Amazon Echo

By MacRumors Staff

Amazon Echo Articles

Apple and Amazon Adopt Opposing Strategies as Smart Home War Heats Up

Friday January 27, 2017 8:56 am PST by
Apple has been in the smart home market for over two years, having introduced its HomeKit framework in the fall of 2014 alongside iOS 8, but HomeKit has been slow to get off the ground because of the company's strict requirements. Amazon, meanwhile, entered the smart home market somewhat later with its Alexa-enabled Echo in-home speaker officially launching in the summer of 2015, but Amazon's...

CES 2017: Ford to Integrate Alexa Virtual Assistant into its Cars From Next Month

Thursday January 5, 2017 12:31 am PST by
Ford has announced it is teaming up with Amazon to integrate Alexa virtual assistant into its cars, allowing vehicle owners to access shop, search, and control smart home features on the road. The partnership means owners of Ford cars equipped with the SYNC 3 AppLink system will be able to access Amazon's Alexa voice-activated virtual assistant from the driver's seat, enabling them to check...

CES 2017: Lenovo Announces Amazon Alexa-Powered Connected Smart Speaker

Tuesday January 3, 2017 2:47 am PST by
PC maker Lenovo today announced its first smart speaker with Amazon's voice-activated virtual assistant built in. Called the Lenovo Smart Assistant, the connected speaker integrates Amazon's Alexa Voice Services and offers the same speech-activated features as the Echo family of devices, but housed in a slightly redesigned unit. The speaker keeps the same cylindrical profile as Amazon's...

Microsoft Opens Cortana Virtual Assistant to Third-Party Hardware Makers

Wednesday December 14, 2016 3:38 am PST by
Microsoft has announced it is making its Cortana voice assistant AI available to third-party device makers, with third-party developers also set to get access to the platform for integrating into their services on Cortana-powered devices. The company's approach is based on two software kits currently available for preview: A Skills Kit that allows developers to build apps that can be called up ...

Amazon Discounts its Echo Smart Speaker Range Yet Again

Monday December 12, 2016 3:11 am PST by
As part of its Black Friday Deals Week, Amazon lowered the price of its Echo family of smart speakers, before returning them to their regular prices. Now Amazon has discounted the devices again for a limited time in the U.S. as part of a "Holiday Deals" promotion. The full-size Echo speaker is $40 cheaper at $139.99, while the smaller Echo dot is available for $39.99 instead of its regular...

Amazon Developing Echo Speaker With 7-Inch Touchscreen to 'Fend Off Competition' From Apple and Google

Tuesday November 29, 2016 4:14 am PST by
Amazon's next iteration of the Echo speaker will be a "premium" model that includes a touchscreen measuring around seven inches, marking "a major departure" from the tall, cylindrical design of the Echo currently on sale. The company is said to be upgrading Echo for two reasons: to capitalize on the device's success, and as early preparation to "fend off competition" from Google Home and Apple's...

Amazon Slashes Prices Across its Echo Smart Speaker Range for Black Friday

Thursday November 24, 2016 1:51 am PST by
Amazon today began offering devices in its Echo smart speaker range at discounted prices for the first time in the products' short history, as part of its Black Friday Deals Week. For those unfamiliar with the devices, the connected speakers' array of microphones lets users query voice-based assistant Alexa, who can be asked to do things like play music, read the news, use apps, check the...

Amazon Music Unlimited Launches With $3.99 Echo-Only Subscription Option

Wednesday October 12, 2016 2:23 am PDT by
Amazon today launched Amazon Music Unlimited, its new standalone, on-demand streaming service. Amazon Music Unlimited is distinct from the company's Prime-only music library, which offers access to "over a million songs." By contrast, the new service promises access to "tens of millions" of songs from all the major labels. Prices start at $7.99 per month for Prime members and $9.99 per month...

Apple 'Pressing Ahead' Into Prototype Testing for Echo-Like Smart Home Device Powered by Siri

Friday September 23, 2016 6:00 am PDT by
Apple is said to be "stepping up plans" for its connected smart home device powered by Siri, which would rival the technology that Amazon has made popular in its Alexa-enabled Echo speaker system (via Bloomberg). After two years of research and development, the Apple device is said to be in prototype testing, but because Apple hasn't officially finalized any plans it "could still scrap the...

Amazon Taking Pre-Orders For its Echo Smart Speaker in U.K. and Germany

Thursday September 15, 2016 3:02 am PDT by
Amazon yesterday announced its Echo connected smart speaker is now available to pre-order in the U.K. and Germany, signaling the end of a 14-month wait for the device to become available outside of the U.S. For those unfamiliar with the device, the Echo's array of microphones lets users query voice-based assistant Alexa, who can be asked to do things like play music, read the news, use apps,...

Deleted Amazon Tweet Leaks 'All New' $50 Echo Dot Smart Speaker

Tuesday September 13, 2016 2:43 am PDT by
Amazon appears to be readying a cheaper version of its popular Echo Dot speaker, if a tweet that showed up briefly on the company's Twitter account this morning is anything to go by. The voice-controlled smart speaker that houses Amazon's personal assistant Alexa was announced back in March, costing $89.99, and is a smaller, palm-sized expansion to the company's flagship Echo product that...

Amazon Working on Echo $5-a-Month Music Streaming Service

Tuesday August 23, 2016 1:53 am PDT by
Amazon is working on a $5-a-month music subscription service that will be exclusive to owners of the company's internet-connected Echo speaker. According to Recode, Amazon is planning to introduce the service in September alongside another music streaming service that costs $10 a month, to compete more directly with the likes of Apple Music and Spotify. Industry sources say the company has...

Google's Echo Rival is a 'Dressed-up' Version of Chromecast

Wednesday June 1, 2016 2:15 am PDT by
Last month, Google announced plans for its upcoming Amazon Echo rival, Google Home, a Wi-Fi enabled personal assistant that enables people to ask Google search queries, manage everyday tasks, enjoy music and entertainment, and more using hands-free "OK Google" voice commands. Yesterday, a few more details emerged about Google Home, which will potentially go directly up against the smart device ...

Apple May Introduce Next-Gen Natural Language API in its Amazon Echo Competitor

Monday May 30, 2016 6:39 am PDT by
Last week we reported that Apple is said to be readying an Amazon Echo competitor that could be used in the home for features like listening to music, asking for information and getting news headlines. The product is thought to include a camera with facial recognition capabilities and said to learn over time about its users, which interact with the device via an enhanced version of Siri....

Apple's Amazon Echo Competitor Could Feature Camera, Facial Recognition

Friday May 27, 2016 9:58 am PDT by
Apple's rumored product designed to compete with the Amazon Echo could come equipped with a camera and facial recognition capabilities, reports CNET. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, CNET says the device would be "self aware," able to detect the people in the room through facial recognition technology. Once the device determines who is in the room, that information could be used ...

Apple's Rumored Amazon Echo Competitor Could Be a Next-Generation Apple TV

Thursday May 26, 2016 11:46 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information said Apple was actively developing an in-home hub that would compete with the Amazon Echo and the Google Home, and now VentureBeat has shared new details on the product and its prospective features. Citing an unnamed source, VentureBeat says rather than developing a new product, Apple could add Echo-like features to a revamped version of the Apple TV. The...

Apple Working on Amazon Echo Competitor, Opening Siri Up to Developers

Tuesday May 24, 2016 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple is actively developing a product that would compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home, reports The Information. Citing a source with direct knowledge of Apple's plans, the report suggests Apple is working on a Siri-based device that would include a speaker and microphone that could be used for features like listening to music, getting news headlines, and more. In addition to...

Google Set to Announce Amazon Echo Rival, Codenamed 'Chirp'

Thursday May 12, 2016 2:55 am PDT by
Google is working on a standalone hardware device that will integrate the company's search and voice assistant technology, reports Recode. According to sources, the product is said to be similar to Google's smart home enabled OnHub wireless router and is set to compete against the likes of Amazon's Echo. OnHub wireless router (Image: Google) Google declined to comment on the rumor, but...

Amazon Expands Echo Family With 'Amazon Tap' and 'Echo Dot'

Thursday March 3, 2016 6:31 am PST by
After launching the Echo over a year ago, today Amazon announced two new additions to the lineup of voice-controlled smart hubs that house the company's personal assistant Alexa. Users will now be able to purchase a more portable version of Echo with Amazon Tap, and even expand the device's power into other rooms with Echo Dot. The $130 Amazon Tap is a more rugged, pick-up-and-go alternative...