as well as that futuristic-looking cylinder called Amazon Echo.
Here's what we've managed to find:
It looks like these deals may be available in other stores such as Best Buy, too. Read More
Alexa, what are you doing tonight? Oh, you'll be in my living room, listening for my every word? I think I like where this is going... You're a very dedicated assistant Alexa. I want to give you a raise and ask you to be a more permanent resident in my life. How would you like to work inside my Fire TV as well as my Echo? No, I didn't say light my fire baby, though I like the way you think.
AFTVnews has been digging through Amazon's Fire OS 5 developer preview and uncovering lots of evidence pointing toward Alexa's arrival on Fire TVs, but whether this includes existing devices or only the next generation ones, they can't be 100% sure yet. Read More
Amazon's goal for Echo is to make the little plastic cylinder, and the lady named Alexa who lives inside it, an integral part of your home. Give Alexa commands and she responds either with information you would have to look up yourself or turn on things that would require you getting up and walking across the room.
Your Google Calendar is one of the things Alexa knows how to read. But now, she can also read shared ones too. Read More
Dear hyper-connected gadget lover who happens to own both a SmartThings Hub (or some of the company's many other products) and an Amazon Echo, these devices can now talk to one another.
This is pretty cool, and here's why. If you have your hub controlling a bunch of other devices, you can now use Amazon's device to boss them around. Alexa, turn on the television. Alexa, turn off the lamp. Alexa, have your way with whatever else is plugged into my SmartThings Power Outlet (okay, maybe this command won't work exactly as written).
Maybe you're seeing this and you're thinking: Gee, maybe I'd like one of these Echo things after all. Read More
The Echo is Amazon's little smart tube that perks up whenever you say "Alexa" and proceeds to do whatever you say. Well, as long as what you say is something it has the capability to do. If you have a house filled with Wink-compatible products, that list now includes telling Echo to take control of your home.
Try, "Alexa, turn off the fan" or "Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights." Then watch as you never burn calories getting up to flip switches yourself.
By connecting Echo to your Wink Hub, you can use your voice to control a range of supported devices. Read More
If you've been drooling over Amazon's version of Google Now and Siri (or perhaps HAL-9000... in a good way), you can now buy it without an invitation. Starting today, the Echo is available in the United States for $179.99. That's $20 off of the original "retail" price, but $80 more than Amazon Prime customers have been paying after going through the invitation process. Those who purchase today will also have to wait a bit, since the Echo isn't shipping until July 14th.
The Echo is basically a physical implementation of Google Now that ties into Amazon's services instead. Users can speak "OK Echo" or "OK Alexa" (the device's anthropomorphized digital voice) and an omni-directional microphone will record voice commands. Read More