42 percent of Amazon Echo owners have bought a second device (or more)

 Here’s a promising metric for Amazon, in terms of its ability to maintain its current lead in the voice computing market: 42 percent of Amazon Echo owners have two or more devices, according to Edison Research. This figure is seemingly growing, too. Last year, there were about 1.18 Amazon Echo devices per Alexa household, but this new finding pushes that number to around 1.5 to 1.6… Read More

Ask Alexa to play your favorite SiriusXM station

Alexa just got another new skill. Starting today, SiriusXM subscribers will be able to play any of the radio's available channels through their Alexa devices, depending on the package they're subscribed to. Howard Stern announced the news this mornin…

Echo alerts you to voice or text messages with a yellow light

Now that the Echo has become a handy way to place calls and send messages, wouldn't it be nice to be able to tell them apart? Amazon is about to make it a lot easier to do just that by changing how it notifies you of voice and text messages. As befor…

Amazon’s new policy kills ad network that monetizes Echo Skills

When VoiceLabs debuted its interactive ads for the Amazon Echo, it had backing from big names like ESPN and Wendy's. For a while, it gave developers using the service called "Sponsored Messages" a way to make money from their Alexa Skills. Unfortunat…

The first ad network for Alexa Skills shuts down following Amazon’s policy changes

 A series of policy changes at Amazon that detail how advertising will be supported within Alexa’s voice-enabled apps, called “Skills,” have now had their first casualty: VoiceLabs. The startup was the leading way for third-party developers to make money from their Alexa applications, through the use of VoiceLab’s “Sponsored Messages.” Unlike traditional… Read More

Amazon Dash Wand Barcode Scanner Launched With Built-In Alexa

Amazon has launched a new version of its Dash barcode scanning device for Prime U.S. subscribers that includes the company’s ubiquitous virtual assistant built in.

Called the Dash Wand, the Alexa-enabled gadget allows users to scan grocery barcodes, convert measurements, and order essential household items from Amazon with the click of a button.



Pressing the button activates the Dash Wand, enabling customers to use their voice to ask about recipes and find local restaurants. It’s also possible to control smart lighting via the magnetic device, which is designed to be attached to a fridge.

With the original Dash, released in 2014, users could scan barcodes and add items to their shopping cart via limited voice controls, but checkout had to be completed on the Amazon site.



By contrast, the new $20 Dash Wand allows users to buy items directly. Prime subscribers also receive $20 off their next purchase once they’ve registered the device, so it basically comes free. In addition, buyers get a free 90-day trial of the AmazonFresh home grocery service.

Amazon is an affiliate of MacRumors and the site may benefit if you click product links in this article.

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Logitech’s Circle 2 is a modular home surveillance tool with Alexa and HomeKit support

 I recently sat down with Logitech to talk about the wired and wireless versions of the Circle 2: a modular home surveillance camera with four different mounts that change where and how you’d use the camera. The modular approach stems from four different mounts: the first is a glass window mount, so you can see outdoors without glare. Second is the plug mount, ensuring you’ll… Read More

Amazon allows Echo call-blocking a month after it should have

Last month, Amazon introduced Alexa calling and messaging, features tailor-made for the Echo and its all-hearing microphone, letting you do busywork while chatting with friends. However, it neglected to add call-blocking for specific contacts, making…