Amazon Alexa

Alexa x Cortana demo video: Microsoft and Amazon, BFF

Alexa x Cortana demo video: Microsoft and Amazon, BFF

Amazon and Microsoft just combined forces officially, tag-teaming their personal assistants Alexa and Cortana through the future. These two voice-activated smart assistant overlord software and cloud intelligence systems will work together on devices of all sorts. In short, it would seem that Alexa is going to handle "personal" stuff while Cortana's going to handle all the "business."

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Alexa can now be the default Android Assistant with a caveat

Alexa can now be the default Android Assistant with a caveat

Google, like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft, has its own AI-powered smart assistant. Unlike those other companies, however, Google is OK with playing with others. It hasn't, so far, closed off Android or even its own Pixel phones from using other assistants. Now it has gone even further. Despite the growing animosity between the two companies, Amazon Alexa can now be set as an Android device's default Assist app. But, as with anything, there is a catch, which may be a deal breaker for some.

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These big Echo, Fire TV and Kindle deals bring Dots down to $30

These big Echo, Fire TV and Kindle deals bring Dots down to $30

Amazon made sure we knew just how many skills Alexa had this past week, and today there are deep discounts across a range of Alexa-powered devices to make the most of those talents. The retailer is running a limited-time sale across its Echo, Fire tablet, Fire TV, and other hardware, while if you're in the market for a new Kindle there are savings there too.

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Sonos’ new home theater speaker is coming June 6

Sonos’ new home theater speaker is coming June 6

Sonos will launch a new home theater speaker on June 6, announcing an event in San Francisco where we're expecting to see its follow-up to the Playbar and Playbase. The news follows an early glimpse of the new Sonos speaker as it passed through the FCC earlier this month.

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Now Alexa Skills can sell you stuff

Now Alexa Skills can sell you stuff

Alexa is opening up her sales talents to third-party skills, with the virtual assistant now supporting in-skill purchasing and Amazon Pay payments. The features had been in trials for select skill partners, but now anybody building apps for Amazon's Echo speakers can tap into the functionality.

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Google Assistant is more accurate than Amazon Alexa: study

Google Assistant is more accurate than Amazon Alexa: study

Digital marketing agency Stone Temple has released a study detailing the accuracy of the four big personal assistants: Google Assistant (via Phone and Home), Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana (via Invoke), and Apple's Siri. The team tested the services with 4,942 queries, monitoring the accuracy of the results to determine which assistant is the most accurate. Spoiler: Google won, but second place is surprising.

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Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition is already seeing deals

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition is already seeing deals

Amazon may have only announced its Echo Dot Kids Edition last week, but the colorful smart speakers are already in line for some deals. To make a regular Echo Dot into the Kids Edition, Amazon clads it in a child-friendly skin and then throws in its new FreeTime Unlimited on Alexa service, for some age-appropriate content.

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Alexa is about to get much better at avoiding Skill overload

Alexa is about to get much better at avoiding Skill overload

Alexa is about to get better at handling more complicated, multi-step conversations, as well as acting more like a useful personal assistant. The new functionality was revealed by Amazon's director of applied science, Ruhi Sarikaya, who leads the Alexa Brain initiative trying to make AIs more natural to engage with.

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Alexa and Echo Dot Kids Edition: Just a few facts

Alexa and Echo Dot Kids Edition: Just a few facts

Alexa comes in a new package as of this week, the Echo Dot Kids Edition, complete with three lovely kid-friendly color casings. This device is basically an Echo Dot with a few tiny differences. The hardware is literally the same - one speaker to blast out sound or Alexa responses, and 7 far-field microphones for top-notch listening for voice commands. What's different is the skin - with colors - and the services that come pre-activated with the product.

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Alexa Rosie robot? The Jetsons aren’t far off

Alexa Rosie robot? The Jetsons aren’t far off

Amazon's next move in smart assistant domination may be a robot that moves around with its user. It doesn't hover, it doesn't wear an apron, and its name isn't Rosie - but it might as well be. Following along with the fire and flame theme Amazon's rolled with for years, this project's code-name is "Vesta." That's a Roman goddess of hearth, home, and family, most often represented as a sacred fire.

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How to use Alexa Blueprints for DIY fun galore

How to use Alexa Blueprints for DIY fun galore

It's time to turn Alexa into a joke machine, using the first round of Alexa Blueprints to do some mischief. If you're a big fan of The Office, you know the episode cold open where Michael Scott figures out he can make his computer speak. Today, you can make all your Amazon Echo or otherwise Alexa-infused devices do what you want. Or at least answer all the questions you ask it, how you wish.

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Ultimate Ears Megablast, Blast to get Spotify voice control

Ultimate Ears Megablast, Blast to get Spotify voice control

These days, it's not hip for a wireless speaker not to have some form of music streaming feature or a smart assistant. The best ones have both even. When we reviewed both the Ultimate Ears Blast and Megablast last year, were indeed disappointed in not seeing features like Spotify over WiFi included in these Alexa-powered speakers. Half a year later, Logitech is announcing that exact feature and is bringing even more to liven up your party.

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