Items tagged with echo dot

No one thought that it would be easy to take on Amazon in the smart speaker market; after all, the company got the jump on the competition with its first Echo in late 2014. However, if any company stood a chance against Amazon, it was Google, and the newest numbers from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) show that to be somewhat true. According to CIRP's analysis of the U.S. market, there was a total installed base of 66 million smart speakers during Q4 2018. Of that total, Amazon accounted for a commanding 70 percent of installs with its Echo family of smart speakers according to the research firm.  The Google Home family of smart speakers was... Read more...
If you’re looking to expand your footprint with regards to smart home integration, or are simply looking to get started from scratch, we’ve got an excellent deal for you today. Best Buy is currently running a promotion that nets you two third-generation Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers plus two TP-Link HS105 Smart Wi-Fi Plug Minis for just $70. The Echo Dot really needs no introduction, but the third-generation model launched back in late September with an all-new design. It shucked its completely hard plastic exterior for a more welcoming fabric finish around its “waist”. According to Amazon, the new Echo Dot is up to 70 percent louder than its predecessor. The... Read more...
Microsoft is extending its partnership with Amazon in a big way, as the Microsoft Store is now selling both the second-generation Echo and the third-generation Echo Dot Alexa-powered smart speakers. The Microsoft Store offers both the Echo and the Echo Dot at their regular MSRPs of $99 and $49 respectively. This is a striking turn of events given that Microsoft is currently marketing the Cortana-powered Harman Kardon Invoke AI smart speaker. The Invoke hit the market priced at $199, but is now selling for $99 from the Microsoft Store -- only the Pearl Silver model is available, as the Graphite version is currently out of stock.  Amazon Echo Dot (third-generation)... Read more...
Black Friday is still over three weeks away, but retailers are already showing their hand with respect to what deals they will have. So far, we've seen the tech goodies that Costco, Sam's Club, Kohl's and Target will have on the biggest shopping day of the year. Amazon doesn't want to be left out, but it isn't quite ready to give us a look at its hottest Black Friday deals. Instead, the company is giving us a rundown of its pre-Black Friday deals what will run from November 16th through November 22nd. Without further ado, here's what to expect: November 16th: Fire 7 Kids Edition tablet -- $69.99 ($30 off) Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet -- $89.99 ($40... Read more...
Kohl's isn't a retailer that we typically think of when it comes to smokin' Black Friday deals on your favorite tech gear, but the company is definitely getting our attention today. In addition to the low prices across the board, Kohl’s is handing out $15 in Kohl’s Cash -- which can be spent November 24th through December 5th -- for every $50 that you spend. There are a number of good deals littered throughout the ad, but we'll highlight a few here today. For starters, Kohl's is knocking $350 off the cost of the Samsung 58-inch 4K Smart TV, bringing the price down to $549. On top of that, you’ll get $165 in Kohl's Cash that you can spend at a later date. If smart home... Read more...
Just as Microsoft previously started rolling out its October 2018 Update for Windows 10 PCs (and then paused it to investigate reports of missing files), there is also a new system update available for Xbox One consoles that is packed with new features. One of them is an Xbox skill for Cortana and Alexa. To celebrate the latter, Microsoft has teamed up with Amazon to bundle a free third-generation Echo Dot with select Xbox One X and Xbox One S consoles. "Anyone who buys a qualified Xbox One S or Xbox One X bundle at Amazon.com will also get a new Amazon Echo Dot, but don’t wait too long because this offer is only available while supplies last," Microsoft says. The deal is supposed to go... Read more...
When it comes to electronics, one way to stretch your dollar is to stay a generation behind. This can prove particularly savvy if you strike right when a new product is announced, as the 'old' one might not be all that old or outdated at that point. Following that philosophy, you can snag a 2nd generation Echo Dot smart speaker with Alexa integration for only $22.99 right now. There are a couple of caveats. One is that Amazon just announced a 3rd generation Echo Dot, which releases on October 11. You'll spend more than twice as much, however, as the asking price is $49.99 on Amazon's website. The other caveat is that the discounted 2nd generation Echo Dot is used. Deal site Woot (owned by Amazon)... Read more...
The Echo Dot has long been one of Amazon's most popular Alexa-backed devices, and it's getting yet another redesign. This time around, you'll find the same four-button control scheme atop the device, but the previous 7-microphone array has been replaced with just 4 microphones. We first reported on this change when the device leaked back in late July. We don't know if this was just a cost-saving measure for Amazon, or if it just feels that four microphones are more than enough for the device to hear your voice from across a noisy room. Echo Dot On the design front, the hard-plastic exterior has been "softened" up a bit with fabric wrapped around its housing (a la the Google Home Mini). When... Read more...
Saint Louis University (SLU) has announced that students will have another roommate living with them when they return to classes this month. SLU will place Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers into each room and apartment that is offered for student housing. Each of the Dots will be running a custom SLU skill that is designed to answer questions that are specific to the university. The idea is to help reduce the number of calls to school helplines and keep students aware of important aspects of campus life. That custom SLU skill, which was developed by n-Powered and is hosted on AWS, can give instant answers to more than 100 questions that new and returning students might have that are specific... Read more...
Amazon's Echo family has expanded over years with the addition of the Echo Dot, Echo Spot, and Echo Show (among others). Last year, Amazon unveiled a second-generation Echo and it appears that this year the company is looking to launch a third-generation Echo Dot.  The first- and second-generation devices were codenamed "pancake" and "biscuit" respectively, and the new third-generation device is rumored to have been developed under the codename "donut". Rather than the flat top of the current Echo Dot, it appears that its newer counterpart has a more rounded appearance. Second-generation Amazon Echo Dot The biggest change, however, is with the addition of what looks to be fabric covering... Read more...
We are still a few days away from Amazon's annual Prime Day sales event, which kicks off Monday and runs for 36 hours. However, if you're itching for a deal ahead of the big the event and happen to be in the market for a laptop, good news—Amazon has partnered with Acer to bundle a free Echo Dot with the purchase of an Alexa-enabled Nitro, Spin, or Aspire laptop. There are half a dozen laptops to choose from. As an added bonus, each one is currently marked down $50 from their respective MSRPs, so you are saving a chunk of change right off the bat and getting an Echo Dot. On top of all that, each system comes with four months of Amazon Music at a discounted rate of $0.99—after that... 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...
We sense a great disturbance in the [Alexa] force. Unfortunately for Amazon, Alexa voice services are down for a growing number of Echo users across the United States. Quite comically, Amazon's Super Bowl commercial revolved around the premise that Alexa had lost its voice, forcing stand-ins like Gordon Ramsey and Sir Anthony Hopkins to take over her duties. In this case, however, simply querying Alexa results in Echo devices displaying a red LED light ring, after which she responds, "Sorry, I'm have a little trouble understanding right now. Please try a little later." This was the response I heard when calling upon my own Echo Dot at 2:50pm EST. I had asked Alexa to answer a question for me... Read more...
Amazon is the king of AI smart speakers. The company arguably created the category with the release of the Echo in 2014, and expanded it greatly with the introduction of the cheaper Echo Dot and a host of other Echo-branded devices. The 2017 holiday shopping season was the biggest yet for Amazon, and devices like the Echo Dot once again proved to be hot items with customers. In fact, the Echo Dot was the best-selling Amazon-branded hardware device during the holiday season, with Amazon going to state that it was "the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon, with millions sold". The Echo Dot has been priced at $29.99 for the past month or so (and even cheaper... Read more...
Motorola has made modular smartphones "hip" thanks to its Moto Z family. The original Moto Z, along with its Moto Z2 Force successor, supports Motorola's Moto Mods systems, which allows you to attach various accessories to the back of your smartphone ranging from speakers to cameras to battery extenders. Today Motorola has announced a new addition: the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa. Rather than integrating Amazon Alexa directly into the smartphone hardware and the Android operating system, the Moto Smart Speaker is its own self-contained device. Think of it as a miniature Amazon Echo that you can carry around with you all the time. It contains four far-field microphones so that it pickup... 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 "AFTN", will be a mid-range device that will sit above the Fire TV stick in the lineup. We also... Read more...
You may know Anker for its line of mobile accessories that include car chargers, USB cables, portable batteries, Bluetooth speakers and dash cams. However, the company is increasingly getting into the consumer electronics space with its own brand of devices. The company sells robotic vacuums (similar in design to iRobot’s Roomba) via its Eufy (pronounced “You-Fee”) line, and now it is expanding with the arrival of the Eufy Genie smart speaker. Looking at the Genie, you can see that it clearly gets its inspiration from the Amazon Echo Dot. That is no mistake, as the Genie largely apes the functionality of the Echo Dot thanks to its inclusion of support for the Alexa AI assistant. By supporting... Read more...
If you’ve been sitting on the sidelines during this whole “AI smart speaker” revolution, then maybe now is the time to pull the trigger. Last month during its Prime Day sales extravaganza, Amazon was selling its original Echo for $89. Since that time, the price has skyrocketed back up to its original MSRP of $179.99. However, retailers like Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, P.C. Richard & Son, and ABT are now matching the Prime Day price of $89.99. This sale price only lasts for today, so here’s your last chance to score an Echo at its all-time low price. If the standard Echo is a little too big and “monolithic” for your tastes, its smaller Echo Dot sibling is also on sale. While the... Read more...
Late Monday, Amazon kicked off its annual Prime Day celebration with 30 hours of deals aimed at providing its loyal subscribers with discounts on thousands of products. Well, the numbers are in, and Amazon says that this year’s Prime Day was its biggest to date, with sales growing 60 percent year-over-year. According to Amazon, “tens of millions” of Prime members purchased at least one item during Prime Day. Although the online retail giant didn’t give a specific number for the subscribers that participated yesterday, it says that it increased 50 percent year-over-year. In a show of strength for its Alexa-powered hardware family, there was a 7x increase in the number of Amazon Echo devices purchased... Read more...
Earlier this morning, Amazon surprised no one by announcing the Echo Show, a touchscreen-infused Echo device that was first leaked last week. One of the pivotal features of the Echo Show is the ability to make voice calls to friends and family members that also have an Echo Show, or those that use the Alexa app. However, new Echo Show owners aren’t the only ones that will be able to take advantage of hands-free voice calling using Alexa. Amazon has announced “Alexa Calling & Messaging”, which allows anyone with an Echo or Echo Dot to initiate calls or leave a voice message. In a world where more and more people are ditching their landline phones for smartphones (usually, one for each... Read more...
Amazon is wasting no time in weaving its Alexa digital voice assistant into more of its services and apps. Last week, Alexa made its way to Amazon’s shopping app for iOS, allowing iPhone users to enjoy most of the benefits available to Echo and Echo Dot users including controlling smart devices. Today, Amazon is announcing that its popular Prime Now two-hour delivery service is now available through Alexa. That means that you can now use your Echo device to order “tens of thousands of daily essentials” with the sound of your voice. For those that don’t already know, Prime Now (in supported metropolitan areas) allows you to order everything from electronics to tools to snack items to last-minute... Read more...
Amazon’s Alexa AI voice assistant is making a run for Apple’s iOS platform, and it is doing so with its Amazon app for the iPhone and iPad. This move effectively turns your iPhone into an Echo-type device, allowing you access to the thousands of skills in Alexa’s rapidly expanding repertoire. Accessing Alexa is quite simple; you only need to tap the microphone button, which resides beside the camera button within the Amazon app. From there, you can ask Alexa to play music, tell you the weather forecast, make a purchase via Amazon, track a package, or any other number of functions that you might do with a dedicated Echo or Echo Dot. The downside to the app-centric approach, however, is that you... Read more...
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