Amazon Echo and Echo Show 10 will soon be able to process all voice requests locally

During today’s big Amazon event, where numerous new Alexa devices were revealed, an interesting new capability to existing devices was announced. Amazon announced that the 4th-generation Amazon Echo and the 3rd-generation Echo Show 10 will soon be able to process all voice requests locally on the device without needing to send any recordings to the cloud. This is a pretty feature and one that has not been achieved by any smart speaker. Read more ›

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Amazon Astro is a new home assistant robot that costs $1,000

The long-rumored Amazon Alexa robot has been announced as the Amazon Astro, a three-wheeled home assistant robot that will initially cost $999.99. The dog-sized device is the culmination of all of Amazon’s efforts in smart assistants, AI, robotics, and home security. Read more ›

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Alexa app can now auto-upload mobile photos for use in Fire TV & Echo Show screensavers

Amazon has added the option to automatically upload photos from your phone in the Alexa app. Enabling the option will save your photos on Amazon Photos, where Prime members get unlimited storage and non-Prime members get 5GB of storage. The reason for doing so is so that your photos can be displayed in the screensavers of Alexa devices, like Fire TVs and Echo Shows. A “Daily Memories” option can be enabled to automatically display a new curated set of your photos every day. To enable the option, open the Alexa app on your phone and go to More > Settings > Photos. To enable Daily Memories through the Alexa app, go to Devices > Echo & Alexa > select your Fire TV or Echo > Screensaver.

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These are some of the new features coming to Fire TV devices later this year

It’s like Christmas for Fire TV fans because Amazon has unloaded a bunch of info on new Fire TV products and features. While the main focus has been on the new hardware, like the Fire TV Stick 4K Max and the Amazon-built Fire TV Omni Smart TVs, there are also quite a few new software features coming to both the new hardware and existing devices. Here’s a breakdown of the features coming soon to Fire TVs. Read more ›

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New ‘Adaptive Volume’ feature for Amazon Alexa makes it speak louder when it’s noisy

Amazon has launched a new Alexa feature called Adaptive Volume which causes the voice assistant to respond more loudly when it detects a noisy environment, as spotted by The Verge. When enabled, the option, essentially, allows Alexa to override the current volume setting of the device by temporarily increasing the output volume for that one interaction if background noise is detected. Read more ›

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Get a Smart Plug and/or Smart Bulb for $0.99 each by ordering through Amazon Alexa — UPDATE: Select Customers Only

Amazon is currently offering a Smart Plug and/or Smart Bulb for $0.99 each. To get them at that great price, all you have to do is order through Alexa. The smart bulb is a Sengled Color Changing Bluetooth Bulb that normally sells for $14.99. Order it by saying “Alexa, order a Sengled Smart Bulb.” The smart plug is the WYZE WLPP1CFH-1 WiFi & Bluetooth Smart Plug that normally sells for $10.99. Order it by saying “Alexa, order a Wyze Plug.” You may purchase one of each item for $0.99 each. This offer ends Aug. 27th.

Update

This deal is for select customers only. Sorry for not realizing that initially.

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Amazon announces Smart Soap Dispenser that can automatically trigger Alexa routines

Amazon has announced a new Smart Soap Dispenser that works with Alexa. All on its own, the soap dispenser has a few smart capabilities, such as guiding you through the proper amount of time to spend washing and dispensing the right amount of soap. If optionally paired with an Echo smart speaker, the soap dispenser will also launch an Alexa routine when used, which opens it up to numerous additional possibilities. Read more ›

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Alexa routines can now be launched with multiple phrases

Alexa routines have gained a small but useful new feature. When creating an Alexa routine that is launched by a custom phrase, it is now possible to add additional phrases that can launch the same routine. Prior to this change, each routine could only be launched by a single phrase. Now you can add up to 7 different phrases to each Alexa routine. This allows you to add variations of the main phrase, in case you or someone in your household is prone to forget the exact wording needed. It also lets you add some fun alternative phrases without losing the ability to use simpler phrases for launching Alexa routines.

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Alexa can now read with kids through new Reading Sidekick feature

Amazon has announced Reading Sidekick, a new Alexa feature for Fire tablets and Echo speakers that will take turns reading with kids. This new capability is included with an Amazon Kids+ subscription, which comes included with Fire Kids tablets, Echo Dot Kids edition, or can be purchased seperatly for as little as $2.99 per month. Reading Sidekick will listen as children read to help if they strugle and encourage them when they succeed. To try the feature, say “Alexa, let’s read” or “Alexa, open Reading Sidekick.” The feature already works with over 700 books which can be selected thorugh the Amazon Kids app.

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These Prime Day deals are cheaper if you order through Alexa — Smart Plugs, Bulbs, Cameras, and more

Amazon has a few hidden Prime Day deals that can only be scored if you order through Alexa. Some of the items are already on sale for Prime Day and Alexa will save you even more, while others aren’t on sale at all, so ordering through Alexa is the only way to get any kind of discount on them. Read on for the full list and be sure to check back tomorrow because Amazon often swaps items in and out, so I will be keeping this list updated through tomorrow night. Read more ›

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