Items tagged with Amazon

Amazon has updated its voice assistant Alexa with a cool new feature that many people who have an Echo device with multiple users have been wanting. That new feature is the ability to identify voices and allow access to your own messages, playlists and other content without having to tell the Echo device specifically which content to access. The new feature started to roll out yesterday. Voice recognition works with the Echo smart speaker and any other devices with Alexa built-in. The feature comes after Google launched its Home speaker earlier this year with similar functionality. Setting the... Read more...
The original Amazon Kindle was likely the first introduction that many of us had to a modern e-reader. Over the years, the Kindle has gone through a number of transformation (most for the better), culminating with the launch of the Oasis in 2016. Today, however, Amazon is giving the Oasis a significant upgrade that is most definitely fitting with its name. The all-new Oasis arrives as the first-ever waterproof Kindle, bringing with it an IPX8 rating. This water resistance level allows the Oasis to survive submerged in up to two meters of [fresh] water for up to an hour. Although it probably isn't... Read more...
Amazon has been an incredibly disruptive force as the world’s most dominant online retailer. Not only has Amazon crushed other online retailers that have attempted to compete with it, but brick and mortar retailers have also come under immense pressure (or folded completely) due to the company's ever-growing footprint. Most recently, Amazon expanded its presence in the grocery market with the purchase of Whole Foods, and now the company is reportedly eyeing another adjacent leap into online prescription drug sales. According to a report from CNBC, Amazon will make a decision before Thanksgiving... Read more...
Amazon may have had an 'Aha!' moment, and that could be bad news for FedEx and UPS, the two delivery services the online retailer leans on to ship packages to customers in a timely manner—within two days on many items, for Prime members. In what could be a damaging blow (another one) to both shipping companies, Amazon has begun testing its own delivery service for items that qualify for free two-day shipping, on so-called last-mile routes. This does not mean that Amazon would cut FedEx and UPS loose entirely, though it would push the world's largest online retailer deeper into the same category—shipping... Read more...
There was a collective "meh" from the media streaming community when Apple launched its Apple TV 4K last month. Priced from $179, many felt that the streamer doesn't really offer much over its rivals besides the ability to tap into the Apple ecosystem. However, Roku, which is the market leader in streaming players, is fighting back with an updated family of products to fight the competition from Apple, Amazon and Google. The most interesting member of the family is the all-new Streaming Stick+.  This powerful little device has a "dongle" form-factor, and incorporates an advanced wireless receiver... Read more...
It seems that Google is taking another page from Amazon and prepping a smart speaker with a built-in display. Amazon already offers such a thing—the Echo Show, which ups the ante from Amazon's other Echo products by allowing users to make video calls and see content on the screen, as opposed to just hearing it. Google's answer, codenmaed "Manhattan," would offer similar functionality. The smart home speaker market is bristling with competitors trying to replicate the success that Amazon has had with its Echo line. Google is among them—it launched its voice-activated Google Home smart speaker last... Read more...
Amazon first introduced the Alexa-powered smart speaker back in late 2014, and it made a huge splash in the smart home market. Since that time, Amazon has introduced a steady stream of new Echo devices, but the original has remained largely the same (save for the white color option). That changes today, as Amazon has just announced a smaller, second generation Echo. The new Echo is roughly half the size of the original (at least with respect to height), but still larger than the diminutive Echo Dot. The new AI smart speaker gains a dedicated bass tweeter, and supports multi-room audio, allowing... Read more...
There has been a surprising amount of cooperation between some of technology's biggest players when it comes to supporting competing devices. For example, you can load an Android handset with Microsoft software, which is exactly what Bill Gates has done. You can also download Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, to your iPhone if you feel so inclined. But it is not all peaches and cream across the board. This is evident the moment you try to fire up YouTube on an Echo Show smart speaker. Apparently Google is blocking YouTube from working on Amazon's smart speaker. Should you try to bring up... Read more...
Amazon is giving its Fire HD 10 tablet a much-needed makeover, and is doing so with some attractive pricing that should help spark sales for the company. The first big update comes from the tablet's 10.1-inch display, which has been upgraded to support a resolution of 1920x1200 (224 ppi) – this is a healthy upgrade from the previous 1280x800 display in its predecessor. But Amazon didn't stop there, it doubled the amount of RAM included (now 2GB), while the new 1.8GHz quad-core processor boosts performance of the tablet by 30 percent. Base storage has been doubled from 16GB to 32GB, and a 64GB SKU... Read more...
There may be a new 4K Apple TV launching tomorrow, but a carefully-timed leak from Amazon is looking to steal the show today. We don't know if this was planned "corporate leak" from Amazon itself, but there are two new Fire TV products that will be arriving shortly from Amazon. The first model features a dongle-style form-factor, which houses some potent hardware (at least for a media streamer). Its design makes it more similar in concept to the Google Chromecast than the Fire TV Stick, which has been the entry point to Amazon's streaming TV offerings. This particular model, which goes by the codename... Read more...
Amazon has grown to big for its britches (or breeches, if you prefer that spelling). Having just recently spent $13.7 billion acquiring Whole Foods, the world's largest online retailer is now planning to open a second headquarters, Amazon HQ2, somewhere in North America, the company announced today. The endeavor comes with an expected investment of over $5 billion in order to construct and grow the new facility, which will create as many as 50,000 job openings. "We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. "Amazon HQ2 will bring billions... Read more...
There are few (if any) franchises in movie history that have been around as long, or are as highly revered as the aura that surrounds James Bond; and apparently both Amazon and Apple won’t a piece of the Walther PPK action. Agent 007 first took the silver screen in 1962’s Dr. No and has returned every few years since, with the latest installment being 2015’s Spectre. Back in 2015, Sony’s agreement to distribute Bond films expired, and MGM has been on the lookout for a new partner. Sony has thrown its hat back in the ring for another go at distributing the films, while Universal and Fox have also... Read more...
If you already find yourself glued to Apple's Siri assistant, then you may be glad to learn that it's only going to become an even bigger part of your life going forward. That is, as long as assumptions are correct with regards to the latest shuffling around of executive responsibilities at Apple. Since 2012, Apple's Senior VP of software and services Eddy Cue has been overlooking Siri. Cue has a long history with Apple, and much success to gloat about. He's played an important role in securing streaming deals with content companies, and if that's not enough of a job in itself, he also oversees... Read more...
Amazon and Microsoft have decided to work together in the AI voice assistant arena rather than erect barriers between one another. In a move that will ultimately benefit customers, Alexa and Cortana will be able to communicate with Cortana and vice versa. What that means is customers with Echo devices can say, "Alexa, open Cortana," while owners of Windows 10 devices can say, "Cortana, open Alexa." You do not always see this kind of cross-platform cooperation between companies. Case in point, we reported last week that Microsoft has left the ball in Sony's court in terms of cross-platform play... Read more...
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