Ever since the Amazon Echo Dot was released, the most common question I’m asked about it is if there’s a way to connect an external speaker without disabling the internal speaker. This is because many owners want to use their nice sound system when listening to music through the Echo Dot, but don’t want to have to always turn on or unplug their external speakers when asking Alexa a quick question or request. I set out to find a solution to this common gripe and here’s what I came up with. Read more ›
After several leaks, Amazon has now added support for multi-room audio to the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. The new feature allows you to group together multiple Echo devices and play music on all devices simultaneously. The feature is also being made available to 3rd-party speaker manufacturers so non-Echo devices can also sync music with Amazon’s own speakers. Read more ›
The creator of The Spot outlet hanger for the Amazon Echo Dot, that I posted about last month, has come out with his second product. If you want a more professional look when mounting the Echo Dot to a wall or ceiling, then you should take a look at the Flush Dot Mount. It’s a perfectly sized pocket that gets recessed in your wall to hold an Echo Dot cleanly flush. This is obviously a bigger commitment than the outlet hanger, since you have to cut a 3 5/8 inch hole in your drywall, but the end result is a much cleaner appearance. The mount comes with a 10 foot USB cable so you can power the Echo Dot from inside your wall. The easiest way would probably be to run the cable through the wall to an outlet in your attic or basement. To thank AFTVnews and Reddit visitors for making his first product a hit, the creator tells me he is selling the Flush Dot Mount at an introductory price of $14.99 for the next few days.
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Tagged with: Amazon Echo Dot
Now that you can make calls and send messages with the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, users have been wanting to use the devices as home intercom systems. The upcoming Echo Show, which will be released tomorrow, has a Drop-in feature that will facilitate intercom-like communication, but buying a $230 device for every room isn’t feasible for most. Thankfully, Amazon has announced that they’re adding the Drop-in feature to all Echos and Echo Dots, which will turn them into full-fledged intercoms. Read more ›
Amazon today announced additional details about the new security camera capabilities of Alexa. Along with that announcement, it was revealed that Alexa devices without a screen, like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, will also have access to live feeds from security cameras. Obviously, since those devices don’t have screens, you won’t be able to view a camera feed using them, but you will be able to say something like “Alexa, listen to the baby’s room” to hear a live audio feed of a particular security camera. While that’s not nearly as useful as viewing a camera, it’s better than nothing. This is also a good indication that easy access to security cameras using Alexa will be coming to other Alexa-enabled devices, like the Fire TV and Fire tablets.
When Amazon introduced their new calling and messaging features for Alexa devices, they selected a pulsing green light as the indicator of an unheard message waiting to be played. The issue with that is it’s very similar to the spinning green light that indicates a call is coming in, so it’s very easy to mistake one for the other.
Amazon will soon be resolving this by replacing the pulsing green message indicator light with a solid yellow light. Yellow is not used for any other Echo and Echo Dot light ring functionality, so it should be obvious that a new message is waiting, that is, now that you know what it means. If you see a yellow light ring, just say “Alexa, play my message” to hear the message. Amazon says this change will go into effect “in the coming weeks.”
In my explanation of the Drop In feature of the upcoming Echo Show I mention it can be used as an intercom, but all Amazon Echos and Echo Dots can already be used to call each other in the same house thanks to the new calling features. Here’s how it works. Read more ›
If you’ve ever considered mounting an Amazon Echo Dot on the wall but didn’t want to commit to something permanent, you might be interested in a new product called The Spot that just got released. It’s a cradle that hangs off the Echo Dot’s included power adapter to get the device off of a countertop or table. It seems most ideal for use in a kitchen or bathroom, where you likely have power outlets that are up high. The Spot is currently on Amazon for $13.99, although it started the day at $11.99, and includes a short USB cable in the box to keep things tidy. It’s available in white or espresso. The creator has mentioned on reddit that gray and blue are coming next week, with a black version coming later.
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Tagged with: Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon has just officially revealed the new Echo Show with video calling capabilities, but that’s not the only device that will be getting calling and messaging capabilities. All Amazon Echos and Echo Dots will now have the ability to receive voice calls as well as voice messages, if you choose. Read more ›
The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and possibly other Alexa devices will soon be able to synchronize audio across multiple devices. Users have reported seeing a new audio synchronization feature appear in the Alexa app. The feature, often referred to as whole home audio, will allow you to use multiple Alexa devices to play music as if they were satellite speakers connected to the same audio source. Read more ›