Tag - Echo
Not that you would, but you could shut up co-presenters Malcolm Owen and William Gallagher by just clicking cancel or maybe a close box, perhaps choosing Quit or any other way you've got of stopping your podcast app playing. It has always been thus, it will always remain this so long as the stars are in the heavens and you are in control of your own computer. Except now.
Alexa, Amazon's voice-based digital assistant, is making its way to smartphones as part of another voice app. Roger, a push-to-talk communications app that sent audio recordings between users, has been retooled as a "voice platform" that can send recordings to a variety of online services, with the app also allowing users to communicate with Alexa, even if they do not own an Amazon Echo or any other device that connects to the assistant.
Amazon's collection of network-connected speakers with built-in virtual assistants may be getting some competition from Google, if a report about a potential product is found to be correct. The search giant is said to be working on hardware like the Amazon Echo, Tap, and Echo Dot devices that can allow for searches to be performed without needing to access a smartphone, with the project claimed to have the internal codename of "Chirp."
We really wanted to talk about something other than the Apple-FBI dust-up this week, and so we tried our best -- but when the story takes a turn for the bizarre and dismaying, you have to face up to it at some point. First, however, Editor Charles and Managing Editor Mike calm themselves by chatting about the latest twists and turns in the world of Apple rumors, Mike's new Apple Watch and his initial impressions, the expansion of the Amazon Echo line with new accessories, and then penultimately all the new developments in the Apple-FBI dispute, before finishing off with William and his App of the Week.
The Amazon Echo, the network-connected speaker hosting the retailer's Alexa assistant, has gone on sale through a third-party store for the first time. Staples is offering the cylindrical speaker through its website to all customers priced at $180, the same as Amazon. So far, it can only be acquired through the Staples website, with delivery to local stores available as a shipping option, though there is still the potential to sell it from stores directly.
Amazon is allowing third-party developers and companies access to Alexa, the digital assistant included in the retailer's Echo network-connected speaker. As well as a collection of tools and APIs, Amazon is helping accelerate the push to make Alexa as useful as Siri and Google Voice Search by launching the Alexa Fund, a scheme where it will offer up to $100 million in investments to support developers and start-ups making use of the software and the technology.
Amazon has finally made its Echo network-connected speaker available for purchase by anyone, seven months after the company initially launched the device. Previously only sold to Amazon Prime subscribers and on an invitation-only basis, the Echo can now be bought by all customers in the United States without requiring an invitation, with the retailer expecting to start shipments of the device on July 14.
Amazon has updated its Echo network-connected speaker to work with Audible. Via voice prompts using the Alexa assistant or the Amazon Echo App, the speaker can start reading out Audible audiobooks to the user, with vocal commands allowing the book to be requested by title, paused, resumed, and to go forward or back 30 seconds. It also works with Whispersync for Voice, allowing listeners to pick up an audiobook from where they left off on another device.
Alexa, the virtual assistant that forms part of the Amazon Echo network-connected speaker, has been upgraded to allow it to read Google Calendar events. Android Central reports Alexa can now be linked to the user's Calendar and will respond to queries about it, such as "Alexa, what's on my calendar?" and "When is my next event?" So far, it appears Alexa can only read appointments, not add new items, but this could be included in a future update of the device.
Amazon has made it easier for owners of its Echo to do online shopping, in what is an expected expansion of the capabilities of the retailer's portable speaker. Prime subscribers are now being given the option of placing orders for items they shopped for previously by voice commands alone, via the Alexa digital assistant, half a year after the Echo initially launched.