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Posts Tagged ‘amazon echo’

Amazon Music Unlimited now available in Canada

Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Amazon Music Unlimited is now available in Canada. Yesterday, the e-commerce giant announced details of the expansion which includes a 90-day trial (4-month trial for residents of Quebec). The launch of the service also brings Alexa to the app (iOS and Android) and Echo smart speakers. Pricing for the service is a bit cluttered due to the different plan options and Prime status of the customer so let’s break it down: 

  • For individual users:
    • Prime customers: $7.99/month or $79/year
    • non-Prime customers: $9.99/month 
  • For families of up to six members:
    • Prime customers: $14.99/month or $149/year
    • non-Prime customers: $14.99/month
  • Single Device Plan: $3.99/month for one Echo device

Amazon Prime Music was already available in Canada, but it features only a small fraction of Unlimited’s music library, roughly 2 million songs versus 40 million. The other benefit of the Unlimited service is enhanced voice capabilities of Alexa, the company’s virtual assistant.

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Amazon Music Unlimited now available in Canada was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

[Deal Alert] Amazon Echo with SmartThings hub and 2 Element smart bulbs down to $115 ($105 off) on Amazon

Saturday, June 30th, 2018

For those of you who are looking to get into the smart home game, Amazon has something in store. The retailer is currently offering its 2nd-gen Echo, a Samsung SmartThings hub, and two Element smart lightbulbs for just $114.99, which is over $100 less than the bundle's regular price.

The nearly-50% off discount makes sense when you look at each product's price. The Echo goes for $99.99, the SmartThings hub for $84.99, and the two Element smart lightbulbs for about $20 together.

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[Deal Alert] Amazon Echo with SmartThings hub and 2 Element smart bulbs down to $115 ($105 off) on Amazon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Alexa Skills Kit and Voice Service expand to Italy and Spain, Echo devices coming later in the year

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Amazon has announced that the Amazon Echo and other Alexa speakers from Bose and Sonos are coming to Spain and Italy later this year. In preparation for that, it is now expanding the Alexa Skills Kit and Voice Service to these two countries.

If you're a developer interested in creating voice experiences and skills for Alexa in Spanish or Italian, you can now either update your existing skills to support the two languages or create new ones.

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Alexa Skills Kit and Voice Service expand to Italy and Spain, Echo devices coming later in the year was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

You may soon be able to control your Xbox One with Alexa and Google Assistant

Monday, June 4th, 2018

Xbox One users, here's a piece news for you on Android Police, of all places. According to Windows Central, you may soon be able to control your gaming / entertainment console with voice commands, thanks to the addition of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support.

Amazon Alexa support was rumored for a while, which wasn't surprising news considering how chummy Microsoft and Amazon have been lately. But this is the first time we hear about integration with Google Assistant.

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You may soon be able to control your Xbox One with Alexa and Google Assistant was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

New Alexa skill lets you manage your Amazon Store Card by voice

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Tired of paying your Amazon Store Card bill by hand like a cave person? A new Alexa skill lets you manage your account—performing tasks like checking your balance, reviewing recent transactions, and paying your bill—by talking to your Echo device or app.

The Store Card skill will allow you to do pretty much anything with your card you'd otherwise do with traditional online account management. Amazon suggests trying the following phrases:

• "I want to pay my credit card bill."
• "Did my payment go through"
• "When is my payment due"
• "What is my minimum payment"
• "What did I recently buy"
• "What did I last buy"
• "How much money have I spent lately"
• "What is my recent activity"
• "What is my account summary"
• "How much available credit do I have"
• "What were my previous charges"
• "I need help”

 

Whether or not managing your account by voice is more convenient is subjective, but telling your digital assistant to pay a bill for you is at least novel.

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New Alexa skill lets you manage your Amazon Store Card by voice was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Inaudible smart speaker commands can be hidden in music, researchers say

Friday, May 11th, 2018

In 2016, a group of students from University of California, Berkeley, and Georgetown University demonstrated that they were able to issue unheard commands to smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo by hiding them in white noise. Now, two of those Berkeley students have published a paper that says they can hide such commands in recordings of music or even human speech.

One of the paper's authors, PhD student Nicholas Carlini, has also published a website that contains several clips of music and speech that turn into words the human ear can't decipher when run through a specially trained transcription model.

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Inaudible smart speaker commands can be hidden in music, researchers say was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Amazon teases upcoming Fire TV Cube streaming device

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

A new page appeared on Amazon yesterday: white text on a blue backdrop, asking "What is Fire TV Cube?" with a button to sign up for email updates. The question, obviously rhetorical, is a clear teaser for a new Fire TV device.

AFTVnews reports that the upcoming streamer will take the form of a set-top box with built in microphones that allow it to function like an Amazon Echo. Existing Fire TV devices allow for voice input, but require the use of a remote or a separate Echo device.

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Amazon teases upcoming Fire TV Cube streaming device was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Amazon is reportedly readying home robots for 2019 release

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Credit: Depositphotos

Amazon is working in earnest on domestic robots, Bloomberg reports. The project is being called Vesta, after the goddess of home and family in Roman mythology. Amazon apparently hopes to begin testing the robots by the end of this year, and is targeting a 2019 launch date.

The company has a robotics division that builds the industrial machines that do automated work in its warehouses, but this project is being overseen by Gregg Zehr, president of Amazon's Lab126.

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Amazon is reportedly readying home robots for 2019 release was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Amazon Echo products and Alexa now available in Ireland

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Amazon and Google are in a race to expand their voice assistants to more countries. While both Google Assistant and Alexa are already available in the United Kingdom, neither have a presence in Ireland. Today, Amazon announced that Alexa is officially available in the country, with some of the company's Echo speakers also making a debut.

It was already possible to import an Echo speaker into Ireland, but the setup process was complicated, since the official Alexa mobile apps were unavailable in the country.

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Amazon Echo products and Alexa now available in Ireland was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Taking a page from Kindle, Amazon’s Alexa is everywhere—can Google’s Assistant catch up?

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

When Amazon upended the publishing industry with the advent of the Kindle, it also paved the way for an approach to luring consumers into a larger sphere of influence, a strategy that is now being successfully adapted for the new age of smart speakers and digital assistants. Both the Kindle and the Echo provide consumers with valuable services, encouraging them to shop and receive content within Amazon's ecosystem. Most of the experiences of its Kindle and Echo hardware also come in the form of apps or services that appear on other manufacturers' devices without additional charge to the consumer, making that connection even stronger.

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Taking a page from Kindle, Amazon’s Alexa is everywhere—can Google's Assistant catch up? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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