By MacRumors Staff

Alexa Articles

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Skype Calling Features Coming to Alexa Devices Later This Year

Friday September 21, 2018 3:50 am PDT by
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...
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Amazon Working to Further Lessen Reliance on Power Cords for Future Echo Speakers

Thursday June 28, 2018 7:13 am PDT by
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
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 ...
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Amazon's Alexa Recorded a Woman's Private Conversation and Sent it to a Contact

Thursday May 24, 2018 1:04 pm PDT by
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
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 ...
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New Survey Says Amazon and Google Have a More 'Positive Impact on Society' Than Apple

Monday April 23, 2018 6:51 am PDT by
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...
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Alexa App on iPad Can Now Initiate Phone/Video Calls and Send Messages to Echo Devices

Monday March 12, 2018 8:57 am PDT by
Amazon is now allowing users to make phone calls, video calls, and send messages from an iPad, Android, or Fire tablet to an Alexa-enabled Echo device. Previously, users had to activate calls or send messages using an Echo, so now it should be easier to communicate within Amazon's Alexa ecosystem (via Engadget). To receive calls, users need any device with the Alexa app installed or an Echo...
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Amazon's Alexa Gains Follow-Up Mode for Back-to-Back Requests Without Repeating Wake Word

Friday March 9, 2018 3:42 pm PST by
Amazon's Alexa personal assistant, built into dozens of different products, today gained a new "Follow-Up Mode" that's designed to allow users to ask multiple questions in succession without the need to repeat the "Alexa" wake up word. As noted by CNET, Follow-Up Mode allows Alexa to continue to listen for five seconds after an initial response to see if you have an additional request....
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Amazon Working on a Fix for Alexa Devices Scaring Users With Creepy Laughter

Wednesday March 7, 2018 11:16 am PST by
For the past couple of weeks, speakers equipped with Amazon's Alexa voice-based personal assistant have been randomly laughing, scaring and creeping out speaker owners who have affected devices. Complaints have been surfacing on Twitter, Reddit, and other social media platforms over the course of the last few weeks, but the issue started receiving widespread attention this week after it was...

Smart Speaker Showdown: HomePod vs. Google Home Max vs. Sonos One

Tuesday February 20, 2018 10:08 am PST by
Apple's new HomePod is late to the smart speaker market, which is already crowded with speakers from companies like Amazon, Google, and Sonos. The latter two companies, Google and Sonos, have released speakers with high-quality sound and robust voice assistants, giving the HomePod some serious competition. We decided to pit Apple's $349 HomePod against both the $399 Google Home Max, which...
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Amazon's Alexa App Climbed to #1 on the iOS App Store's Top Free Chart After Christmas

Wednesday December 27, 2017 7:30 am PST by
After presents were unwrapped across the world on Christmas morning, Amazon's Alexa app [Direct Link] earned the #1 spot on the iOS App Store's Top Free chart, suggesting Echo and other Alexa devices were very popular this holiday season (via TechCrunch). This marks the first time the Alexa app gained a #1 spot on Apple's App Store, and it remained there for over a day. Currently, Alexa sits...
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Amazon Aims for Echo Speakers in Every Office With 'Alexa for Business'

Friday December 1, 2017 4:15 am PST by
Amazon's aim to bring its highly popular at-home Echo smart speaker into the workplace got underway on Thursday with the launch of Alexa for Business. The announcement, made at the company's annual Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, sets the stage for Amazon's vision to make its virtual assistant the essential office accessory, able to book conference rooms, launch meetings, and order stationery. ...
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Amazon 'Echo Buttons' Trivia Game Accessories Now Available to Pre-Order

Thursday November 23, 2017 1:07 am PST by
Amazon has made its Echo Buttons, the company's "first Alexa gadgets", available to pre-order on its U.S. website. First announced in September, the $20 accessories come in packs of two and are designed to allow Amazon Echo owners to play family trivia games with the voice-activated smart speakers. About 3 inches (76mm) wide and 1.5 inches (38mm) tall, the Echo Buttons each have a...

Ultimate Ears Debuts 'BLAST' and 'MEGA BLAST' Speakers With Alexa Support and Charging Dock

Thursday October 19, 2017 12:01 am PDT by
Ultimate Ears, a company known for its line of rugged, colorful speakers with high-quality audio, today announced two new additions to its product lineup: the BLAST and the MEGABLAST. BLAST and MEGABLAST are Ultimate Ears' first Wi-Fi connected speakers. Designed as successors to the UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom 2, the BLAST and MEGABLAST feature the same cylindrical body shape, bold design,...

Amazon Rolls Out Alexa Device Messaging and Calling to U.K. and Germany

Tuesday October 3, 2017 3:57 am PDT by
Amazon is updating its Alexa app today to add support for messaging and calling on Alexa-powered smart devices in the U.K., Germany, and Austria (via The Verge). The second-generation Echo in Charcoal Fabric The Alexa voice calling feature will work on standard Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers, allowing users to call the devices free of charge. iPhone and Android owners can also use the Alexa ...

Amazon Reportedly Working on Smart Glasses With Integrated Alexa AI

Wednesday September 20, 2017 1:16 am PDT by
Amazon is actively developing a pair of smart glasses with Alexa virtual assistant built in, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. Designed like a regular pair of spectacles, the device will enable Alexa to be invoked by the wearer at any time and at all places, the report said, citing people familiar with Amazon's plans. The founder of Google Glass is said to be working on Amazon's ...
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Alexa Virtual Assistant Coming to Bragi Dash Wireless Earbuds in October

Friday September 1, 2017 3:28 am PDT by
Bragi has announced that Alexa is set to become a new feature of its Bragi Dash wireless headphones later this year. The company revealed at the IFA trade show today that a software update coming in October will allow Dash and Dash Pro owners to talk to Amazon's virtual assistant in both English and German languages (via The Verge). After the forthcoming 3.1 update is installed, to activate...
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Alexa and Apple AirPlay 2 Support Coming to Libratone Zipp Wireless Speakers This Fall

Thursday August 31, 2017 3:43 am PDT by
Bluetooth speaker maker Libratone has announced that beginning this fall, Zipp and Zipp Mini speaker owners will be able to use their devices to invoke Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant as well as tap in to Apple's forthcoming AirPlay 2 protocol. The company said it will make a free firmware download available in the coming months that activates Alexa support in the wireless speakers, which...
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iPhone Users Will Be Able to Say 'Hey Cortana, Open Alexa' in Future

Wednesday August 30, 2017 5:49 am PDT by
Amazon and Microsoft today jointly announced that Alexa and Cortana will soon be able to communicate with each other. Microsoft said the collaboration will allow access to Alexa via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs later this year, and via the Cortana app for iOS and Android at an unspecified point in the future. Similarly, users will be able to access Cortana on Alexa-enabled devices like the...
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Anker's $35 Smart Speaker With Built-in Alexa Claims Better Audio Than Amazon's Echo Dot

Thursday August 10, 2017 3:33 am PDT by
Popular accessory company Anker launched its own low-cost smart speaker with built-in Alexa on Wednesday called the Eufy Genie. Costing $35, the Genie is a little bigger than Amazon's Echo Dot, which retails at $50, but claims to offer stronger bass and double the volume of Amazon's equivalent device thanks to a 2W speaker. The Genie's list of features pretty much tallies with Echo Dot's...