Ever since Amazon launched Echo, every other company in the field of digital assistants has been playing catch up. With Google launching Google Home, it’s just Microsoft and Apple we’re waiting on, but with the Windows and Harman Kardon teams now teasing a Cortana-powered digital assistant speaker for the home, Apple is all that’s left. (more…)
I’m not sure I need to explain for the 20th time what each does, so I’ll try to keep this short. Echo products from Amazon are like smart home voice control boxes, but the bigger Echo includes a decent-sounding speaker too for tune listening. Each device is good for ordering stuff from Amazon, getting news or weather or sports scores, setting timers and alarms, playing music from popular streaming services, playing games (like Jeopardy!), and more. They are very much a more seasoned Google Home because they have been around a lot longer.
If interested, these are the best prices you’ll find and we aren’t sure how long they will last. With that in mind, Amazon is showing some pretty delayed shipping times. However, a handful of additional retailers are selling these at the same prices, with Xmas-approve shipping.
Has the Amazon Echo been a runaway hit? That’s tough to say, depending on your definition of a hit, but I think it certainly shows that Amazon had some vision when it introduced the home assistant speaker two years ago. Amazon knew that the “smart home” was on the way and that all of its parts would need a simple hub to control it. They clearly delivered on that, which has prompted other companies to copy their lead. Now, Amazon is taking the next step to further their lead, according to a report out of Bloomberg, who claims that the next version of Amazon’s Echo may include a touch screen. (more…)
Starting tomorrow, AT&T customers who own an Amazon Echo will be able to send text messages with Alexa. With the soon-to-be-launched Send Message Skill on Echo, users need only ask Alexa to send a message to a contact, then dictate the message. If your hands are full or you really don’t want to pick up your phone, this could be useful. (more…)
Today is your day if you have been wanting an Amazon Echo or Amazon Tap, yet only buy when heavy discounts have been applied. Through a handful of retailers (Best Buy and Lowe’s for example), each product can be had for $50 off. That brings the Amazon Echo price down to $129.99 and the Amazon Tap down to $79.99. Those are good deals, friends.
In case you need a recap on the Echo, you could think of it has a decent room-filling speaker for playing music from from a variety of sources or via Bluetooth. But on top of that, you can ask Alexa (the brains behind Echo) for answers to questions, about the weather, to set timers, control lights and thermostats, read the news, share sports scores, re-purchase products on Amazon, and even order an Uber or pizza. It’s a bit like a home assistant. The Tap is similar, only it’s portable and you need to press a button in order to get to Alexa.
If Echo or Tap products aren’t your thing, a bunch of other Amazon products are discounted as well, including Fire HD 10 tablets ($80 off), Kindles, Fire TVs ($69), and Fire TV Sticks ($25). (more…)
Amazon is currently selling the Amazon Echo for just $139.99 as a “certified refurbished” unit. That’s a good $40 discount off a brand new unit, which Amazon describes as being “refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new.” So in other words, you are basically getting a unit that has had any issues fixed and then made new again.
In case you need a recap on the Echo, you could think of it has a decent room-filling speaker for playing music from from a variety of sources or via Bluetooth. But on top of that, you can ask Alexa (the brains behind Echo) for answers to questions, about the weather, to set timers, control lights and thermostats, read the news, share sports scores, re-purchase products on Amazon, and even order an Uber or pizza. It’s a bit like a home assistant.