Amazon Echo can now be connected to Bluetooth speakers

In a recent software update, Amazon has added the ability for the Amazon Echo to connect to external Bluetooth speakers. The Echo Dot has always had this ability because you’re expected to connect it to external speakers, but the full sized Echo is meant to be a stand alone device, so external speaker connectivity was never present until now. Read more ›

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Audio synchronization coming to the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot for whole home audio support

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 ›

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Amazon Echo rumored to gain voice calling capabilities

According to sources familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Amazon Echo may soon be able to make and receive voice calls. This would position the device as a potential replacement for the home phone. The WSJ says the feature could arrive this year, but federal regulations regarding access to 911 and laws requiring phone companies to allow law enforcement agencies to wiretap calls in real time could complicate the release. Amazon announced Chime, an enterprise conferencing service, earlier this week, so they certainly now have the infrastructure to support voice-over-IP calling. I highly doubt such a feature would be supported on a device like the Fire TV through the microphone on the voice remote, but the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot certainly have the hardware to act as a speakerphone.

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Amazon Echo and Echo Dot update adds “Computer” wake word to help complete the Star Trek fantasy

A new software update for the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot seems to be rolling out that adds the option to select “Computer” as the device’s wake word. Instead of using “Alexa,” or one of the alternatives like “Echo” and “Amazon”, you’ll be able to get a little closer to the ultimate dream of having the Star Trek computer in your home. The new option was first spotted by Reddit users as a new feature for software version 4812 on the German Amazon page for Echo software updates. Amazon’s page has since removed the new feature listing, but other redditors are reporting that the option is starting to appear in the wild.

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Amazon is making a premium Echo with 7-inch touchscreen running Fire OS

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Amazon’s next Alexa-enabled device will likely be a premium speaker with a 7-inch touchscreen, according to Bloomberg. The new product will have an array of always listening microphones, like the Amazon Echo, for hands-free voice functionality. The speakers themselves will be better sounding than the ones in the Echo and the new device will run an optimized version of Fire OS. Read more ›

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Amazon Echo and Echo Dot update with Echo Spatial Perception starts rolling out

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The Amazon Echo and 1st-gen Echo Dot are starting to receive a new software update, version 4008, that adds the much anticipated Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) feature. ESP is the feature revealed when the Echo Dot 2 was announced, that allows several Echos and Echo Dots within listening range of each other to correctly identify which device is closest to the person interacting with them. This makes it so two devices don’t respond to the same voice request. Read more ›

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Amazon’s $3.99 Echo-only plan for Amazon Music Unlimited is litterally for a single device

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Amazon Music Unlimited, the new stand-alone music streaming service from Amazon, launched this morning with an enticing $3.99 per month option for Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap owners. The catch though is that the $3.99 plan can only be used from a single device. That doesn’t mean a single device at a time, but rather, it literally means only a single Echo, Echo Dot, or Tap can access the Amazon Music Unlimited library. Read more ›

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Existing Amazon Echo and Echo Dots to receive Spatial Perception software update

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Along with the all-new second generation Echo Dot, Amazon announced a new feture called Echo Spatial Perception (ESP) that will ship on the new Echo Dot and be arriving via a software update to existing Amazon Echo and first generation Echo Dots soon. When multiple Echos or Echo Dots are within earshot, ESP allows Alexa to respond intelligently from only the device that’s closest to you. With Amazon positioning the Echo Dot as a device for every room, and even selling them in 6 and 12 packs at a discount, this is a much needed feature to prevent multiple instances of Alexa responding at once, or worse, executing a sensitive request, like placing an order, more than once. An exact date for the release of the software update for existing devices has not been announced, but you can expect it to arrive this fall.

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Amazon Echo and Echo Dot available in white

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When Amazon announced the Echo and Echo Dot are coming to the UK and Germany, they also revealed both devices are now also available in white in addition to black. The white models are identical to their black counterparts, apart from the color of course. The white Echo is available for pre-order in the US now and will arrive on September 28th. The 2nd-generation white Echo Dot is also available for pre-order now for $49.99 and will ship October 20th.

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Amazon Echo and Echo Dot coming to the UK and Germany

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The Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot are finally going to be available in the UK and Germany. In the UK, the Echo Dot is £49.99 while the Echo is £149.99, and in Germany the Echo Dot is €59,99 while the Echo is €179,99. Customers in the UK can pre-order either device immediately, but just like when the Echo first arrived in the US, German customers will have to request an invitation to purchase the Echo or Echo Dot. In both regions, Prime members will receive £50/€50 off the price of an Amazon Echo if they pre-order/request an invitation within the next couple days. In the UK, first shipments will arrive on October 20th and Germany’s first orders will arrive a few days later on October 26th.

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