Microsoft is bringing Skype to Alexa devices

Alfred Osborne
September 22, 2018

The new Echo Dot comes with a fabric side in three colors charcoal, gray, and white.

It still features both Bluetooth and aux output that can be used to hook it up to a bigger speaker. This product will be shipped on October 11th, 2018.

That's not all, Amazon also announced a couple of new smart home devises. The microwave offers Alexa integration via a paired Echo device and can be controlled with voice commands. It is incredibly slim with a 12.5mm thickness and will be up on sale later this year at $34.99. Just plug any of those devices into the Smart Plug and you're all set - the Smart Plug is Alexa-enabled so you can turn your lights on or off, for example, using just your voice, even though they weren't "smart lights" when you bought them. You can pre-order now for an October 11, 2018, release date.

Amazon has also announced a Skype app for the device, so you don't have to voice call from the Alexa app now. It produced a satisfying rumble in Amazon's demo, reaching far past the low frequency range of any other Echo device we've tested. Amazon is determined to get Alexa into every corner of your home. It integrates all Echo and smart devices to help customers protect their homes while they are away.

The Amazon Basics microwave comes with Alexa controls and "dozens of quick-cook voice presets, so you can cook just by asking Alexa".

The takeaway: Amazon has been really ambitious about its forays into TV - not only with its original shows and Prime Video service, but also its TV hardware, like the $120 Fire TV Cube unveiled in July, and this new Fire TV Recast. This means you don't need to buy specific appliances to have voice control, which could have a huge impact on consumers.

But when asked to add 30 seconds, Alexa paused and then started to play songs by the band "Thirty Seconds to Mars".

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The AmazonBasics Microwave won't ship until November 14th, but it's already (apparently) the number 1 best seller on Amazon for microwaves. The new speaker is also said to be louder and richer. You can also set them to turn your smart lights on and off to mimic someone being home, kind of like that movie with that kid who beat up the house-robbing criminals in the wintertime.

The Echo speaker, with the Alexa voice assistant, debuted in 2014 and has maintained a lead over tech competitors Google and Apple Inc., which have scrambled to catch up.

Echo Auto is a $50 dashboard accessor that can listen to you on the noisy roads too.

The most interesting thing about the Echo Plus isn't its size or sound quality-nothing wrong with either.

Amazon seems to be pretty serious about sound systems now. They're wireless receivers, the latter with a built-in 2-channel 60-watt amp, designed for connecting to your high-end stereo system. It can connect to a digital antenna and use the DVR recordings to stream on Fire TV, Echo Show or other devices. Whatever you plug into the Smart Plug thereby has power controlled by the Smart Plug, which is controlled by Alexa. It is now available on preorder at a price of $24.99.

Amazon introduced the Ring earlier this year at another hardware event. Now it has brought a new device called the Ring Stick Up Camera that is available in both wired and battery-operated versions.

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