Amazon Echo on sale for $84.99 and Echo Dot on sale for $39.99

The Amazon Echo has just gone on sale for $84.99, which is $15 off the regular price. The Echo Dot is also on sale at $39.99, which is $10 less than you’d normally pay. Both of these sale prices are fairly mediocre and come around about every other month. That said, it’s certainly better than paying full price. This sale is expected to last through the end of the month and end on May 31st.

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Amazon Echo inadvertently sent conversation to family’s contact

A Portland family was surprised to learn that their Amazon Echo inadvertently sent a recording of their conversation to one of their phone’s contacts through Alexa’s calling and messaging feature. Through a string of unlikely events, the Echo interpreted a background conversation as a request to send a message, resulting in what is essentially the modern equivalent of a “butt dial.” Read more ›

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Alexa is now hands-free in the Amazon Music app on Android and iOS

Amazon has started rolling out an update to the Amazon Music app for Android and iOS devices that adds hands-free Alexa capabilities. These apps gained Alexa last year but you had to press an Alexa button on the screen each time you wanted to make a request. With this update, as long as the Amazon Music app is on-screen, you can now say “Alexa” and make a request without touching anything. Read more ›

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Android Oreo update is now rolling out to the NVIDIA Shield TV

The NVIDIA Shield TV, the most popular Android TV set-top box, is now starting to receive the Shield Experience Upgrade 7.0 which updates the device to use Android 8.0 Oreo. Even though this version of Android TV has been available since August of last year, NVIDIA chose to not update their devices until now because there weren’t enough apps that supported the new home screen launcher layout. Now that enough apps have finally added support, NVIDIA feels it’s ready to release the update to users. Read more ›

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TP-Link Smart Plug Mini on sale for $20.99 with promo code

The TP-Link Smart Plug Mini is currently on sale for $20.99 when you apply the promo code TPLINK at checkout. This price is just $1 more than the lowest price this plug has ever been, which occurred for just a few hours on Cyber Monday. The regular price of the plug is $27.99 and the promo code knocks off 25%, which makes this a great deal for one of the most popular Alexa compatible plugs. The “mini” nature of this plug allows you to plug it into a standard outlet without blocking the adjacent outlet, or you can stack two of these plugs in the same outlet. The 25% discount will be applied to as many plugs as you want to purchase. There are many cheaper no-name Alexa compatible plugs available of questionable quality, but it seems like TP-Link has hit a sweet spot with both affordability and quality, which is why their products dominate Amazon’s list of best-selling plugs.

Update

It appears as though this deal is targeted towards specific people because the promo code is not working for everyone. For me there is a banner at the top with the promo details and the $7 discount is applied at checkout. You may need to have an Echo device registered to your Amazon account for the promo code to work.
 
 

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How to resolve issues with the new DirecTV Now app on Fire TV and Fire TV Stick

DirecTV Now just released a new app for the Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition televisions. This is their reason for dropping support for 1st-generation Fire TVs and Fire TV Sticks, which they later tried to rectify by offering $75 in account credit. Some people are having issues with the new app where, in some cases, it isn’t launching at all. Here are some things to try to make the new DirecTV Now app work on Fire TV devices. Read more ›

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AirScreen turns your Fire TV into a Chromecast with support for Google Cast and Apple AirPlay

A new app called AirScreen has just arrived in the Amazon Appstore for Fire TV devices that adds support for all the major casting protocols. It is compatible with all Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Edition television models and makes it possible to cast videos and your entire screen to your Fire TV from an Android device, iOS device, Mac, or Windows PC. It supports Google Cast so it works exactly like a Chromecast and supports Apple AirPlay, so it works like an Apple TV for iPhone casting. It also supports Miracast, which is what Windows PCs use for screen mirroring, as well as DLNA. Read more ›

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Wemo smart light switch on sale for $29.99 with Alexa compatibility

The Wemo Smart Light Switch has just gone on sale for $29.99. This switch allows you to replace any light switch so that the connected lights can be controlled through Alexa or through a mobile app. Of course, the light switch still works as a regular physical switch. This sale price is just $1 higher than the lowest price this switch has ever been, which was during Black Friday 2016. This light switch is the #1 best-selling light switch on all of Amazon.

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Alexa can now move calendar meetings and suggest available times

Alexa gained the ability to schedule meetings late last year where the voice assistant will automatically add a meeting to your calendar and automatically email the person you’ve said the meeting is with so they’re aware of the time and date. Now Alexa goes a step further and suggests times for meetings that are good for both attendees. When you say “Alexa, schedule a meeting with [name],” if you have the necessary calendar permissions set with that person, Alexa will list off two times when you’re both available for you to select. Alexa does this by using the contact information on your phone and calendar account. Additionally, you can now ask Alexa to move meetings, so you don’t have to delete a meeting and then schedule a new one.

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Twitter is killing their Android TV and Roku apps but keeping Fire TV and Apple TV apps alive

Twitter has announced that on May 24th, they’ll be killing their Android TV, Roku, and Xbox video apps. The Fire TV app and Apple TV app will remain and continue to function. When Twitter first launched these video apps it was to give users a way to watch Thursday Night Football, which they acquired the streaming rights to in 2016. Since then, Twitter has provided access to various live events through their apps. It’s unlikely Twitter has many people using their set-top box apps, but if you’re one of them with a Fire TV, the app is remaining for now. Thanks for the heads up TechyChris!

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