Alexa

Amazon users can now publish their own Alexa skills

Amazon users can now publish their own Alexa skills

In April 2018, Amazon introduced Alexa Skill Blueprints, a tool that allows Echo owners to create their own custom skills for the assistant. These skills are linked to the user's Amazon account and are kept private, but the company announced a change today that'll make it possible to share your skills with other Alexa users. The custom skills can be published in the Alexa Skills Store for US customers to find and download.

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3rd Gen Echo Dot is out of stock and won’t be back for a while

3rd Gen Echo Dot is out of stock and won’t be back for a while

If Amazon's 3rd generation Echo Dot is on your short list of items to buy, it looks like you're going to be waiting a little while. It seems that the little smart speaker has encountered a bout of sudden popularity, as Amazon's stock is sold out. The worst of it is that the Echo Dot won't be back in stock for at least a couple of weeks.

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Amazon Echo install base dominates Google Home, Apple HomePod

Amazon Echo install base dominates Google Home, Apple HomePod

The latest data from CIRP suggests that Amazon's Echo device active installed user base towers over that of the competition. It's never really been a contest, since the group started recording data, back in December of 2017. Amazon's Echo devices with Alexa started with more than double the smart speaker installed base of their closest competitor in Google with Google Home. Each successive quarter showed a similar pattern, with Amazon in the very, very clear lead and Google Home sitting at around 1/3 the base Amazon commands.

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Alexa Choose Your Own Adventure details: How to activate

Alexa Choose Your Own Adventure details: How to activate

The folks at Audible have teamed up with the official Choose Your Own Adventure brand to pair with Amazon's Alexa. The company that made Choose Your Own Adventure goes by the name Chooseco. They've been so wildly successful with the Choose Your Own Adventure brand and series of books that they've got their own company. Now they're bringing a skill, with Audible, to Amazon's Alexa system.

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Amazon halts Echo Wall Clock sales to fix connectivity problems

Amazon halts Echo Wall Clock sales to fix connectivity problems

Back in September, amid a flurry of IoT product reveals, Amazon announced a very curious Echo device: the Echo Wall Clock. It was a reveal that left us scratching our heads at the time, but in hindsight it isn't that shocking of a announcement when you consider that Amazon wants as many things as possible tapping into IoT platform. In any case, the Echo Wall Clock launched in December, complete with a little more functionality than we're used to seeing in traditional wall clocks.

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These rare Sonos speaker deals include our favorite soundbar

These rare Sonos speaker deals include our favorite soundbar

There are plenty of multi-room audio options out there, but few have the reputation that Sonos does, which is why a Super Bowl season deal on some of its best connected speakers is worth paying attention to. Sonos kit is rarely on sale, and you have until February 3 - the kick-off date for Super Bowl LIII - to invest.

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This half-price new Alexa Voice Remote deal won’t last

This half-price new Alexa Voice Remote deal won’t last

Shouting at the TV has never been so useful, since smart assistants like Amazon's Alexa took up occupancy in streaming adapters such as the Fire TV. That's why we're such big fans of Amazon's latest Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote, which not only supports voice control but now has those all-important TV controls too.

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Alexa gets professional newscaster voice for reading news briefs

Alexa gets professional newscaster voice for reading news briefs

Back in November, word surfaced that Amazon was working on a proper newscaster voice for Alexa, which it would be used when reading the news. Unlike the assistant's regular voice, the newscaster voice features the same intonation and emphasis used by professionals when delivering the news. As of today, Alexa users in the US can now access that newscaster voice.

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Amazon Alexa, The Sims 4 collide in new skill, in-game assistant

Amazon Alexa, The Sims 4 collide in new skill, in-game assistant

It seems that Amazon has found a new niche market for Alexa that goes beyond smart home automation. Last October, it collaborated with Ubisoft in order to bring Alexios, a new Alexa skill designed specifically for the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey game. This time, it has worked with Electronic Arts not for a new game but for an expansion that is smashing the real world and the virtual world together. Unfortunately, there’s now funny The Sims incarnation of the real-world Alexa even if there is an incomprehensible one in-game.

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Fire TV Stick upgrade brings new Alexa Voice Remote with TV control

Fire TV Stick upgrade brings new Alexa Voice Remote with TV control

Amazon has updated its Fire TV Stick with the new Alexa Voice Remote previously launched alongside the Fire TV Stick 4K. Unlike the last version that was included with the entry-level Fire TV Stick, the new Alexa Voice Remote can be used to control the television, soundbars, and similar home entertainment devices via IR and Bluetooth support.

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This Amazon Echo Input deal is the price it should’ve launched at

This Amazon Echo Input deal is the price it should’ve launched at

Back in September, Amazon revealed the Echo Input during its packed-to-the-brim Alexa Day. Out of all of the new devices revealed that day, the Echo Input seemed to be one of the most useful, as it allows you to essentially add Alexa functionality to any speaker. For people with existing home audio setups, then, the Echo Input is a good way to get Alexa functionality without buying a collection of Echo speakers and potentially compromising on sound quality.

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New Echo Dot deal gets the latest Alexa speaker for under $30

New Echo Dot deal gets the latest Alexa speaker for under $30

CES 2019 may not have been short on smart home tech, but a deal of the day promotion on the latest Echo Dot 3rd Gen could put Alexa in your house a whole lot sooner. The third-generation smart speaker got an audio and aesthetic update late last year, making Amazon's assistant both look and sound better than before.

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