Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Show 5 is a $90 Alexa smart display with privacy in mind

Amazon Echo Show 5 is a $90 Alexa smart display with privacy in mind

Amazon has added a new smart display to its Alexa-powered range, with the Amazon Echo Show 5 arriving at $89.99. The new model has a 5.5-inch touchscreen with a camera above it; in a nod to privacy, there's both a button to disable the microphone and camera and stop Alexa from listening, and a switch that slides a physical shutter over the camera.

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Always-listening Alexa could skip the wake word – if you trusted it

Always-listening Alexa could skip the wake word – if you trusted it

A newly published Amazon patent application details technology that would enable Alexa to listen to what you say before you summon her. The 'pre-wakework speech processing' ability would support phrases that put the wake word ('Alexa,' for example) after the command instead of before it. The technology would fix the 'problem' of clunky wake word placement in phrases.

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Alexa Guard gives your home an extra layer of security

Alexa Guard gives your home an extra layer of security

During its Alexa event back in September, Amazon announced a new home security feature called Alexa Guard. With it, Amazon said, you could turn your Echo devices into something of a watchdog while you're away, having them monitor for the sound of breaking glass or alerts from your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Today, a bit more than half a year after it was first revealed, Alexa Guard is starting its roll out to Echo owners.

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Amazon free ad-supported music service may launch next week

Amazon free ad-supported music service may launch next week

Amazon plans to launch a free ad-supported music service, according to a new report. The alleged service will take on Spotify and other streaming music competitors who already offer free music options to subscribers. Key to the new service -- assuming it actually launches -- will be Amazon's hardware products, specifically the Echo smart speaker models.

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Amazon Echo Link Amp goes on sale for audiophile Alexa fans

Amazon Echo Link Amp goes on sale for audiophile Alexa fans

Amazon's Echo Link Amp is finally available, giving audiophiles who want Alexa control for their music but with the option to use high-end speakers, a better way to listen. Announced last year amid Amazon's huge splash of Alexa-powered products, the Echo Link Amp acts as a bridge between pro-audio and streaming sources.

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Apple acquires Pullstring for likely Siri upgrade

Apple acquires Pullstring for likely Siri upgrade

Apple seems to want to expand the speed at which Siri is implemented in 3rd-party products. At least that's what it'd seem, given their acquisition of the group called Pullstring. This group is in the business of assisting with the building and designing of voice apps for physical products. Oh, they've got their own conversational AI, too.

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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 begrudgingly says the Patriots will win Super Bowl LIII

Alexa begrudgingly says the Patriots will win Super Bowl LIII

Bets over who will win the Super Bowl are always heated, with each side arguing in favor of their preferred team and rolling out mounds of data to support it. Amazon's Alexa assistant is now sharing its own opinion on the matter, stating -- with a bit of disappointment-- that the Patriots will probably win Super Bowl LIII next month.

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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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Project Alias makes your smart speaker mind its own business

Project Alias makes your smart speaker mind its own business

With the rise of always-listening smart home speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home comes a greater worry about the privacy of their users. While Google and Amazon have maintained that their smart home speakers are only ever listening for their wake words, the fact that you're putting a mic that's live 24/7 in your house is unsettling for some people. Enter Project Alias, which is a new accessory that attempts to keep the mics on those smart home speakers in check.

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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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