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Alexa

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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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The Amazon Echo and TP-Link Smart Plug Mini bundle is 30% off at $90

Although a connected home ecosystem will surely make your life easier, setting it up tends to be costly, as you usually have to buy smart speakers, bulbs, and plugs. You can often save a few bucks when buying a starter kit, which includes a combination of smart devices at a discount. Amazon regularly throws in a connected device with its smart speakers and sells them at a markdown, which is what it's doing now with this deal that lets you save $37 when buying a second-generation Echo speaker together with a TP-Link Smart Plug Mini.

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Get a $20 Amazon Echo Input to fill the Chromecast Audio-size hole in your heart

Google's recently discontinued the brilliantly straightforward Chromecast Audio in a move to encourage people to buy full-featured smart speakers rather than letting them stream music cordlessly with the help of a dongle. Unfortunately for many, this was one of the few ways to connect "dumb" audio equipment to Wi-Fi networks, and with Google sunsetting its product, people have been left with a limited number of alternatives — excluding Bluetooth, of course. This was until Amazon unveiled the Echo Input, which essentially lets you use any speaker with Alexa.

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[Update: Deal available again] Grab a 2-pack Aukey smart socket or a dual outlet smart plug for ~$20

Earlier this week we were telling you how you could save money on new smart plugs thanks to Amazon's markdown. Although this was an interesting deal, many Assistant users felt let down as they were only compatible with Alexa. Well, we've got some comforting news for you: With these promotional codes, you can grab a pair of Aukey WiFi Smart Plugs for just $20 or a dual outlet plug for $19, respectively $8 and $6 off their original prices.

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Alexa can now (sort of) control your Roku devices

Amazon's own Fire TV products have had deep Alexa integration for years. Just like with a Chromecast and Google Assistant, you can use voice commands like "Play The Office" or "Turn down the volume" from any Alexa smart speaker. If you're on #TeamRoku, Alexa can now control Roku TVs and streaming devices — at least, in theory.

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Amazon's deals for Valentine's include the cheap $20 Echo Input, $70 2nd gen Echo, and $100 Spot

Just a few days after Google's "Dump your valentine" discount, Amazon has come up with its own deals, in time for February 14. These offers are more relevant, though, and are worth considering if you're short of gift ideas. Most of the giant's connected home devices are on sale, including Echo speakers and smart displays, Fire TVs, cameras, and even Kindles.

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The new Amazon Echo Show is $50 off ($180) and comes with a free Hue bulb

Whether you're thinking of setting up a smart home infrastructure or improving your existing one, now is a good time to do so. The second generation Echo Show, Amazon's new assistant with a 10" screen and upgraded built-in speakers, is currently down to $179.99 instead of $229.99 and comes with a free Philips Hue bulb.

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Choose Your Own Adventure books enter the world of voice AI with new Amazon Alexa skill

Netflix's recent interactive film Bandersnatch received mostly mixed reviews, but was wholly successful in driving interest in Choose Your Own Adventure-style (CYOA) stories. That was both a boon and a frustration to Chooseco, the owner of the CYOA registered trademark and publisher of the famous book series of the same name. There was finally a resurgence of interest in CYOA stories, but the company didn't feel it was getting proper recognition. After filing a lawsuit with Netflix, Chooseco has now taken its first step into taking advantage of its newfound popularity in the digital age with a CYOA Alexa skill. 

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Amazon's compact and well-rated Smart Plug is 40% off, down to $14.99

Connected devices have made my life a lot easier by automating tasks for me, such as turning on the heater when it's too cold or lighting up my living room before I get home. Smart plugs are one of the most convenient ways to achieve this, as they're easy to set up and work with virtually anything: I use them to control floor lamps, aroma diffusers, electric heaters, and even my Christmas lights. The main drawback with connecting almost everything at home is the price, as these devices are usually expensive, but thanks to an impressive 40% drop, you can get Amazon's Smart Plug for less than $15. This is a great bargain as the plug usually sells for $25 and hasn't been discounted for less than $20.

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Get the newest Amazon Echo Dot for $21 or a full-size Echo for $70 at Belk

A couple of weeks ago, shortly after we received news of the Chromecast Audio's untimely demise, Amazon put its most similar product, the Amazon Echo Input, on sale for an attention-grabbing 20 bucks. Now, Belk has a similarly sweet deal: the third-generation Echo Dot, which does everything the Input does and more, is just $20.99 at the retailer's online store. If you're looking for fuller sound, the regular Echo is on sale there, too.

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