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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Fire TV Stick 4K Max will act as an eARC Audio Hub between your Home Theater Equipment and Echo speakers

Much like what was just announced for the Omni and 4-Series Fire TV Smart TVs, Amazon has announced that the Fire TV Stick 4K Max will be gaining support for Alexa Home Theater groups this month. This allows audio from the Firestick to be sent wirelessly to compatible Echo devices for a better home theater audio experience than your TV’s speakers can provide. However, when the feature arrives on the Fire TV Stick 4K Max, it also comes with an extra capability that allows you to hear not only the Firestick’s audio through Echo speakers, but the audio of all of your home theater devices, like cable boxes, game systems, and Blu-ray players. Read more ›

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Amazon’s own Fire TV Omni & 4-Series Smart TVs to gain Airplay 2, HomeKit, Alexa Home Theater support, and more this month

Amazon has announced that its line of Fire TV Smart TVs, the Omni Series and 4-Series, will be gaining several new features “over the coming weeks.” One of those features is Apple AirPlay 2 support, which allows iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac owners to easily mirror and cast their screen to the TV. Along with AirPlay 2 will come support for Apple Homekit, which allows for basic control of the TV through Apple’s voice assistant Siri. Amazon also says its TVs will also gain support for Alexa Home Theater groups, which allows you to use Echo devices as wireless speakers. The list of compatible Echos is, unfortunately, smaller with these TVs than with other Fire TV models, and includes only the Echo Studio, Echo (3rd & 4th Gen), Echo Dot (4th Gen), and Echo Plus (2nd Gen). Lastly, only the Fire TV Omni is also getting access to Zoom video calls soon, when you connect a USB webcam. These features are expected to be available later this month.

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