The New Echo
In a nutshell, the New Echo is smaller and in size and price than the original. It's also cheaper coming in at $99 (that's an $80 decrease). It's smaller, slightly wider, has Dolby technology for better sound, and now comes in six different finishes. The original version has been updated and now is known as the Echo Plus. This item will be released on October 31, 2017. They have a deal going where you can buy three and save $50.
The Echo Plus now has Dolby speakers, and it has a built-in smart home hub (so you don't need to setup a separate hub). You can preorder now. The Echo Plus will be released on October 31, 2017 and sells for $149.
The Echo Connect is a $35 accessory allows you to make phone calls. The thought is with this add-on Echo owners will be able to dial telephone numbers, like 911 or Domino's or Your Spouse, by just using their voice. Other features include:
- Connect your home phone to your compatible Echo device to call any phone number, using just your voice
- Echo Connect uses your existing home phone service to make and receive calls. Your home phone number will be displayed as a caller ID.
- Call 911 and international numbers (carrier charges may apply) from across the room
- Easily sync all your contacts. Alexa syncs with your mobile phone contacts, so you never have to look up a number. Just ask and Alexa will make the call.
- Simply plug Echo Connect into your home phone jack, complete set up in the Alexa App, and you’re ready to make and receive calls on your compatible Echo devices
This item will be released on December 13, 2017.
There is a new Gaming API for Alexa and these buttons can be used for buzzers or for things like (for those that remember) Simon (where you have to remember sequences. Prices will be $20 for two. You can go here to be notified when they are available
The Echo Spot is like an updated dot with a 2.5″ screen allowing you to watch a video and make video calls. So now you could have a video flash briefing. It has a 2-watt speaker which is powerful enough to listen at your bedside, but you can plug it into a speaker with a cable or via Bluetooth. There was an announcement and you no longer can play YouTube on an Amazon Spot or the Amazon Show (but you can still watch other videos). This will be available for $129 and will be available December 19th, 2017.
- Echo Spot is designed to fit anywhere in your home. Use 2nd generation far-field voice recognition to watch video flash briefings, see music lyrics, weather forecasts, to-do and shopping lists, browse and listen to Audible audiobooks, and more. All hands-free—just ask.
- Echo Spot connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service to play music, read the news, answer questions, control smart home, and more
- Just ask to play a song, artist, or genre, and see lyrics with Amazon Music. Also, stream music and books from Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Audible.
- Use the built-in speaker or connect to speakers through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable. With multi-room music, you can play music on your Echo devices in different rooms.
- Ask Alexa to turn on your lights, show baby monitors and front door cameras, and lock your doors. Plus, control your thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more.
- Call anyone hands-free, or make video calls to family and friends with an Echo Spot, Echo Show, or the Alexa App. Instantly connect to other Echo devices around your home.
- With tens of thousands of skills, Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.
You can preorder the item now. This item will be released on December 19, 2017, and sells for $129
All these units join the Alexa Family of
The dot $50 (fall sale now for $45)
Echo Show (includes 7″ screen) $199
The Amazon Tap, and Look seem to be MIA in all the announcement)
Ask Her Multiple Things With One Command
You are now going to be something like “Alexa start the weekend,” and it might kick off your flash briefing followed by other skills and updates.
Playing Music on Other Amazon Devices
This is misleading as you will see commercials asking Alexa to play the wakeup playlist in his son's room.
- Multi-Room Music groups only support music playback. Other media and audio, like Flash Briefings, Kindle books, and content from Alexa skills (including Sirius XM), are not supported at this time.
- You can stream Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music titles to a single device or Multi-Room group at one time. When you’re listening through a Multi-Room Music group, all the devices in that group access the same stream and play the same title simultaneously. You can’t stream different music on multiple devices or on more than one Multi-room Music groups at the same time unless you have an Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan.
YouTube Gets Pulled from the Amazon Echo Show
In a statement, Amazon said, “As of this afternoon, Google has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show, without explanation and without notification to customers.
There is no technical reason for that decision, which is disappointing and hurts both of our customers.”
Google, said instead that the development was no surprise.
“We’ve been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time, working towards an agreement that provides great experiences for customers on both platforms,” it said in a statement. “Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience. We hope to be able to reach an agreement and resolve these issues soon.”
YouTube is still available on the Amazon Fire TV. The YouTube ‘app' is merely a link to the service's TV-optimised web page, similar to that used by smart TVs.
New Thing to Try With Your Amazon Alexa Device: Specific Reminders
I talked about how you can set timers, but what happens if the timer goes off in 20 minutes and you don't remember what the time was for? Now you can say, “Remind me at 10:30 to flip the chicken.”