Alexa

By MacRumors Staff

Alexa Articles

WhatsApp and Amazon Alexa Launch Coronavirus Information Services

Friday March 27, 2020 5:39 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
The British government this week launched a coronavirus information service on WhatsApp to help users access information about the disease from their smartphones. WhatsApp users in the U.K. can access the service by tapping this link. Alternatively, start a new chat in WhatsApp, select New Contact, and add the number (+44) 7860 064422 to the Mobile field. The number will appear at the bottom...

Apple, Amazon, Google, and Zigbee Alliance to Develop Open Standard for Smart Home Devices [Updated]

Wednesday December 18, 2019 4:06 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple, Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance today announced a new working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new IP-based connectivity standard for smart home products, with a focus on increased compatibility, security, and simplified development for manufacturers. Zigbee Alliance board member companies such as IKEA, Legrand, NXP Semiconductors, Resideo,...

Alexa Now Supports Apple Music in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Austria [Updated]

Tuesday August 20, 2019 2:04 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple Music will be available to stream on German Echo devices via Alexa from today, reports regional tech blog ifun.de. We've not received official confirmation, but if Germany's Alexa rollout follows a similar pattern to other countries, it should mean ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers who own an Echo device, Amazon Fire TV, or Alexa-enabled Sonos speaker will soon be able to ask Alexa to play...

Amazon's Alexa to Offer NHS-Verified Health Advice to Britons

Wednesday July 10, 2019 3:58 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
From this week, users of Alexa devices in the United Kingdom will be able to get expert health advice from the voice-activated smart speakers, thanks to a partnership between Amazon and the National Health Service. When health-related queries such as "Alexa, how do I treat a migraine?" or "what are the symptoms of flu?" are put to the devices, Amazon's algorithm will use information from the ...

Alexa Now Supports Apple Music in Australia and New Zealand on Echo, Sonos, and Fire TV Devices

Wednesday May 15, 2019 8:29 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Alexa now supports Apple Music in Australia and New Zealand on Amazon Echo and Amazon Fire TV devices, and compatible Sonos speakers, as reflected in a recently updated Apple support document. This means ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers who own one of those devices in those countries can now ask Alexa to play songs, artists, playlists, and more from ‌Apple Music‌. This functionality first launched...

'Alexa Guard' Security Feature Rolls Out to Amazon Echo Devices in the US

Tuesday May 14, 2019 4:03 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Amazon announced this morning that Alexa Guard is now rolling out to all Echo device owners in the U.S. The free feature update, which has been trialed by a select few over the last few months, turns Echo speakers into security devices when no-one's home by allowing them to listen for key sounds indicating danger or intrusion. Users need to say "Alexa, I'm leaving" to set Alexa Guard to...

Employees Who Listen to Amazon Alexa Requests Can Access Customers' Home Addresses

Wednesday April 24, 2019 10:11 am PDT by Juli Clover
Earlier this month, Bloomberg shared details on the thousands of employees that Amazon employs around the world to listen to voice recordings captured in the homes of Amazon Echo owners when the Alexa wake word is spoken, with the purpose of improving the service. There was some concerning information in the report, including employee access to private recordings, recordings that are upsetting ...

Alexa Support for Apple Music Expands to Sonos Speakers

Wednesday April 17, 2019 10:19 am PDT by Juli Clover
Amazon Echo devices have been able to use Alexa-based voice commands to control Apple Music since December, but the feature has been limited to Amazon's own devices until today. Sonos One and Sonos Beam owners in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland are now also able to use Alexa to control ‌Apple Music‌ after adding the ‌Apple Music‌ skill to the Alexa app. In the US, UK, and ...

Thousands of Amazon Employees Listen to Alexa Requests for Improvement Purposes [Updated]

Wednesday April 10, 2019 5:58 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Amazon has thousands of employees around the world that listen to voice recordings captured in the homes of Amazon Echo owners, reports Bloomberg. Voice recordings are captured when the Alexa wake word is spoken and then a subset of those recordings are listened to, transcribed, annotated, and added back into the software as part of Amazon's effort to help Alexa better respond to voice...

Apple Music Now Available on Amazon's Alexa Devices in the UK and Ireland

Thursday April 4, 2019 3:33 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices in the UK and Ireland are now compatible with Apple Music, reports Pocket-lint. In the United States, Amazon Echo models have supported ‌Apple Music‌ since December of last year, allowing Echo speakers to integrate directly with Apple's music service, but the functionality was not made available in other countries. Amazon Echo owners in the UK can now instal...

Siri on HomePod Asked 800 Questions and Answered 74% Correctly vs. Just 52% Earlier This Year

Thursday December 20, 2018 5:38 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple analyst Gene Munster of Loup Ventures recently tested the accuracy of digital assistants on four smart speakers by asking Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana a series of 800 questions each on the Amazon Echo, HomePod, Google Home Mini, and Harmon Kardon Invoke respectively. The results indicate that Siri on the HomePod correctly answered 74.6 percent of the questions, a dramatic ...

Amazon Confirms More Alexa-Enabled Speakers Will Eventually Support Apple Music

Wednesday December 19, 2018 7:32 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Amazon has confirmed that Apple Music will eventually be supported on additional Alexa-enabled speakers, according to a tweet from Mashable's Raymond Wong spotted by AppleInsider. Amazon didn't provide a timeframe for the rollout. A variety of third-party Alexa speakers and devices are available from brands such as Sonos, JBL, Ultimate Ears, and First Alert. 🚨UPDATE!!!🚨Amazon has ...

Apple Music Now Playable on Amazon Echo Speakers via Alexa in United States

Friday December 14, 2018 9:29 am PST by Joe Rossignol
Apple Music can now be streamed on Amazon Echo speakers via Alexa in the United States, a few days ahead of schedule. As spotted by 9to5Mac, it is now possible to link Apple Music with your Amazon account in the Alexa app for iPhone and use Alexa voice commands to control playback of songs, playlists, and Beats 1 on Apple Music on Amazon Echo speakers. To access this feature, simply use a ...

Amazon Alexa App Gains Redesigned Interface for Controlling Devices and Groups

Friday October 5, 2018 3:42 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Amazon is currently rolling out an updated version of its companion app for Alexa-enabled devices that includes a significantly redesigned user interface. The visual changes are immediately apparent on firing up the app, and center around a new Devices and Groups tab located in the lower right of the screen. With the new menu selected, the devices are listed in a horizontal strip along...

Skype Calling Features Coming to Alexa Devices Later This Year

Friday September 21, 2018 3:50 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Microsoft has revealed that Skype is coming to Alexa devices. The partnership between Microsoft and Amazon means that owners of devices in Amazon's Echo range will soon be able to make outgoing Skype voice and video calls, accept incoming Skype calls, and also make SkypeOut calls to most phone numbers around the world. Announcing the upcoming feature in a blog post, Microsoft said device...

Amazon Working to Further Lessen Reliance on Power Cords for Future Echo Speakers

Thursday June 28, 2018 7:13 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
In an effort that would give future Echo speakers with Alexa a new advantage over Apple's HomePod, Reuters today reports that Amazon is working with chipmakers to build Alexa speakers that would not require a constant power source. As it stands, most smart assistant devices -- Amazon's main Echo, Apple HomePod, Google Home, etc -- require a constant draw of power due to their always-on...

Amazon Alexa App for iOS Gains Voice Controls

Tuesday June 26, 2018 4:31 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Amazon today updated its Alexa app for iOS to add a promised voice control feature that's designed to allow iOS users to tap the Alexa button and use voice commands to ask Alexa to play music, answer questions, check the weather, and more. As noted by TechCrunch, Amazon introduced voice control to its Alexa app for Android back in January, and at the time, said the feature would be expanded to ...

Amazon's Alexa Recorded a Woman's Private Conversation and Sent it to a Contact

Thursday May 24, 2018 1:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
A woman in Portland recently had an alarming experience with her Alexa-enabled devices after a private conversation was recorded and sent to a random contact, according to a news report from Seattle's Kiro7 news. The woman, Danielle, and her family had Amazon devices situated in each room for home control, and two weeks ago, one of those devices apparently recorded a conversation about...

Amazon's Alexa App Finally Gains Support for iPhone X

Tuesday April 24, 2018 4:39 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Amazon today updated its Alexa app for iOS devices to introduce iPhone X compatibility, allowing the app to be displayed full screen on the longer display of the iPhone X. Prior to today, the Amazon Alexa app displayed unattractive black bars at the bottom and top of the app, so this should be a welcome change for Amazon users who have an iPhone X. The addition of Alexa support comes just over ...

New Survey Says Amazon and Google Have a More 'Positive Impact on Society' Than Apple

Monday April 23, 2018 6:51 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
In a new survey conducted by SurveyMonkey and shared by Recode, 11 percent of respondents said that they believe Apple has the most positive impact on society today. Apple came in third place, however, falling in line behind Google at 15 percent and Amazon in the top spot at 20 percent. Survey respondents were given the option of choosing between a number of technology companies between...