Amazon likely clearing out Echo supply for next-gen models

The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap went on sale earlier this week and currently remain on sale. Whenever Amazon devices randomly go on sale, people are always too quick to conclude that the retailer must be clearing out stock of the current models because new models will soon be announced. That is usually not what is happening and it’s usually just a regular sale. However, while I hardly ever take this stance, I do believe this current sale is actually meant to clear out stock for an imminent announcement of new models. Read more ›

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Amazon’s next Echo will reportedly be smaller and sound better

Amazon has expanded their Echo line quite a bit since the release of the original Amazon Echo, but it sounds like they’re now working on the original’s successor. A source tells Engadget that Amazon is planning to release the 2nd-generation Amazon Echo this fall. THe new device is supposed to improve on the current model in every way, including size, appearance, and audio quality. Read more ›

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Amazon to turn all Echo and Echo Dots into home intercoms by adding Drop-in feature

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 ›

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Amazon Echo and Echo Dot will soon be able to stream live audio from security cameras

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.

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Amazon Echo & Echo Dot will soon use a yellow light to indicate unheard messages

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.”

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Apple’s new HomePod speaker is their answer to the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos

Apple has announced their competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers, and it’s called the HomePod. It’s a round speaker covered in either a white or space grey fabric mesh. It’s being touted primarily as a premium music device, although it does have Siri built-in to compete with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s voice assistant. Read more ›

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Amazon Echos can already call other Echos in the same house

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 ›

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How calls and messages work with Amazon Echos and the Alexa app

Amazon has officially announced the Echo Show, the newest member of their line of Alexa devices. While it has a lot of great new features not present on any previous Echo device, what might be bigger news is the suite of free communication services they announced with the new device that is coming to all existing Echos and Echo Dots. This new service allows you to place video/voice calls and send text messages seamlessly between Echo devices and the Alexa app. Here’s how it all works. Read more ›

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Voice calling and messaging comes to all Amazon Echos and Echo Dots

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 ›

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Exclusive: This is Amazon’s new Echo with a built-in touchscreen

Here is the first look at what Amazon’s upcoming Echo with a built-in touchscreen looks like. I was able to locate this unfortunately low resolution image on Amazon’s servers in a similar manner to how I found what we now know to be the Echo Look. This new member of the Echo lineup is codenamed “Knight” and is expected to be released later this month.

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