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Amazon’s Alexa Skill Blueprints lets you teach Alexa new tricks without learning to code

Amazon’s Alexa voice service can do a lot of things. You can ask an Alexa-enabled device like an Echo speaker or a Fire tablet for traffic, news, or weather updates. You can add things to your grocery list. And, of course, you can use it to order items from Amazon just by talking to Alexa. […]

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Deals of the Day (3-19-2018)

Amazon’s Audible subscription service for audiobooks normally runs $150 per year and the company typically charges $50 and up for its Alexa-enabled Echo line of smart speakers. But right now if you sign up for an annual subscription to Audible and buy an Echo speaker you can save $50 on each, for a combined savings […]

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Amazon Brings Alexa Calling To Android and iOS Devices

Drop In effectively turned Amazon’s Echo Show into a slick (if not somewhat creepy) video intercom. Echo and Echo Dot owners could get in on the action, too… at least the voice and instant message part of the equation. Now, Amazon has expanded its calling and messaging reach to Android and iOS device owners. The […]

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Report: Amazon working on AI chip for on-device Alexa voice processing

Amazon’s Alexa voice service lets you ask questions or issue voice commands to a wide range of devices including smart speakers, tablets, and TV boxes. But one thing they all have in common? They need an internet connection to process inquiries, because Alexa works a lot of its magic in the cloud. It sounds like […]

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$35 Amazon Echo Connect turns an Echo into a home phone

Amazon’s Echo speakers already let you make Echo-to-Echo calls for free. Soon they’ll also let you make voice-over-the-internet calls to landlines in the US, UK, and Germany for free. But if you want to go one step further, Amazon has developed a new $35 gadget called the Echo Connect. It’s up for pre-order now and […]

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Amazon 2nd-gen Echo speaker launches today for $99

The Amazon Echo was the first voice-activated speaker to ship with support for Amazon’s Alexa voice service. But since the original Echo launched in 2014, Amazon has introduced two generations of Echo Dot speakers, the Amazon Tap portable speaker, Alexa support for third-party hardware and odd new devices like the Echo Show and Echo Look. […]

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Now you can control a Fire TV with an Echo (or soon, anyway)

Amazon’s Echo device may have launched a few years before any real competitors hit the market. But up until now there’s been one nifty feature that Google Home had that Amazon’s devices did not: if you have a Chromecast-enabled TV you can control it with your voice by talking to a Google Home. Now Amazon […]

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Amazon Dash Wand can’t play music… but it lets you use Alexa for more than shopping

Amazon’s new Dash Wand is a $20 device that runs on two AA batteries, lets you scan barcodes of products around your house to order refills from Amazon, and also lets you shop with your voice thanks to integration with Amazon’s Alexa Voice service. When Amazon announced the new Dash Wand last week, I noted […]

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Calling & Messaging coming soon to all Amazon Echo devices (and the Alexa app)

Like the idea of using an Amazon Echo to make calls to friends and family members, but don’t want to spend $230 to put a touchscreen and camera in your house? The new Alexa calling & messaging feature unveiled with the Amazon Echo Show today is also coming soon to other Echo devices, as well […]