Amazon Echo

Get started on smart home and automation with these 5 devices

Get started on smart home and automation with these 5 devices

The Internet of Things has brought technology into our homes in a more integrated and invasive way. From smart bulbs to smart speakers to even smart refrigerators, technology is slowly but surely becoming a staple in modern homes. But why put off for tomorrow what you can start today? If you’ve ever dreamed of living inside the home of the future, you can already do so as long as you have a home Wi-Fi network. You don’t even have set it all up in one go. You can even get started with a simple bulb. Here are some of the essentials to get you started on upgrading your house, piece by piece.

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Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo showdown

Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo showdown

With the launch of the Apple HomePod, and pending the launch of a Bixby speaker, if there will ever be one, the major pieces on the smart speaker game board are now all in place. And so are the three major voice-controlled AI-driven smart assistants (sorry Cortana, you’ll have to sit this one out). That means, of course, questions on which one you should buy. “Should” is probably too strong a word, because it really depends on multiple factors. We can, however, give you the lay of the land so that you can decide better where to sink your hard-earned money into.

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Alexa is getting a custom Amazon AI chip: Report

Alexa is getting a custom Amazon AI chip: Report

Amazon plans to join the custom chip club, with future Alexa devices like the Echo smart speaker reportedly set to be powered by a homegrown AI processor. Efforts to design a special chipset that would give Alexa offline talents, among other improvements, are said to have been underway for the past few years. As well as further differentiating its assistant technology, it could also open Amazon up to a potentially lucrative new market.

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Amazon Prime had a ridiculously good 2017

Amazon Prime had a ridiculously good 2017

It'll probably come as little surprise that Amazon had a great 2017, with the online retailer announcing it shipped more than five billion items worldwide to its Prime subscribers. While Alexa-toting gadgets like the Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Remote had already cemented their spots as popular Amazon products over the holidays, it turns out that Jeff Bezos' online behemoth is popular for more than just tech.

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100+ Alexa skills every Echo owner should know about

100+ Alexa skills every Echo owner should know about

Christmas has come and gone and the odds are high you received an Echo device; maybe it was the flagship model, maybe it was the smaller Dot or the display-toting Show. Regardless, Alexa is now a resident in your home, and she can get stuff done...if you know how to use her properly. Key to Alexa's usefulness are her skills, of which she has many, but they're not all made equal. Find here more than 100 skills every Alexa owner should know about.

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5 must-have accessories for your new Amazon Echo

5 must-have accessories for your new Amazon Echo

So you found an Amazon Echo under the tree, and now you're wondering what to do next. Amazon's best-selling smart speaker line-up was its star of the holiday 2017 shopping season, with millions sold. Once you've got Alexa set up to your liking, however, there are some easy first-steps to wade into the smart home, accessories that address some of Echo's lingering annoyances, and general usability improvements that needn't break the bank.

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5 ways to get the best out of Amazon Alexa

5 ways to get the best out of Amazon Alexa

Amazon's Alexa turned out to be the holiday guest in millions of homes this year, and that means plenty of people getting to grips with everything their new Echo can do. Although she may be most often seen as a joke-telling, fact-searching assistant, Alexa can do plenty more than that. Read on for five things to do in order to get the most out of Alexa.

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Amazon Alexa the holiday 2017 star with “millions” of Echo Dot sold

Amazon Alexa the holiday 2017 star with “millions” of Echo Dot sold

Amazon's Alexa has stormed the holidays, with the voice assistant - and the Echo devices that embody her - a huge sales success at Christmas 2017. The Echo Dot, Amazon's most affordable Alexa device, and the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote were the retailer's number one and number two top-selling products, respectively, Amazon confirmed today. That only underscored evidence from the Apple App Store suggesting Alexa had spread considerably on Christmas morning.

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Amazon YouTube rival may break Alexa’s Google handcuffs

Amazon YouTube rival may break Alexa’s Google handcuffs

Google may be using YouTube access as both the carrot and stick in its standoff with Amazon, but the retail behemoth may bypass it altogether and launch its own video platform. The popular video streaming service has become a thorn in the side for Amazon in recent months, with Google repeatedly pulling access for the Alexa-powered Echo Show as it complains about unfair treatment on Amazon's virtual shelves.

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Amazon Echo Spot Review: Alexa’s cutest container

Amazon Echo Spot Review: Alexa’s cutest container

Of all Alexa's various enclosures, the Amazon Echo Spot is undoubtedly the cutest. Its body is spherical - larger than a baseball, but much smaller than an Echo Show - and fronted with a 2.5-inch circular touchscreen. That's a display shape still rare enough to make the whole thing eye-catching; question is, has Amazon done enough to make the Echo Spot more than just that gimmick?

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Amazon Echo multi-room Spotify and SiriusXM shaves Sonos advantage

Amazon Echo multi-room Spotify and SiriusXM shaves Sonos advantage

Back in August, Amazon rolled out a new multi-room feature for Echo devices. This feature allows you to utilize individual Echo devices in your collection, defining groups of speakers and commanding Alexa to play music through only the speakers in that group. Today, that functionality is rolling out to Spotify and SiriusXM subscribers.

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Amazon Music Unlimited and Echo roll out to 28 new countries

Amazon Music Unlimited and Echo roll out to 28 new countries

Though it provides a good service, Amazon Music Unlimited suffers a bit for having arrived a little late to the party. At this point, Music Unlimited is only about 14 months old, and in that period of time, it's only come to a select few regions, like the US, UK, Germany, and Japan. That all changes today, as Amazon has announced that Music Unlimited will launch in 28 new regions around the world, greatly expanding its availability on this wonderful little planet of ours.

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