YouTube Music and Amazon Music now available for free (with ads… on smart speakers)

Google and Amazon both are both launching free, ad-supported versions of their streaming music services. And both are available exclusively on smart speakers at launch. You can now listen to YouTube Music for free if you have a Google Home or another Google Assistant-powered speaker. And Amazon Music is now free for anyone with an […]

Lilbits 360: Apple and Qualcomm call off their lawsuits

Apple and Qualcomm have announced a new six-year license agreement that starts this month, a multi-year chipset supply agreement, and end to all litigation between the two companies. That’s… a little surprising, quite honestly. The companies have been fighting over patents for years, with the latest court case getting underway just this week. Update: OK, […]

Project Alias hacks your smart speaker so it’s only listening when you want

There’s something kind of magical about saying “Alexa” or “OK Google” to get a weather forecast, recipe, navigation directions, or to play music or control your smart home appliances. There’s also something a little creepy about it since you need to have an always-listening, internet-connected speaker in your house to do those things. Sure, Google […]

Asus Lyra Voice is a mesh WiFi router and an Alexa smart speaker

Over the past few years I’ve seen a growing number of smart speakers and mesh networking gear at the Consumer Electronics Show. So it’s not surprising at all that somebody decided to combine both of those technologies into a single product. The Asus Lyra Voice is a tri-band WiFi router that’s also a wireless speaker with […]

LG launches a smart display with Google Assistant, 20W speakers

LG is the latest company to launch a smart display powered by Google Assistant. The system features an 8 inch HD touchscreen display, a 5MP front-facing camera for video calls, and stereo 20W speakers, which LG says are “the most powerful offered in a smart speaker,” which doesn’t seem exactly true. But the most impressive […]

Facebook introduces Portal: A video chat device for $199 and up

Facebook’s smart display is here… but the Facebook Portal isn’t really the Amazon Echo competitor many folks had been expecting. In fact, Facebook is using Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant to power voice controls — so this is more of a collaboration with Amazon than a competition. You can talk to the device by saying “Hey […]

Amazon launches Echo Wall Clock, Echo Auto, Alexa-enabled microwave, and other voice-enabled gadgets

In case you missed the memo, Amazon launched a lot of new Alexa-enabled devices today. In addition to new Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Input, and Echo Sub, and Echo Link devices, the company also introduced a bunch of accessories that let you interact with Alexa in new ways and new places. For example, […]

Amazon’s new Echo Show has a 10 inch screen, better audio, and a web browser

Amazon is taking pre-orders for a 2nd gen Echo Show smart display. The new model has a bigger touchscreen display and new features, but still has the same $230 list price as its predecessors. Of course, these days you can often find the original Echo Show on sale for $100 off, so that still might […]

Amazon redesigns the Echo Plus and Echo Dot, keeps prices the same

Amazon is unveiling a whole bunch of new Echo devices today, including a new version of its entry-level smart speaker the Echo Dot, as well as a new version of the Echo Plus smart home hub. They’re still priced at $50, and $150, respectively. But when they launch next month they’ll bring a new fabric-covered […]

Daily Deals (9-12-2018)

Word on the street is that almost half of all US households might have a smart speaker by the end of the year. If you’ve been a holdout… or if you’re looking for a second or third addition to your existing setup, there are a bunch of deals on smart speakers today. Best Buy’s promotion […]