Amazon has debuted an overhauled version of its Alexa mobile app for iPhone, bringing a new focus on personalization and native Amazon Alexa features. As reported by TechCrunch, the redesigned Alexa app removes the emphasis on third-party skills, instead focusing “on how consumers are actually using Alexa.”
alexa Stories July 27, 2020
alexa Stories July 22, 2020
Siri to see more competition from Alexa as it gains the ability to launch and control iOS apps
Amazon has announced that it’s launching a preview of a new feature coming to Alexa: the ability to launch and control iOS and Android apps. This functionality comes as Amazon is working on boosting adoption of its voice assistant beyond its popular smart speakers.
alexa Stories August 15, 2019
The revelation follows decisions by Apple, Google, and Facebook to suspend their human review processes for now, and Amazon giving Alexa users the ability to opt-out…
alexa Stories August 3, 2019
alexa Stories April 17, 2019
alexa Stories January 8, 2019
Update: Lutron has added that while HomeKit support won’t be available at launch, it does plan to add support in the future.
As part of CES 2019, Lutron has officially unveiled its new fan speed controller, a smart wall switch that replaces your basic on/off switch and works with existing ceiling fans. Fan speed controller adds smart home control that gives you remote access from Lutron’s iOS app and support for scheduling actions and automation.
alexa Stories January 6, 2019
At CES 2019, some nice updates have been announced for the smart shower system, U by Moen. The WiFi shower system is gaining improved Alexa functionality including support for Routines. The company has also promised HomeKit functionality to be landing sometime this quarter as well.
alexa Stories January 2, 2019
alexa Stories December 19, 2018
Amazon’s quirky new Echo Wall Clock has arrived. While it’s primarily just a $29 analog wall clock, there’s something charming about its analog and digital balance. Echo Wall Clock doesn’t have Alexa built-in. You need a nearby Echo speaker with Alexa to use it, then it becomes a smart analog clock with a few fun and useful features despite small build quality concerns.
alexa Stories December 18, 2018
Apple certainly hasn’t gone out of its way to promote the new Apple Music integration with Amazon Echo speakers. Aside from a new support doc, Apple left promotional duties to Amazon including the initial announcement.
The App Store is promoting the Alexa app today, however, marking the closest thing to an announcement since we learned Apple Music was landing on Echo speakers.
alexa Stories December 10, 2018
Amazon today has rolled out a major update to its Alexa-enabled devices. Starting today, Alexa users can now access new features including location-based routines and reminders, timer enhancements, app notifications, email support, and more. These features were originally announced back in September, but are now making their way to users.
alexa Stories December 3, 2018
First Alert is launching a new version of its entry-level smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarm with both Apple HomeKit and Amazon Echo connected home support. The new Onelink Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm retails for about half the price of the more feature-packed Safe & Sound, and customers still benefit from Siri and Home app support on Apple platforms.
alexa Stories November 13, 2018
First Alert’s Onelink Safe & Sound smoke alarm was originally unveiled earlier this year, integrating both HomeKit support as well as Alexa. Today, First Alert is rolling out an update to the device that adds some useful Alexa enhancements, but those hoping for AirPlay 2 support will have to continue waiting.
alexa Stories October 23, 2018
PSA: It’s not just you, Amazon Alexa is down for many users
In conjunction with iCloud issues throughout the day, Amazon’s Alexa is also experiencing intermittent outages for users. As noted by numerous users on Twitter, the Alexa outage has been plaguing the voice assistant over the course of the entire day.
alexa Stories October 18, 2018
Amazon is rolling out a new Alexa feature for Echo speakers that intelligently reduces the voice assistant’s volume when you whisper a command. The new ‘whisper mode’ feature should prevent unexpectedly loud responses in quiet situations and instead use a gentler voice.
alexa Stories August 9, 2018
alexa Stories August 6, 2018
As it continues to rapidly advance its voice assistant’s capabilities, Amazon today confirmed the rollout of a new feature for Alexa called “Answer Update.” This feature, according to TechCrunch, will notify users when Alexa learns the answer to a question it didn’t previously know…
alexa Stories June 7, 2018
alexa Stories May 9, 2018
One of the more popular smart lock options on the market is getting a bit more versatile today. Schlage has announced that it is bringing expanded Alexa support to its Sense and Connect smart locks. While the two have long supported HomeKit and basic Alexa commands, this update gives further controls to users…
alexa Stories April 19, 2018
Amazon is adding new personalization options to Alexa, starting first with users in the United States. The new Alexa Skill Blueprints feature makes it easy for anyone to create a range of custom responses for Alexa, ranging from jokes to instructions and much more.
alexa Stories March 13, 2018
After being teased last summer, ecobee has officially announced pricing and availability for its new Switch+ smart home accessory. Switch+ is available for pre-order starting today and ships on March 26 for $99 in the US and $119 in Canada. Like other smart light switches, Switch+ includes Alexa integration as well as HomeKit support for controlling lights — but Switch+ takes integration with Amazon’s voice assistant a step further by building it in to the light switch.
alexa Stories March 12, 2018
Alexa Calling, Messaging & Drop In now available from your iPad
If you have family or friends with Amazon Echo devices, you can now contact them using Alexa’s free messaging service from your iPad – no Alexa hardware required …
alexa Stories March 7, 2018
Alexa spontaneously laughing at customers, Amazon hopes there’s a fix
HomePod may leave a lot to be desired in its current state (and the occasional wood-stained ring), but we’ve seen no reports of Siri spontaneously laughing for no apparent reason. The same can no longer be said for Amazon Echo’s Alexa…
alexa Stories February 13, 2018
Canary has announced that its home security camera system now works with Amazon Alexa devices with screens including Echo Spot and compatible Fire TVs. Alexa support lets you use voice to view live video from connected cameras. While the company is shipping Echo integration, Canary is still not offering a clear roadmap for when Apple HomeKit support may be coming.
alexa Stories January 12, 2018
In the run-up to the HomePod’s delayed release, I’ve been experimenting heavily with Amazon Alexa in various forms. While Alexa is most present at home where I’ve placed Echo Dots throughout my house for controlling lights, I’ve also tried Alexa in the car using Garmin Speak which is a dash-mounted GPS with Amazon’s voice assistant built-in.
alexa Stories December 19, 2017
In the wake of the HomePod delay, I’ve found myself tinkering more and more with Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speakers like the Sonos One and Echo Dot. The main appeal of HomePod for me is HomeKit control, managing Apple Reminders and Cultured Code Things tasks and entries, and controlling Apple Music and Apple Podcasts playback.
I’ve found that most HomeKit accessories also work with Amazon Alexa, so voice-enabled smart home control is relatively easy to do with Alexa. Adding new entries to lists in Reminders is something else I frequently do with Siri, and luckily it’s possible to make this work with Alexa too.
alexa Stories November 21, 2017
Sonos has officially launched support for controlling Spotify music playback using Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant with the wireless speaker system. The partnership between the three companies brings voice control to the largest music streaming service on hi-fi wireless speakers ahead of Apple’s delayed HomePod smart speaker launch.
alexa Stories November 16, 2017
ecobee is the maker of what I consider the best HomeKit thermostat on the market, and the new version called ecobee4 adds built-in Amazon Alexa voice control and works with Google Home. ecobee4 offers the same features as the HomeKit-enabled ecobee3 which we reviewed last year, so should iPhone users spend the extra money on the new version?
alexa Stories May 25, 2017
AOL launches updated Alto email app w/ integrated calendars & Amazon Alexa support
AOL, now part of Verizon, is today launching an updated version of its Alto email app that it first launched back in September of last year. Today’s update includes new calendar integration, Amazon Alexa support, and more.
One of the highlight new features arriving in today’s update is full calendar integration in the app’s Dashboard interface:
alexa Stories April 13, 2017
The high-performance far-field microphones found in Amazon Echo products may soon find their way to other hardware companies as Amazon has announced that the technology will be available to those who want to integrate into the Alexa Experience.
alexa Stories April 19, 2016
9to5Toys Last Call: Apple refurb 12″ MacBooks from $929, Amazon Tap/Echo from $111, Apple Watch Dock $21, more
TODAY’S CAN’T MISS DEALS:
Last Call Updates:
The best accessories for Apple’s 12-inch MacBook: USB-C cables, hubs, flash storage, more
- VIZIO introduces the new M-Series with an updated design and 4K HDR displays
- Sennheiser HD 600 Open-Back Pro Headphones + $150 Amazon gift card: $400 ($550 value)
- Motorola SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 SB6183 Cable Modem (Refurb) $64 shipped (Reg. $100)
- PSN Digital Games up to 60% off: GTA Trilogy for PS4 from $19, more
- Harman Kardon 7.1-Ch. 4K A/V Receiver w/ AirPlay: $298 shipped (Orig. $800)
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Apple drops the price on refurbished 12-inch MacBooks, now start at $929 shipped
Amazon’s Alexa-enabled Echo is on sale for $154 (Reg. $180), Tap Bluetooth Speaker $111 (Reg. $130)
Smartphone Accessories: Arc-shaped Apple Watch Charging Stand $21, AUKEY Magnetic Air Vent Mount $6, more
Review: Are these third-party $11 Apple Watch Sport bands any good? Turns out, they aren’t too bad.
App Store Free App of the Week: Space Marshals goes free for the very first time ($5 value)
Upgrade Your Mac with 3 Great Apps: Scapple $9 (Orig. $15), STAMP Premium $5 (Orig. $10), Ghostnote $7 (Orig. $10)
BADLAND 1 & 2 for iOS now matching lowest prices ever from $1 (Reg. $5)
Apple offers Day One 2 iOS journal app for free ($10 value)
MORE NEW GEAR FROM TODAY:
SanDisk Storage: Ultra II 960GB 2.5-inch Internal Solid-State Drive $200 (Reg. $232+), 256GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive $50, more
Smartphone Accessories: Pad & Quill Timber Catchall Stand for Apple Watch in cherry wood finish $64 (Reg. $99), more
- Daily Deals: JBL Synchros Over-Ear Headphones $99, Dell Laser Printer w/ AirPrint $70, more
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MORE DEALS STILL ALIVE:
DODOcase 40% off sitewide: iPad Pro Two Tone Case from $49 shipped, iPhone & Apple Watch accessories, more
Samsung 55-inch 4K 120Hz Smart UHDTVs: $1,200 (Reg. $1,500), 3D $1,375 (Reg. $1,800)
Displays: Dell 24-inch 4K $361 (Reg. $400+), LG Ultra-Thin Bezel 27-inch 1080p $180 (Reg. $299)
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- GoPro HERO4 Silver Action Camera w/ Accessories Bundle: $280 w/ .edu ($375 value)
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- Amazon launches standalone $9/month Prime Video subscription, but it isn’t really a deal
- Grab a $5 Kindle eBook credit at Amazon w/ download of select free Android titles
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- Slayin endless action RPG for iOS is now available for free (Reg. $1)
- Google Chromebook Pixel Touchscreen 1.8GHz/4GB/32GB: $400 (Reg. 650+)
- Jackery USB Power Banks: 6000mAh w/ MFi Lightning Cable $20 (Reg. $30), more
- LG Music Flow P7 20W 2-Channel Bluetooth Speaker: $43 shipped (Orig. $150)
- Grab this RCA 32-inch 1080p 60Hz LED HDTV for only $150 shipped (Orig. $209)
- Give Google Express a try with this $30 credit for $15 w/ email delivery (50% savings)
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- Pebble Time iOS/Android Smartwatch with color e-paper display: $105 shipped (Reg. $130+)
- Philips Hue Starter Kits (1st gen): Lux $56 (Orig. $80), White & Color $135 (Orig. $170)
- Philips Hue discounted bundles: 4-pack A19 white & color bulbs $199 (Reg. $240), more
- Stay online when the power goes out with the APC Back-UPS Power Supply for $20 (Reg. $30)
- TarDisk Pear solid-state expansion drive for MacBook 15% off
- BenQ 1080p 3D DLP Home Theater Projector (Refurb) $500 (Orig, $1,199)
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- Get your first month free of the comic subscription service Marvel Unlimited ($10 value)
- Enhance your computer audio w/ Mackie’s CR4 50W Reference Speakers for $115 (Reg. $150)
- Fashion: Patagonia up to 50% off – 1/4 Zip Pullover $64, Board shorts $39, more
NEW PRODUCTS & MORE:
DJI’s new professional-grade drone is incredibly powerful and intelligent
- Samsung goes big with the “world’s first” bezel-less curved 4K Ultra HDTV
- LEGO reveals a massive 1,600 piece Minecraft set loaded with zombies, more
- Improve your kitchen skills with the best under $10 utensils
- Some of the best SNES games of all-time hit Nintendo’s 3DS eShop
- Amazon’s new $290 Kindle Oasis is a slim, luxury e-reader with months of battery life
- The Lycan Powerbox is a robust solar generator with a swappable battery system
- Impossible Project reveals its Polaroid-style analog camera with iOS connectivity
- JBL’s new Reflect Aware C noise cancelling headphones are powered by USB Type-C
- You probably won’t own Lytro’s new 755MP Cinema Camera but you’ll enjoy its benefits
- GoPro’s new Omni Virtual Reality rig leverages six HERO4 Black action cameras
- Epson’s latest ‘Small-in-One’ printer weighs in at a fraction of the competition
- Twelve South introduces new TimePorter capsule for Apple Watch and charger
- Ryobi’s new Ultra Quiet Garage Door Opener has a Bluetooth speaker and more
- Roku introduces a new quad-core streaming stick with a slimmed down design
- Apogee releases its most affordable full-featured Mac recording interface yet
- The Yecup 365 travel mug uses your iPhone to heat or cool your drink
- ROAM-e follows you around in the sky and takes selfies on demand
alexa Stories March 10, 2016
In a blog post long on words but short on specifics, wireless speaker firm Sonos has announced that it will be increasingly focusing on support for streaming music services – but also moving into voice control. CEO John Macfarlane says that in the immediate term, the company will need to layoff employees as part of its refocusing plans.
Macfarlane hints at a possible collaboration with Amazon, using Alexa, the company’s competitor to Siri.
We’re fans of what Amazon has done with Alexa and the Echo product line. Voice recognition isn’t new; today it’s nearly ubiquitous with Siri, OK Google, and Cortana. But the Echo found a sweet spot in the home and will impact how we navigate music, weather, and many, many other things as developers bring new ideas and more content to the Alexa platform …
alexa Stories March 3, 2016
The Amazon Echo has become somewhat of a hit success, with many users preferring Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant to Apple’s Siri because of faster speech recognition speed, reliability and overall better performance. Amazon is continuing to compete in the voice assistant space with the release of two new products today: the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot.
The new products focus on expanding Amazon’s voice assistant into more rooms of your house as well as on-the-go. It’s an interesting strategy to make Alexa-dedicated devices, whereas Apple currently offers Siri only as a feature of its existing iOS, Apple Watch and Apple TV products.