Items tagged with amazon echo

Deals and sales are popping up like spring daisies in April. Amazon in particular is offering some products for nearly 50% off this weekend. While you prep your Easter egg hunt or Passover seder, keep an eye on out for a discounted Toshiba 50-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV, TCL 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Roku Smart LED TV, Amazon Echo Dots and Fire TV sticks, and many more items. Several of these products are also available through Amazon Prime, so you will be able to cash in on free shipping too, if you are a member.  If you have been itching to upgrade your Game of Thrones viewing experience, now may be the time to strike. Amazon is offering discounts on a few different TV and media... Read more...
In an apparent effort to stay competitive in the smart speaker war, Apple today clipped $50 off the price of its HomePod, bringing the cost down from $349 to now $299. The new price applies to both the White and Space Gray models. For those who are interested, the $50 savings negates the cost of adding an AppleCare+ warranty, which is an additional $39 charge. Apple is not exactly known for slashing prices on its products without a new model being announced. It's possible that a HomePod 2 is on the horizon, but more likely, Apple is trying to bolster sales and be more competitive in an increasingly crowded field, albeit one that is dominated by Amazon and Google (in that order). Up to this point,... Read more...
A new report is out that looks at the smart speaker market in the U.S. for 2018, and the market grew significantly year-over-year. Voicebot.ai, an analytics company, reports that smart speaker owners in the U.S. increased by 40% in 2018 to close the year at 66.4 million smart speaker owners. The total number of smart speakers in use across the U.S. reached 133 million units. Key takeaways in the report include that Amazon is still far and away the leader in the smart speaker market with its Alexa devices. Amazon owned 71.9% of the market in January 2018 with Google holding 18.4% of the market; all other smart speaker makers totaled 9.7% of the market.  Interestingly, in 2019 Amazon is seeing... Read more...
In mid-December at the height of the Christmas shopping season, Amazon launched a new product that looked rather interesting. The product was the Echo Wall Clock, which featured a minimalist design and connected to Alexa to show various timers that you set on its analog face using LEDs. It was also reasonably priced, ringing in at $30. Amazon has given no indication of how popular the Echo Wall clock is, but reports have surfaced that owners have been complaining about connectivity issues with the clock. The complaints were enough that Amazon has stopped selling the clock for now. Amazon told The Verge that it was aware that a small number of owners were having issues with connectivity.... Read more...
Christmas has come and gone, but there's a good chance that many Americans received some form of Amazon Echo device under the tree. With so many new Echo owners joining the fray for the first time, they are inevitably heading to the iOS App Store to download the companion app so that they can get started with the setup process on their iPhone. However, an unofficial app has somehow made it near the top of the charts in the App Store, and it is by no means harmless. The app is called "Setup for Amazon Alexa" and was first spotted by 9to5Mac earlier this morning. As of this writing, the app is still available as a free download and is currently trending at #6 under the Utilities section... Read more...
Many consumers have voiced concerns over privacy and the potential for unwanted eavesdropping with digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, or the Google Assistant. It turns out, that for one Amazon Alexa user in Germany – and let’s be honest, likely many more – those concerns are completely justified. According to story revealed by c’t (a Heise publication out of Germany), 1,700 unwanted audio recordings, search history, and an array of other telemetry stored by Alexa, were sent to another, unrelated Amazon customer that had requested a copy of his personal data citing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) act. When... Read more...
Are you a big Jimmy Fallon fan? Well, now his jokes can follow you throughout your home. In a new collaboration with Amazon, Jimmy Fallon will provide a stream of corny jokes for Amazon Alexa-enabled Echo and other devices. If you ask Alexa to “tell me a joke”, she will introduce you to her “friend Jimmy”. Fallon announced on his show, “For the first time ever, [Amazon is] using a voice other than Alexa’s to tell you a joke—and that voice is me.” Fallon worked alongside Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon writers to develop exclusive content for the collaboration. Many of the jokes are holiday-themed. For example, “What does a turkey say after... Read more...
Alphabet is one of the largest and most valuable companies on the planet, and at least one Morgan Stanley analyst is suggesting that the company use its cash pile to gain the upper hand in a growing market sector. In this case, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak says that Alphabet subsidiary Google should give away millions of its Home Mini AI smart speakers.  In fact, he suggests that Google should give away one Home Mini for each American household in order to gain a leg-up on market leader Amazon. Amazon has just over a 60 percent share of the smart speaker market in the United States, compared to around 30 percent for Google.  Google Home Mini With a retail price of $49, Nowak is... Read more...
Amazon has finally gone official with a product that we've seen teased for quite a while. The all-new Fire TV Cube represents a new form-factor that combines functionality from several products in the Amazon catalog including the Fire TV and the popular Echo digital AI assistant. On the Fire TV side of things, it has all the capabilities you would expect from a modern streamer including 4K Ultra HD (HDR-10) support and app support for all of your favorite streaming services including Prime Video, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, etc. Since its powered by FireOS, you can also install thousands of other apps from the Appstore. The Fire TV Cube features far-field voice recognition technology with... Read more...
Amazon and Google are massive tech giants, for vastly different reasons. Google is the leading search engine provider, a smartphone platform juggernaut, and huge advertising machine, while Amazon is the largest e-tailer in the world and a cloud services powerhouse, though Google is coming up strong. Though they are different animals, these two companies find themselves locked in heated battle with their respective Google Home and Amazon Echo devices; a battle for AI dominance that could determine who will ultimately control a good chunk of the Smart Home market. The Smart Home market has massive growth potential over the next decade and it's an area that Google wants to own. We all remember how... Read more...
It looks as though Google is turning the corner with regards to its positioning in the growing AI smart speaker market. Ever since Google Home was first introduced in late 2016, it has played second fiddle to the dominant Amazon Echo family (which originally launched in late 2014). However, new sales numbers coming in this week from Canalys claim that Google Home sales have surpassed the Amazon Echo for the first time. Canalys' numbers are for Q1 2018, during which Google reportedly shipped 3.2 million Google Home devices. Amazon, on the other hand, sold 2.5 million Echo devices during the same quarter. Google's performance represented a 483 percent increase year-over-year, while Amazon showed... Read more...
Amazon Alexa has grown to become an invaluable resource in millions of American households since its introduction in late 2014, with the company's Echo family of smart AI speakers taking the lead. Amazon has added numerous features to the speakers over the years, with the most recent being "Announcements". The feature turns your gaggle of Echo devices spread throughout your home into an intercom -- albeit a one-way system. You are able to quickly get an audio message out to everyone in the household (or at those within earshot of an Echo speaker) by saying "Alexa, broadcast" or "Alexa, announce" followed by whatever you want to say. So, you could say, "Alexa, announce dinner is ready" and every... Read more...
We all know that asking an Amazon Echo speaker powered by Alexa to play a specific artist or song is possible (among other things). Amazon has been adding some new music controls to Alexa devices that make it easier to play songs when you don't know the artist or song title. These new playback commands are perfect for users who listen to a lot of music without knowing what they are really listening to. You now have the ability to ask for music to be played based on the last time you used Alexa for tunes. Amazon says that you can now ask Alexa to "play me a Hold Steady song I heard last month" or "Alexa, play music that I was listening to earlier today." Amazon is trying to make controlling music... Read more...
After being temporarily knocked offline last week due to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage, Amazon is dealing with another Alexa incident. While losing access to Alexa Voice Services for a few hours is annoying, what is currently happening to Amazon Echo users (and other devices that take advantage of Alexa) was downright puzzling and to some people, a little freaky. Amazon Echo devices have reportedly been laughing for absolutely no particular reason at all, which as you can imagine is unsettling to unsuspecting ears. This isn't a fluke that was relegated to just one person. Multiple people have confirmed that their Echos have "gone rogue" with fits of laughter as if they somehow had their... Read more...
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