Kasa Smart Bulb is $4.99 and Blink Mini Camera is $19.99 if ordered through Alexa during Black Friday

Amazon has a couple of Alexa-exclusive deals for Black Friday this year with prices that you can only get if you order through Alexa. The first is the Kasa Color Smart Bulb for $4.99, which you can order by saying “Alexa, order a Kasa Smart Bulb.” This 1,000-lumen WiFi smart bulb is normally priced at $22.99 and has been as low as $13.99 in the past. The second Alexa-exclusive deal is the Blink Mini Security Camera for $19.99, which you can get by saying “Alexa, order a Blink Mini White” or “Alexa, order a Blink Mini Black.”. The camera has a list price of $34.99 and is currently on sale for Black Friday for $29.99, but it has been as low as $24.99 in the past. UPDATE: The smart bulb is no longer available at a discount through Alexa but you can still get the Blink Mini camera for $19.99 when ordering through Alexa.

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For those important reminders, Alexa can now follow-up with you to make sure you didn’t miss the message

Having Amazon’s Alexa remind you to do something is great but, unlike Alarms that have to be dismissed, reminders can be easily missed if you happen to be out of the room when the reminder goes off and you don’t see the notification on your phone. If there’s a reminder that you absolutely don’t want to miss, you can now have Alexa follow up on a reminder to ensure you got the message or didn’t forget about it. Read more ›

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These are the first 17 Amazon Echo models to gain support for the new Matter smart home standard

Matter, the new smart home standard that is supposed to usher in a new era of simplicity and interoperability across all forms of smart home devices has officially launched this week. It’ll probably be months before support for Matter reaches all the different device types included in the standard, such as Fire TVs and streaming devices, but Amazon has announced the first 17 Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show models to receive support for Matter. Here’s the full list as well as details on which aspects of Matter will initially be functional and which will not. Read more ›

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Conversational AI-driven recommendation engine launches out of beta testing on Fire TV

A little-known feature of Fire TV devices is the ability to say “What should I watch?” to Alexa to launch a conversational AI-driven recommendation interface that can help you whittle down the abundance of available streaming content. The feature first launched a year ago with the introduction of Amazon’s own Omni Series Fire TVs and now it is out of beta and available to everyone. Read more ›

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Alexa can now tell you just the day’s high or low temperature instead of the entire weather forcast

When you ask Alexa for the weather, the voice assistant’s standard response is to give you the sunniness, current temperature, high temperature, and low temperature. If that’s too much info and you just want to know the day’s high or low temperature, it’s now possible to get just that, as discovered by Reddit user derallo. If you ask “Alexa, what’s the high/low today?,” you’ll now just be told, “Today, expect a high/low of [##] degrees fahrenheit/celsius.” If you want just the current temperature and ask “Alexa, what is the temperature?” you still also get told the day’s high, unfortunately. If all you want is the current temperature, you can use the Alexa Skill Just The Temperature, which lets you say “Alexa, just the temperature” and get back “It’s [##] degrees” as a response. Update: As noted in the comments, it seems like this change isn’t available to everyone yet.

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Alexa can now delay a request’s execution if you say “…in X minutes”

Amazon has recently made it possible to make an Alexa request that doesn’t actually execute immediately. As discovered by Reddit user versaveaux, you can now add “…in X minutes” to the end of an Alexa request to easily schedule the request in the near future. For example, saying “turn off the lights in 10 minutes” will now work as expected. Judging by the comments from some people on Reddit, this new capability may not be available to everyone yet.

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Amazon to let brands submit answers to common Alexa questions as a form of advertising

Amazon has announced an upcoming Alexa capability called “Customers Ask Alexa” which will allow brands to submit their own answers to questions asked by Alexa users. Instead of providing an answer sourced from the web or crowdsourced from other Alexa users, as is done today, Alexa may soon choose to use a branded answer instead. Read more ›

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Fire TV gains new Alexa commands for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video

The first regular season Thursday Night Football game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs kicks off tomorrow at 4pm PT and Amazon has added some new Alexa commands to make the experience a bit better on Fire TV devices. Of course, you can say “Alexa, play Thursday Night Football” to jump into the game but you can now also say “Alexa, open X-Ray” to see real-time access live stats appear on the right of the screen. If you don’t want to be distracted with on-screen stats, you can just ask Alexa for specific stats, like “Alexa, how many rushing yards do the Chiefs have today?“, “Alexa, who has the most tackles today?“, or “Alexa, who leads the NFL in touchdowns?“, and Alexa will reply with the answer without interrupting the game. As a reminder, Thursday Night Football is the first Prime Video content that can be recorded for viewing later. You can set games to record in the Prime Video app on Fire TV devices, or you can achieve the same thing by simply saying “Alexa, add Thursday Night Football to my watchlist.” Adding Amazon’s NFL coverage to your watchlist will make all game playback available “until 2023,” according to Amazon.

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Alexa can now be used in-game to control PC and Xbox gameplay — No Echo Necessary

Amazon has just announced Alexa Game Control at the Gamescom gaming convention, which allows PC and Xbox gamers to perform various in-game actions by voice. To use it, you won’t need to say “Alexa…” or even have an Alexa device, like an Echo, because it works by just directly speaking into any gaming mic or headset. Read more ›

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How to stop Amazon Alexa’s “By the way…” suggestions on Echo and Fire TV devices

Amazon’s biggest problem with Alexa, since the very beginning, has been discoverability. When you have a device that primarily has no interface, it becomes extremely difficult to inform its users of all the new features the device has been receiving. Amazon’s solution has been to have Alexa make usage suggestions after it finishes responding to you by saying “by the way…” followed by a suggestion. These suggestions walk a very fine line between being useful and annoying, with many people considering them the latter. Amazon has now made it possible to stop “by the way” suggestions but there’s a catch. Read more ›

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Kasa Smart Plug is just $3.49, Eero Pro 6 Router is $114, and other Alexa-exclusive Prime Day deals

Amazon has a new set of Alexa-exclusive Prime Day Deals. These prices can only be had if you either place your order through Alexa or, at least, ask Alexa to add the items to your cart. Once in your cart using Alexa, you can then checkout on Amazon’s website as usual and still receive the Alexa-exclusive discounted prices. The best deal of the bunch is the Kasa Smart Plug Mini for $3.49, which is 85% off the regular price of $22.99. That matches the lowest price it has ever been because this same Alexa-exclusive deal was available during Prime Day 2021. Read on for the full list of Alexa-exclusive deals and how they stack up to past deals. Read more ›

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These Prime Day Deals are better if ordered through Alexa — Luna Controller for $34.99!

Amazon always offers a few Alexa-exclusive deals for Prime Day and this year is no exception. These deals must be ordered by voice using Alexa to get these prices. The Luna Controller is $34.99 through Alexa, which is half off the regular price of $69.99. Ordering through Alexa saves you an extra $5 over the current Prime Day deal of $39.99. The Echo Dot w/ Clock is $32.99 through Alexa, which is 45% off the regular price of $59.99. This isn’t on sale for regular Prime Day shopping but my guess is it will be $34.99 if it does go on sale outside of this Alexa-exclusive deal. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is $119.99, which is 29% off its regular price of $169.99, and the Ring Indoor Cam is $44.99, which is 25% off its regular price of $59.99. Both of those Ring products also aren’t on sale right now unless you use Alexa to order them. If you’re not comfortable buying through Alexa, you can also say “Alexa, add [ITEM] to my cart” and then checkout normally on Amazon. Adding the item to your cart through Alexa and then completing the purchase through the Amazon website will still get you these Alexa-exclusive prices. Read more ›

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Amazon’s Alexa app can now give you money back for offline grocery shopping at any store

Amazon has added a new feature to the Alexa app where you can earn money back on your offline grocery shopping. The feature is integrated into the Alexa app’s shopping list capabilities and allows you to add cashback offers like you would a shopping list item. When you’re done shopping in the real world at any store, you simply scan the barcodes of the qualifying products and submit a photo of your receipt to receive the money as Amazon gift card credit. Read more ›

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Google Nest Cameras and Doorbells finally work with Fire TVs, Echo Shows, and Fire Tablets through Alexa

Google has announced an update to its Google Nest Alexa Skill that finally adds compatibility with Nest cameras and doorbells. With this update, you can now view live feeds of newer Nest cameras, from 2021, on Fire TVs, Echo Shows, and Fire Tablets by simply saying “Alexa, show my [CAMERA NAME].” For Nest doorbells, you can also now have a two-way conversation from a Fire TV, Echo Show, or Fire Tablet by saying “Alexa, talk to the front door.” Not available yet but coming soon is the ability for Alexa to support announcements when a Nest camera or Nest doorbell detects a person.

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TuneIn Premium service is now available on Amazon Alexa devices

TuneIn has announced that its $9.99 per month paid service, TuneIn Premium, is now available through Alexa-enabled devices, like Echos and Fire TVs. TuneIn is best known for providing live streams of over 100,000 radio stations and has been available on Echo devices since it launched in 2014. TuneIn Premium gives you access to over 600 commercial-free radio stations, including MLB, NFL, NHL, and college sports games, as well as removing the pre-roll ads from tens of thousands of other stations. To kick off the new partnership, Amazon and TuneIn are offering a free three-month trial of TuneIn Premium. Just say “Alexa, open TuneIn Live” to get started.

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Alexa can now notify you when items in your shopping list or cart are about to go on sale

Amazon has announced a new Alexa capability that can alert you, up to 24 hours in advance, if an item in your shopping cart, wish list, or “saved for later” list is about to go on sale. The alert arrives in the usual manner of Alexa notifications, which is a pulsing yellow light on Echo speakers or a popup on Echo Show devices. Once you receive one of these deal notifications, you can even ask Alexa to automatically buy the item on your behalf once the sale price goes live. Read more ›

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Sling TV streaming is now available on the Echo Show 15

Sling TV has announced that the internet TV service is now available on the Echo Show 15. The streaming service’s arival on Echo Show devices was promised back in September of last year, when the Echo Show 15 was announced. Amazon said, at the time, that Sling TV would eventually be available on all Echo Show models, but only the Echo Show 15 is supported at this time. To use the service, simply say “Alexa, open Sling TV” to get started. Once set up, you’ll be able to say “Alexa, tune to [CHANNEL NAME] on Sling TV” to watch a specific channel. Sling TV joins a number of streaming services to add support for the Echo Show, including Netflix, Hulu, Tubi, and others. To see all the video streaming options on an Echo Show, say “Alexa, open Video Home” or swipe down from the top of the screen and select the Video shortcut icon

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Alexa now provides Public Transit info for Buses, Subways, and Trains

Amazon has been testing public transit info for Alexa for nearly a year but it has now announced that the feature is available across the US. You can use it to check the status of particular lines, such as saying “Alexa, what’s the status of the 21 bus?” or “Alexa, are there any delays on the Q train from Penn Station?” When asking Alexa for directions anywhere, you can add “…by public transit” to the request to see which routes are available and what time the next one leaves. If you commute to/from work by public transit, you can now let Alexa know by flipping a toggle setting in the Alexa app under Settings > Commute. Doing so will allow you to ask “Alexa, when’s the next train to work?” or “Alexa, how’s my commute?” and receive information specific to your public transit route.

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Alexa Shortcut Panel arrives on Fire TV devices with quick access to Smart Home, Weather, Library, and News

Amazon Fire TV devices have gained a new feature called the Alexa Shortcut Panel. When you tap the microphone / Alexa button on your remote, the shortcut panel appears in the bottom third of the screen with buttons that provide access to the Smart Home Dashboard, which was recently revamped, the Weather, your video Library, and to News, which launches the Fire TV News app. Read more ›

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Fire TV’s Smart Home Dashboard has been Redesigned with Denser Information

Amazon first launched a Smart Home Dashboard on Fire TV devices a little over a year ago. The dashboard has never really been emphasized or highlighted by Amazon, even though it has existed for quite a while. It always felt more like an experiment than a primary feature, but now the Smart Home Dashboard has been overhauled with a new look that shrinks controls and icons to provide a much denser view of your smart lights, plugs, security cameras, and more. Read more ›

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