Fire TVs are getting vastly improved AI voice search with impressive conversational filtering and recommendations

At Amazon’s big new devices event this morning, there was a lot of focus on the new hardware being released, like the new 4K Fire TV Sticks and the new Fire TV Soundbar, but Amazon also revealed some interesting new software improvements coming to Fire TV devices. The most impressive demo was the new conversational AI-based improvements to Alexa voice searches for Fire TVs. Read more ›

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Former Microsoft Windows & Surface chief reportedly taking over Amazon’s hardware products

Amazon’s SVP of devices and services, Dave Limp, announced his retirement last month after over 13 years with the company. According to a report from Bloomberg, his replacement will be Panos Panay, who just announced this morning that he will be leaving Microsoft as its chief product officer. Panay, who has been with Microsoft for nearly 20 years, led the development of Windows and the company’s Surface line of devices. As Limp’s replacement, Panay would be in charge of Amazon’s massive line of devices and services, which includes Fire TV, Echo, Fire Tablet, Kindle, Ring, Blink, Eero, Alexa, Luna, Fire OS, the Amazon Appstore, and much more.

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Amazon Alexa and Fire TVs are now run by the same VP for the first time

If you’ve ever felt like there was a bit of a divide between Amazon’s Echo and Alexa products and other Amazon devices, like Fire TVs and Fire Tablets, that’s because they have always been headed by different executives within Amazon. The two groups of Amazon devices have always been more like cousins with related parents than siblings of the same parent. That has now changed, I believe for the first time, because Daniel Rausch, who is Amazon’s head of entertainment devices which includes Fire TV, Fire Tablets, Kindles, and more, has recently been put in charge of Alexa as well. Read more ›

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New JBL smart speakers are the first to have both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant simultaneously

Harman has announced a series of new JBL smart speakers that have a very unique capability. While there have been smart speakers that offer a choice of using Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant, namely from Sonos, the trio of new JBL smart speakers announced today are the first to provide access to both voice assistants simultaneously. This means you can, for example, set a timer using Alexa and then ask Google Assistant to stop the timer, or start playing music with Google Assistant and have that music be lowered in volume when an alarm set by Alexa goes off. Read more ›

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Head of all Amazon devices to retire in the coming months after 13 years with the company

Amazon has revealed that Dave Limp, the Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices and Services, will be retiring later this year after over 13 years with the company. Limp is the head honcho when it comes to Amazon devices, including Fire TVs, Echos, Fire Tablets, Kindles, and much more. All the different Amazon services, like Alexa, the Amazon Appstore, and Luna fall under his control as well. It sounds like Limp will stick around to host his annual new devices event in September. His successor will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Amazon to reveal new hardware devices on September 20th — Expect new Fire TVs, Echos, and more

Amazon usually has a big hardware announcement event in September and this year is going to be no different. David Limp, Amazon’s head of devices and services, has announced that this year’s device announcement event will be on September 20th. I can’t recall the exact date ever being revealed this early in the year, so read into that as you may. Read more ›

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Amazon to discontinue Alexa celebrity voices — Refunds available to those that ask for them

Amazon has decided to discontinue the celebrity voices it launched several years ago for Alexa devices. If you’ve been using the Samuel L. Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, or Melisssa McCarthy voice replacements for Alexa, you’ll be able to use them for just a little while longer. Jackson’s voice will stop working on June 7th and the other two will stop working on September 30th. If you paid for any of these voices, whether it was $0.99 at launch or the full $4.99 price afterward, you may contact Amazon customer support for a full refund.

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Sling TV is now available on Echo Show 8 and 10 devices

Back in 2021, Amazon announced that Sling TV would be coming to Echo Show devices. About a year ago, Sling TV arrived on the Echo Show 15 but the smaller Echo Show models didn’t receive support for the streaming service. That changes today because Sling TV has now arrived on Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 10 devices. Say “Alexa, open Sling TV” to strat streaming channels. You cn also jump directly to a channel by saying “Alexa, watch [Channel Name] on Sling.”

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Amazon CES News Roundup: New Ring devices, new Alexa features, and more

This is the week of the big Consumer Electronics Show (CES). While Amazon doesn’t typically make many announcements at CES, there are usually a few noteworthy things related to Alexa, Echos, Ring, and other Amazon brands that come out of the show. Here is a roundup of the top news from Amazon at CES. Read more ›

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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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