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Amazon Alexa ramps up to 1,000 3rd-party skills

Amazon Alexa ramps up to 1,000 3rd-party skills

Amazon's line of Echo speakers and the virtual assistant Alexa are constantly getting updated with new features and connected services, but the company has now revealed that the number of third-party skills available has topped 1,000. That's a lot of new abilities for Alexa that developers have created, resulting in useful features like the ability to check bank accounts, make travel plans, and even order a pizza, all via voice commands.

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The best Amazon Alexa Skills to try (and why they’re a big deal)

The best Amazon Alexa Skills to try (and why they’re a big deal)

With more than 1,000 Skills under its belt, Amazon's Alexa leads the pack in voice-controlled smart home assistants, but which should you try first and why? Read on for our pick of some of the best third-party integrations with Alexa, including why they're important, and how you can try them out without splashing out any cash in the first place.

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Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet gets new 64GB aluminum version

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet gets new 64GB aluminum version

Amazon has some cheap Fire tablets, and they're great for kids who are probably going to break them regardless of quality. Adults, though, want something more robust, and Amazon is giving them what they want. The company has rolled out an all-aluminum Fire 10 tablet, and you can get it with up to 64GB of storage space. The aluminum version joins the white and black version of the Fire 10.

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Amazon exclusive Segway miniPro cruises 14 miles per charge

Amazon exclusive Segway miniPro cruises 14 miles per charge

Segway has been around with electric personal transportation devices for a long time and has announced the launch of a new self-balancing personal transport called Ninebot by Segway miniPro. The miniPro promises to be an exciting way to enable recreational outdoor lifestyles for consumers. The self-balancing device has an on-board computer that tracks rider movements at over 100 times per second and has sensors along with a processor to keep it upright.

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The Apple TV will never come to Amazon, here’s why

The Apple TV will never come to Amazon, here’s why

These days it seems like you can buy almost anything from Amazon. It doesn't seem to matter who the manufacturer is, if it's sold in stores, it's also on Amazon. There's just one strange little exception to that rule. You won't find the Apple TV for sale on the site. Not even from third-party sellers.

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Amazon builds virtual Echo in the browser to spread Alexa

Amazon builds virtual Echo in the browser to spread Alexa

A browser-based version of Amazon's Echo speaker should make Alexa even easier to try, with Amazon hoping the hardware-free experience encourages more developers to code for the platform. Echosim.io basically recreates the Echo hardware in virtual form, powered by the very same cloud-based processing that those with the physical device get to engage with.

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Apple’s rumored Echo rival might be watching you, too

Apple’s rumored Echo rival might be watching you, too

Apple is rumored to be creating an Amazon Echo-like device that will go beyond recognizing your voice - it'll recognize your face, as well. The base device would not be unlike what Google just revealed at Google I/O this past week - save the ability to see you. It's been suggested by anonymous sources that Apple is testing this device's ability to recognize your face for a variety of functions - one of which would almost certainly be logging in to the system in the first place.

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Amazon will release 8 new pilot episodes on June 17

Amazon will release 8 new pilot episodes on June 17

Amazon has taken the wraps off its next roster of pilots, and as before, it is hoping its members will watch them and give their feedback. The new shows will be available starting on June 17, and they’re mostly composed of kids shows, though there are a couple hour-long pilots for adults. Those latter two offerings will be made available in 4K UHD HDR, as well, assuming you have devices with applicable support.

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Amazon ditches price drop refund policy for most products

Amazon ditches price drop refund policy for most products

There are a handful of cool features and customer focused policies at Amazon that have made the company what it is today. One of those policies has always been refunding customers the difference if a product they purchased gets cheaper after they pull the trigger. All a customer had to do was call customer service and let them know the price had been reduced and a refund was granted.

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Google Home versus Amazon Echo: Alexa’s Prize Fight

Google Home versus Amazon Echo: Alexa’s Prize Fight

Amazon may already have a foot in the smart home with Echo, but does its Alexa assistant have what it takes to fend off Google Home? The new virtual companion won't be the first of its kind to market - in fact, with a release date pegged only for sometime later in 2016, it could lag Echo by as much as two years - but that's not diminishing Google's confidence that its embodiment of the Google Assistant will take the top spot.

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Alexa-powered Amazon “Knight” tablet said to be in the works

Alexa-powered Amazon “Knight” tablet said to be in the works

On the heels of news about Google's attempt to one up Amazon's Echo with a "Home" of its own, there is now word that Amazon is also preparing for war. Amazon might soon turn the tables on Google, who mostly reigns in the mobile market, by putting out a new kind of tablet. Codenamed "Knight", this tablet will differentiate itself from Amazon's existing Fire tablet line by being focused around its smart assistant, Alexa. While more portable than other Alexa devices, this tablet is pretty much part of Amazon's agenda to take over your entire, presumably smart, home.

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Amazon remembers it has a Fire TV, adds Alexa support

Amazon remembers it has a Fire TV, adds Alexa support

Do you remember that Amazon has its own Android Fire OS set-top box and even a Chromecast HDMI streaming stick? You might be forgiven a bit if you have forgotten, seeing as how the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick have mostly taken a backseat compared to Amazon's latest darlings, the Echo and its cousins, as well as third party devices that integrate Alexa. Still, Amazon boasts that the Fire TV is the streaming media player in the US so, better late than never, it has finally introduced Alexa to its Fire TV.

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