Amazon brings back the limited edition Product (RED) Echo and releases new Candy Cane Echo Shells

Amazon is bringing back the Product (RED) version of the Amazon Echo that they first made available for a limited run this time last year. Amazon will donate $10 for every Red Echo purchased to the Product (RED) organization to help fight AIDS. On a somewhat related note, Amazon has started selling an official Red & White Echo Shell, as well as a Red & Green Echo Shell, if the new all red version of the Echo wasn’t festive enough for you. Read more ›

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Amazon Music, Echo devices, and Alexa are coming to Mexico

Amazon has announced that they’re making Echo devices and Alexa available in Mexico. Echo devices in Mexico are already available for pre-order, at discounted introductory prices, and will be arriving on November 14th. The Amazon Echo is currently $1,799 Mexican pesos ($90 USD) and will increase to $2,400 ($120 USD) later. The Echo Dot is $699 ($35 USD) and will increase to $1,299 ($65 USD), while the Echo Plus is $2,199 ($110 USD) and will be $3,299 ($165 USD) after the pre-order period. Lastly, the Echo Spot is $2,499 ($125 USD), which will later increase to $3,199 ($160 USD). Also announced is the arrival of Amazon Music in Mexico. The service will offer over 50 million ad-free songs for $99 per month ($5 USD) and will include a 3 month free trial. This announcement comes just a few weeks after Alexa and Echos made their debut in Italy and Spain last month.

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Skype voice and video calling is coming to Amazon Echo devices

Amazon and Microsoft have announced that Skype calling is coming to Alexa. Amazon Echo smart speakers will be able to make Skype voice calls, while Echo Shows will also be able to make Skype video calls. Those who pay for SkypeOut will also be able to use Alexa to call mobile and landlines through Skype, although that funcitonality is already available for free directly through Alexa’s default calling capabillities. The integration will simply work by saying “Alexa, call [contact] on Skype.” Microsoft says it will arrive on Echo devices later this year.

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Alexa and Echo devices coming to Spain and Italy later this year

Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and Echo devices are continuing their global expansion. The lineup just debuted in France earlier this month, and now Amazon has announced that Spain and Italy are the next countries to get Alexa and Echo devices. Alexa’s arrival in Spain is significant because it means Alexa will speak Spanish for the first time, which is among the most popular languages in the world. Amazon is opening Alexa to developers in Spain and Italy now and will release the voice assistant and devices in those countries later this year. With the addition of Spain and Italy, Alexa will be available in 12 countries, which include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

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Alexa and Amazon Echo devices are now available in France

Amazon’s Echo devices are now available to pre-order in France. The Amazon Echo will regularly be €99.99 and the Echo Dot will be €59.99. Both will arrive at customer’s doors on June 13th. The Echo Spot is also being made available for €129.99 but it won’t ship until next month on July 23rd. Prices are being discounted for a limited time during launch. Ordering now will land you 50% off all devices. Once the new devices arrive, France will have localized skills from brands like Netatmo, Philips Hue, Uber, Domino’s Pizza, TP-Link, Franceinfo, Legrand, and La Fourchette. Other Alexa-enabled devices will be coming to France from brands like Harman Kardon, Sonos, Ultimate Ears, Netgem, Archos, Boulanger, and Sowee. France is now the 10th country to receive Echo devices after the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, India, Ireland, and Canada.

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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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Amazon Echo devices are now available in India without an invitation

A few months ago, Amazon made Echo devices available in India for the first time, but as tends to be the case whenever Alexa arrives in a new country, the devices were only available by invitation. Amazon has now removed the invitation requirement, making Echo devices available to everyone. The Amazon Echo (₹9,999 or ~$150), Echo Dot (₹4,499 or ~$70), and Echo Plus (₹14,999 or ~$230) are available, as well as 3rd-party Alexa smart speakers such as the Harman Kardon Allure (₹22,499 or ~$350).

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Amazon Echo devices and Music Unlimited service are coming to Australia and New Zealand in February

Amazon has announced that select Amazon Echo devices, as well as their Music Unlimited streaming service, will be headed to Australia and New Zealand next month. Customers can place a pre-order for the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus starting today. The Amazon Echo is $119 AUD (~$95 USD), the Echo Dot is $49 AUD (~$39 USD), and the Echo Plus is $199 AUD (~$159 USD). All three will be released on February 1st.

Also arriving on the same day is Amazon’s Music Unlimited streaming service. Like in other countries, it will be available in three plan options. $4.99 AUD per month grants streaming access to over 45 million songs on a single Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Plus. The Individual Plan for multiple devices and mobile streaming is $11.99 AUD per month, while the Family Plan, which will be available later, will be $17.99 AUD per month for up to six members of a household to share. New subscribers will get a 90-day free trial.

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Amazon Echo devices and Music Unlimited launching in 28 new countries

Amazon has announced that both their Echo speaker and their Music Unlimited service are now available in 28 additional countries. Pricing for both the devices and the music service will vary by country. Music Unlimited will be available in the same three tiers as in US, which is an Echo only plan, a single user plan, and a family plan. The new country additions include Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden, and Uruguay. About a week ago, the Echo was also made available in Australia and New Zealand.

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Amazon Echo now available in (RED) for a limited time

Amazon now offers the all-new 2nd generation Echo in a limited edition red color. The new color is part of the Product (RED) campaign which seeks to raise awareness and funds to eliminate HIV/AIDS. The (RED) Echo costs the same as the other Echo colors, but Amazon will donate $10 to the charity for each one sold. It does not appear as though Amazon will be selling a (RED) version of the Echo shell separately. Along with the new (RED) Echo, Amazon is highlighting hundreds of other (RED) products at Amazon.com/red.

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