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Alexa

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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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Echo Dot Kids Edition is down to $40 ($30 off)

If you've considered getting a smart speaker for an area your kids spend time in but you're worried they might break it, the Echo Dot Kids Edition should be up your alley. It's a regular Echo Dot, but with some additional features to make it extra kid-friendly. It's normally a steep $69.99, but it's currently on sale for $39.99.

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Get an Amazon Echo Input for $20 ($15 off) and add Alexa smarts to your dumb speakers

Smart speakers have exploded over the past couple of years, and for good reason. In addition to helping out with certain tasks, they're a convenient way to consume audio media. You probably have some dumb speakers around that you're not quite ready to let go of, though, and the Echo Input can help you squeeze more life out of them. Normally $34.99, it's currently on sale for $19.99.

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Every product with Amazon Alexa announced at CES 2019

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This was a massive year for Google Assistant announcements at CES, but Amazon Alexa had its fair share of new integrations as well - often debuting in the same product. There were so many new Alexa integrations, in fact, that the best way to comprehensively cover them is one big roundup. 

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Ring announces new alarm sensors, smart locks, and Alexa voice control

Ring launched its Z-wave security system last summer for $199, and now the company is releasing more sensors that can be used with it. At the same time, Ring has partnered with several lock makers to sell compatible products on the Ring site while also adding Alexa voice control features.

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Samsung's 2019 QLED TVs will be compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa

Samsung's CES 2019 motto appears to be more openness. After the company announced that its 2019 Smart TVs will support Apple's AirPlay 2 and launch the iTunes Movies & TV Shows service, it has also revealed that its QLED 2019 models will be compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

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D-Link announces 5G home router plus Google Assistant-compatible water sensor and smart plugs

CES 2019 doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but you wouldn't know it if you checked the tech news today. Announcements have been falling left and right, and we almost missed this one from D-Link, which slipped by on Friday. The company is expanding its smart home offerings and introducing a new 5G home router.

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LG announces its 2019 TV line-up: Google Assistant, Alexa, HDMI 2.1, and two 8K models

CES officially kicks off next week, but if there's anything we know about LG, it's that the company will trickle down 90% of its announcements before the show even begins. We've already seen its three new Google Assistant-powered soundbars and now we're learning about six new TV series for its 2019 line-up, all of which will also have the Google Assistant built in.

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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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[Update: Rolling out now] 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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