Amazon

Amazon starts collecting state sales tax across US next month

Amazon starts collecting state sales tax across US next month

As an e-commerce giant, one of Amazon's biggest advantages for customers (and biggest disadvantages for brick-and-mortar competitors) has been the site's lack of charging local sales taxes. This has been slowly changing over the last few years, and the policy will finally come to an end next month. Starting April 1st, Amazon will collect a sales tax in all 45 states that have one, with Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, and New Mexico being the last four to be included.

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Amazon Prime Exclusive Phones adds Alcatel A30 and Moto G5 Plus

Amazon Prime Exclusive Phones adds Alcatel A30 and Moto G5 Plus

Last summer, Amazon launched what it calls ‘Prime Exclusive Phones,’ which are subsidized Android handsets offered to Prime members at a discount…and with advertisements on the lock screen. If you don’t mind having to glance at ads whenever you turn your phone on, the deal is a decent way to get a decent handset for less than the typical sticker price. We’ve seen some budget-tier handsets join the lineup over the past several months, and newest among them is both the Moto G5 Plus and the Alcatel A30.

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Alexa comes to Android with new app for Huawei Mate 9

Alexa comes to Android with new app for Huawei Mate 9

A couple of days ago, support for Amazon's Alexa landed on iOS by way of the Amazon shopping app. Today, we're getting similar treatment on Android, but for now, only Huawei Mate 9 owners are getting in on the action. Huawei is currently in the process of pushing out its Huawei Alexa app to Mate 9 owners in the US, unlocking Alexa functionality on those devices.

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Amazon Music app now available on Apple CarPlay

Amazon Music app now available on Apple CarPlay

iPhone owners can now listen to music from the Amazon Music app using Apple’s CarPlay, Amazon has announced. The music becomes accessible after connecting the iPhone to a vehicle with CarPlay, as users will be able to select the Amazon Music app as one of the supported audio choices. This joins the support for Android Auto, which similarly allows Android users to access the music on their vehicle’s touchscreen.

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Amazon Prime Now Alexa update adds orders for booze

Amazon Prime Now Alexa update adds orders for booze

With a range of skills at its disposal, Amazon's Alexa platform is capable of a lot of things. Strangely, one thing Alexa hasn't been able to do is place orders through Amazon Prime Now. You'd think we would have seen that kind of functionality early on, but in any case, it's arriving today, letting you place same-day orders through Amazon's service.

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Amazon ‘Outfit Compare’ tool tells you which of two outfits looks better

Amazon ‘Outfit Compare’ tool tells you which of two outfits looks better

Amazon has introduced a new feature for Prime members that allows shoppers to share images of themselves wearing different outfits. The tool will send those images to a specialist who will, a minute or so later, return a suggestion about which outfit to purchase, doing so based on which one looks best, fits best, and more. The service is intended to be used as you’re shopping, and gives users the ability to delete the photos after getting a response.

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Alexa comes to iPhone in a trojan horse

Alexa comes to iPhone in a trojan horse

Thus far, Alexa has been exclusive to Amazon's own lineup of devices, like the Echo or the Fire TV Stick. That all changes today, as Amazon is putting Alexa on iOS. While she may not be as easily accessible as she is on Amazon's first party hardware, this means that you won't need any additional devices to use Amazon's AI assistant.

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Amazon now offers credits to make Alexa skills development free

Amazon now offers credits to make Alexa skills development free

We could be seeing many more Alexa skills launch shortly, as Amazon is rolling out new incentives for developers today. Aimed at making development of Alexa skills more affordable, Amazon will begin offering Amazon Web Services promotional credit to developers who have already published an Alexa Skill. Amazon says that in a lot of cases, this could make development of new Alexa skills entirely free.

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Amazon is adding a Spanish language option to its website

Amazon is adding a Spanish language option to its website

Amazon’s website will soon be offered with a Spanish language option, making it a more appealing destination for Spanish speakers in the United States. This language option will be rolled out over the coming weeks, according to an Amazon spokesperson, and will be easily accessible via a language drop-down menu near the “Accounts & Lists” option. Changing the site's language will transform all the listings into Spanish.

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Amazon Echo gets Bluetooth speaker support

Amazon Echo gets Bluetooth speaker support

Thus far, if you wanted to use Amazon Alexa with a Bluetooth speaker, you needed to get a Dot device. That has changed, as Amazon has quietly introduced Bluetooth speaker pairing support for its Echo device, as well. By pairing Echo with a Bluetooth speaker, users are able to enjoy the powerful and better quality audio delivered with a speaker rather than the device’s own built-in audio offering.

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Nintendo Switch: Netflix, Hulu “will come in time”

Nintendo Switch: Netflix, Hulu “will come in time”

It seems that the Nintendo Switch if off to a pretty strong start, with the console selling out across the US and fans and critics alike singing the praises of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Even with that praise, though, the Switch is still lacking in some other areas. Specifically, aside from Zelda and a few other launch games, there isn't that much to do with the Switch just yet.

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Amazon Alexa taps WebMD to answer your health questions

Amazon Alexa taps WebMD to answer your health questions

WebMD has announced that its glut of medical and health information is now accessible through Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, giving users a way to easily ask for health-related information. The information is accessible by asking Alexa health questions, such as, “Alexa, ask WebMD to tell me about insert health condition here.” Alexa, of course, will retrieve the information and then read it back to the user, no smartphones or apps necessary.

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