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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 Video execs make the jump to Apple

Amazon Video execs make the jump to Apple

It appears Apple is continuing to make progress in bolstering its original programming division. As part of their ambitious plans to create and offer original shows and other video content, Cupertino has managed to poach not one but three executives from leading rival Amazon Studios, including the head of Amazon's kids programming, Tara Sorensen.

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Amazon buys Blink wire-free connected camera startup

Amazon buys Blink wire-free connected camera startup

Amazon has acquired Blink, the wireless security camera company that launched back in 2014 and then subsequently closed a million-dollar Kickstarter campaign. The deal was announced today, and for the moment will see Blink continue to operate as-is, with no changes to the company's line-up. That includes the recently announced Blink Video Doorbell.

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Amazon Prime Video app is now on Android TV with a big catch

Amazon Prime Video app is now on Android TV with a big catch

Google’s and Amazon’s relationship is perhaps best described as “complicated”. Things have recently turned sour when Google, supposedly unprovoked, yanked out YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show. Words were thrown back and forth, conspiracies were drummed up. The two are now supposedly negotiating terms, which includes the availability of the Chromecast on Amazon’s virtual shelves and, now, the arrival of Amazon’s Prime Video app for all Android TV devices. Strangely, however, it seems that it’s not compatible with any Android TV device.

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AmazonTube trademark means Fire TV will likely lose YouTube

AmazonTube trademark means Fire TV will likely lose YouTube

It had seemed like tensions between Google and Amazon were easing, but that may not be the case. The two companies have been locked in a squabble over the past few months, it ultimately boiling down to YouTube and whether or not Amazon customers will get access to it. Though a resolution seemed likely in light of Amazon's Chromecast listing and Google's most recent statement, a new Amazon trademark filing for "AmazonTube" means the battle is far from over.

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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 starts Apple TV sales after two year standoff

Amazon starts Apple TV sales after two year standoff

Amazon has begun selling the Apple TV again, ending a two year standoff between the retailer and Apple, though supplies of the set-top box are already constrained. The two companies found themselves at loggerheads in late 2015, when Amazon announced it would be pulling the Apple TV from its virtual shelves. Ironically, the reason it gave to justify the decision was quickly thrown into disarray.

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Amazon Music scraps storage subscriptions for MP3 imports

Amazon Music scraps storage subscriptions for MP3 imports

Amazon is planning to retire its Music storage subscription service, the plan that enabled Amazon customers to upload their own music to the company's servers. Mind you, this doesn't mean the Amazon Music or Amazon Music Unlimited products are being retired; rather, just the option to upload personal music libraries to the platform. You have until January 15 to sign up if you want this subscription.

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Audi bakes Amazon Music into its latest car dashboards

Audi bakes Amazon Music into its latest car dashboards

Audi and Amazon have teamed up to offer native Amazon Music streaming support in the automaker's recent cars, all accessed through the vehicle's infotainment system. The integration sees select cars from Audi's 2017 and 2018 model years gain Amazon Music and Amazon Prime Music streaming support, beyond just playing it back over a Bluetooth connection from your smartphone.

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Amazon Digital Day post-Christmas deals return December 29

Amazon Digital Day post-Christmas deals return December 29

Last year, Amazon launched a post-Christmas promotional period dubbed "Digital Day." On that day, Amazon customers were given access to deals on digital goods, some of those deals hitting above the half-off mark. The online retailer has announced that it will be bringing back Amazon Digital Day for 2017, once again launching a bunch of digital deals after Christmas, giving you a good away to put those newly received gift cards to use.

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