Latest Amazon smart home news

How to solve Amazon Echo mic problems

How to solve Amazon Echo mic problems

By Elyse Betters

Amazon Alexa is fun to use... when she can hear you.If you own an Echo device, especially one of the original models, you've likely noticed that Alexa picks up your voice when she feels like it. You can yell all you want, and Amazon's assistant will still... Read more

Amazon slashes price of Ring Video Doorbell now that it owns Ring

Amazon slashes price of Ring Video Doorbell now that it owns Ring

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has finalised its purchase of Ring, a maker of smart doorbells and outdoor security cameras, and as a result, it's cutting some prices.The first-generation Ring Video Doorbell now costs $100 (roughly £89), down from about $150 on Amazon and $179... Read more

How to create and edit music playlists with Alexa commands

How to create and edit music playlists with Alexa commands

By Elyse Betters

Amazon is constantly adding new features to its Alexa voice assistant, and the latest is the ability to create playlists.You will now be able to ask Alexa to make and edit a playlist through an Alexa-enabled device. This includes asking the assistant... Read more

What is Amazon Key, how does it work, and where is it available?

What is Amazon Key, how does it work, and where is it available?

By Elyse Betters

Have you ever had a package stolen from your doorstep?It can happen to anyone. There's not much you can do when you've ordered something to be delivered to your home and it arrives when you're not there, whether that be because you're at work or walking... Read more

Alexa Announcements: How to broadcast your voice to all your Echos

Alexa Announcements: How to broadcast your voice to all your Echos

By Elyse Betters

"Alexa, tell everyone it's time to go!"Wouldn't it be nice if Alexa could help you hurry your family along or maybe announce that dinner is ready? Now, families with Echo devices in their home can do just that, thanks to a new "Alexa Announcements" feature... Read more

How to set-up an Alexa smart home

How to set-up an Alexa smart home

By Chris Hall

A few years ago, the coordinated smart home felt like a pipe dream, but Alexa has changed all that. Thanks to increasing compatibility with smart home devices, Alexa and the Amazon Echo is now the ideal hub of your connected home.Where previously it was... Read more

Amazon Alexa Easter Eggs: Your complete guide to funny Alexa commands

Amazon Alexa Easter Eggs: Your complete guide to funny Alexa commands

By Elyse Betters

Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, has an answer for just about everything. And, at the same time, she's loaded with hilarious responses for all sorts of hidden commands.These are "Alexa Easter Eggs" - an unexpected feature in software - and they range... Read more

Amazon Echo tips and tricks: The ultimate guide to Alexa

Amazon Echo tips and tricks: The ultimate guide to Alexa

By Elyse Betters

The Amazon Echo needs no introduction, that gateway to a world of connected fun. Posing as a cylindrical speaker, the Amazon Echo is was one of the hottest gadgets of 2016, and with a continuously expanding set of Alexa skills, it's a hot product for... Read more

Echo bargains! Easter Sales offer £15 Echo and £10 Echo Dot discounts

Echo bargains! Easter Sales offer £15 Echo and £10 Echo Dot discounts

By Chris Hall

The Early Easter sales have hit Amazon.co.uk, bringing with them a couple of hot discounts on Amazon Echo models.The Amazon Echo - that's the smaller second-gen model with a changeable cover - has a discount of £15, bringing it down to £74.99 (it's... Read more

Shush, Alexa! Amazon tests 'brief mode' so Alexa will beep, speak less

Shush, Alexa! Amazon tests 'brief mode' so Alexa will beep, speak less

By Elyse Betters

Have you ever wished Alexa would just shut up?The Future Today Institute, which forecasts how emerging technology will disrupt business, said in its recent 2018 Tech Trends Report that traditional smartphones are on the way out, and that over the next... Read more

Amazon Alexa calling and messaging: What is it, how does it work, and where can you use it?

Amazon Alexa calling and messaging: What is it, how does it work, and where can you use it?

By Elyse Betters

Did you know you can use Alexa to call and message others? Amazon's Alexa calling and messaging feature enables you to make and receive calls, as well as send messages between Echo devices, the Amazon Alexa app for iOS and Android and Fire tablets.It's... Read more

How to turn on Alexa Follow-Up Mode and ask strings of questions

How to turn on Alexa Follow-Up Mode and ask strings of questions

By Elyse Betters

Amazon buried a little switch in the Alexa app that allows its AI assistant to be a lot more conversational.Available only in the US, the new feature is called "Follow-Up Mode," and when it's turned on, you can make more requests without having to repeat... Read more

Amazon's Alexa is laughing without prompting and freaking people out

Amazon's Alexa is laughing without prompting and freaking people out

By Elyse Betters

For a moment, we thought Amazon's AI reached consciousness.Yes, that sounds like something out of a sci-fi horror - but we had to ponder the possibility, considering she managed to wake herself up and start giggling in what can only be described as a... Read more

Amazing Echo bargains: Get an Amazon Echo Dot with Fire TV Stick in a super low price bundle

Amazing Echo bargains: Get an Amazon Echo Dot with Fire TV Stick in a super low price bundle

By Rik Henderson

Amazon is hosting some great deals on its own devices in the build up to Mother's Day, with the Echo Spot, Echo Show, 4K Fire TV and Kindle Paperwhite. However, the bargains don't stop there.The company is is offering its bestselling Amazon Echo Dot for... Read more

Amazon Echo Spot and Echo Show deals slash prices for Mother's Day

Amazon Echo Spot and Echo Show deals slash prices for Mother's Day

By Rik Henderson

Amazon is known for its amazing bargains during major sale periods. It also likes to discount its own tech for special occasions and with Mother's Day on the horizon, the online retailer has slashed the cost of two of its Echo devices - including the... Read more

Amazon Alexa review: What is Alexa and what can Amazon Echo do?

Amazon Alexa review: What is Alexa and what can Amazon Echo do?

By Britta O'Boyle

Amazon Echo is one of a range of hands-free speakers and devices that can be controlled with your voice. The voice-controlled Amazon "personal assistant" on these devices is called Alexa, who will perform various tasks for you and control various systems.In... Read more

Amazon might give Alexa smarter real-time translation powers

Amazon might give Alexa smarter real-time translation powers

By Elyse Betters

Amazon wants to turn its Alexa assistant into a "sophisticated" real-time translator, according to a new report.Sure, Alexa can already process words and phrases for translation, but soon, it will be able to consider culture when it responds, Yahoo Finance... Read more

Amazon just bought Ring and its smart home devices for $1 billion

Amazon just bought Ring and its smart home devices for $1 billion

By Elyse Betters

Amazon wants to dominate the smart home space.The company has agreed to acquire Ring, a smart home company, for more than $1 billion, according to Reuters. A Ring spokesperson said in a statement that "Ring is committed to our mission to reduce crime... Read more

Amazon Echo owners in the UK can now use Alexa to control Fire TVs

Amazon Echo owners in the UK can now use Alexa to control Fire TVs

By Elyse Betters

Amazon is bringing far-field voice control to Fire TV devices in the UK.The company has announced that, by pairing a Fire TV device with any Echo device, you can now ask its Alexa assistant to play movies, launch apps, control playback, and more. This... Read more

How to make and receive phone calls with Amazon Alexa

How to make and receive phone calls with Amazon Alexa

By Elyse Betters

Amazon allows you to make phone calls through Alexa on Echo devices and the Amazon Alexa app, as well as the Echo Connect accessory.Last year, the company introduced a new feature, called Alexa Calling and Messaging, and then it followed that up with... Read more

How to change your Amazon Echo wake word

How to change your Amazon Echo wake word

By Dan Grabham

Your Amazon Echo or Alexa wake word is what your Amazon Alexa device listens out for before it bursts into action.Usually, this is "Alexa", the name of Amazon's virtual assistant and the default option. But you might not like "Alexa", while if you happen... Read more

How to stop someone else buying stuff with your Amazon Echo and Alexa

How to stop someone else buying stuff with your Amazon Echo and Alexa

By Chris Hall

You've long been able to ask Alexa to buy you things from Amazon. But how do you stop accidental ordering on your Amazon Echo with Alexa? (If you don't know what Alexa is, we'll explain all in our What is Alexa? feature.)And how do you stop reckless friends... Read more

Alexa can now play Mornington Crescent with you, be careful though she's a stickler for the rules

Alexa can now play Mornington Crescent with you, be careful though she's a stickler for the rules

By Rik Henderson

Amazon's smart voice assistant can do many things, switch on and off your lighting, answer your Ring doorbell, control your Sonos audio system, but did you know that she can also play Mornington Crescent?Not only that, but she's great at it.Ask her "Alexa,... Read more

How to control your Nest devices using Amazon Alexa commands

How to control your Nest devices using Amazon Alexa commands

By Elyse Betters

Those of you who own a Nest-branded smart device can immediately begin controlling it with your voice, via Amazon's Alexa.That's right. Nest has two skills that allow its devices to work with Alexa’s voice controls. With the Nest Thermostat skill, for... Read more

Future Echo devices could come with Amazon's own custom AI chip

Future Echo devices could come with Amazon's own custom AI chip

By Elyse Betters

Not to be outdone by Apple and Google, Amazon has reportedly begun development of its own artificial intelligence chip.According to The Information, Amazon has started designing a custom AI chip for Echo devices, with the purpose of improving Alexa and... Read more

Amazon reveals how it stops Alexa responding to its hotword unintentionally

Amazon reveals how it stops Alexa responding to its hotword unintentionally

By Chris Hall

There probably hasn't been a time that you've consciously been thankful for deep neural networks and machine learning, but that's what Amazon is using to ensure that Alexa doesn't respond to the "Alexa" keyword when you don't want it to. To demonstrate... Read more

How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa

How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa

By Adrian Willings

Your Amazon Echo has just arrived and you might have glanced at the quick-start guide, but beyond the basic setup, do you know the first things you should do with your new Echo? Alexa is the virtual assistant inside Amazon Echo devices - for a briefing... Read more

Stuck for things to ask Alexa? Try all these...

Stuck for things to ask Alexa? Try all these...

By Dan Grabham

If you've got a new Amazon Echo you'll be keen to try out phrases the voice assistant will understand and respond to. Click here to buy the Amazon Echo Click here to buy the Amazon Echo Dot Here then are some of the fun phrases you can try out with your... Read more

How to use Amazon Alexa to send SMS texts to phones by voice

How to use Amazon Alexa to send SMS texts to phones by voice

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has quietly updated its Alexa assistant once again - this time, adding the ability to send SMS text messages.You can now ask Alexa to send SMS text messages to a contact's mobile phone, rather than just message people through the Alexa app, but... Read more

What is Amazon Echo Connect and how does it make calls?

What is Amazon Echo Connect and how does it make calls?

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has a new Echo accessory that turns your Echo speaker into a voice-controlled speakerphone: the Echo Connect.Before it came along, you could only make calls from one Echo speaker to another Echo speaker, like an intercom system. Now, with Connect,... Read more

What is Amazon Echo Look and how does it work?

What is Amazon Echo Look and how does it work?

By Elyse Betters

Echo Look is one of the newest additions to Amazon's line of Echo-branded devices, and it's also one of the quirkiest.Each Echo device has a different form factor and is best suited to a specific environment - whether you're at home and want to listen... Read more

Amazon Virtual Dash Buttons are free and available for all Prime members to use

Amazon Virtual Dash Buttons are free and available for all Prime members to use

By Rik Henderson

Dash Buttons have been around for a few years now, enabling you to instantly order a product on Amazon through the click of a connected, physical button.Each Button costs a small sum which essentially goes towards your first order.Now Amazon has expanded... Read more

Amazon Echo Spot now available in the UK, pre-order today for £119

Amazon Echo Spot now available in the UK, pre-order today for £119

By Chris Hall

The missing piece of the Echo puzzle - the Echo Spot - is now available to pre-order in the UK. The little brother to the Echo Show, the Echo Spot makes for a perfect bedside companion. See the Echo Spot on Amazon UK  Announced alongside the refreshed... Read more

Amazon's next device? A mirror for trying virtual clothes, patent hints

Amazon's next device? A mirror for trying virtual clothes, patent hints

By Elyse Betters

You have to admit it: Amazon isn't afraid to dream.It had the foresight to develop Echo speakers, as well as the Alexa assistant, and then it opened up the Alexa platform up to developers and manufacturers. Now, we have Alexa everywhere, and in a range... Read more

How to set up and use Drop In on Amazon Echo devices

How to set up and use Drop In on Amazon Echo devices

By Elyse Betters

Christmas is done and that likely means you have new Echo devices.Whether you have an Echo speaker or an Echo with a screen, you can take advantage one of Amazon's coolest Alexa features: Drop In. With Drop In, you're able to instantly connect to any... Read more

Got an Amazon Echo for Christmas? Here's how to get music playing for £3.99 a month

Got an Amazon Echo for Christmas? Here's how to get music playing for £3.99 a month

By Max Langridge

With Amazon recently refreshing its Echo lineup and offering some decent discounts before Christmas, there's a good chance you found one underneath your Christmas tree this year. Now that you've stuffed yourself silly with turkey and done the rounds with... Read more

Doubling up on Alexa: How to use multiple Amazon Echo and Dots

Doubling up on Alexa: How to use multiple Amazon Echo and Dots

By Adrian Willings

Amazon is pushing the Echo and Echo Dot hard, in a bid to dominate the connected home market before too many players - like Google - can catch up.The Amazon Echo got off to a flying start, establishing itself as one of the hottest smart home devices,... Read more

16 fun things to ask Alexa this Christmas

16 fun things to ask Alexa this Christmas

By Rik Henderson

Considering the amazing bargains on Amazon Echo speakers during Black Friday and on the build-up to Christmas, you may well have treated yourself or a loved one to an Echo, Echo Plus or another Alexa-enabled device already.Or you might be hoping to find... Read more

Amazon Echo Buttons are available in the UK, order now for Christmas party fun

Amazon Echo Buttons are available in the UK, order now for Christmas party fun

By Chris Hall

The Amazon Echo Buttons are the first "Alexa Gadgets", a fun accessory for your Echo that will let you play interactive games. They were initially announced for the US, but Amazon.co.uk is now offering them for the UK too.Priced at £19.99 a pair in... Read more

Amazon's new Echo Spot, Echo Connect, and Echo Buttons are now available to buy in the US

Amazon's new Echo Spot, Echo Connect, and Echo Buttons are now available to buy in the US

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has released a new Echo device and two new Echo gadgets, just in time for Christmas.In September, the online retailer announced the Echo Spot, Echo Connect, and Echo Buttons, and now, roughly three months later, it's made all three available to... Read more

How to set up and play music on multiple Amazon Echo devices

How to set up and play music on multiple Amazon Echo devices

By Elyse Betters

Amazon's Echo devices support multi-room audio.Technically, Amazon is calling the new feature "multi-room music", but it works similarly; you can use the feature to play music across multiple Echo devices in your home at the same time. But there are... Read more

Google pulls YouTube support from Echo Show, Fire TV to lose access in New Year

Google pulls YouTube support from Echo Show, Fire TV to lose access in New Year

By Max Langridge

Is Google being petty, or are its reasons completely justified. That's what we're wondering after it's been announced that Google is removing YouTube access from the Echo Show as of today and the Fire TV device from 1 January 2018. Amazon Echo Show: Release... Read more

Amazon Echo Buttons pre-order now open bringing interactive Alexa fun

Amazon Echo Buttons pre-order now open bringing interactive Alexa fun

By Chris Hall

The Echo Buttons are designed to bring a level of physical interaction with the Amazon Echo, meaning you can play games being hosted by your friendly AI speaker.Announced with the birth of the new Echo speakers, the new Echo Buttons come in a two pack... Read more

Amazon announces new (RED) Echo and 150 other (RED) items for charity

Amazon announces new (RED) Echo and 150 other (RED) items for charity

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has partnered with (RED) on a US-only sale for charity.(RED), founded in 2006 by Bono and Bobby Shriver, aims to help fight AIDS. It teams up with famous brands and companies, like Apple, which agree to contribute up to 50 per cent of profits from... Read more

Amazon Echo Plus hits Black Friday sales, yours for £109 today!

Amazon Echo Plus hits Black Friday sales, yours for £109 today!

By Chris Hall

With the Echo and Echo Dot already seeing Black Friday discounts, it's no surprise that Amazon has now extended this offer to the Echo Plus - the smartest of the smart speakers.The Echo Plus normally retails for £139.99, but is £30 off today, meaning... Read more

Amazon Black Friday sales have started, amazing tech deals to be had right now

Amazon Black Friday sales have started, amazing tech deals to be had right now

By Rik Henderson

Amazon has started its Black Friday deals event. There are thousands of products available on its dedicated UK Black Friday pages with some amazing discounts on TVs, games consoles, games, smart home devices and many more tech items.An Xbox One S with... Read more

Amazon Echo Show: Release date, price and everything you need to know

Amazon Echo Show: Release date, price and everything you need to know

By Max Langridge

Amazon has an extensive range of Echo devices. All of them can respond to voice commands, control smart home products and answer questions, but the Echo Show is a little different.It's the only Echo Device with a touchscreen display, and ushers in some... Read more

Police called to break up Amazon Alexa’s very own self-controlled party

Police called to break up Amazon Alexa’s very own self-controlled party

By Max Langridge

A resident living in Hamburg, Germany arrived back to his flat after a night out to find a new lock and an invoice after his Amazon Echo decided to start playing loud music between 2 and 3am. Amazon Echo (original) vs Echo Tap vs Echo Dot vs Echo Look... Read more

Amazon rolls out smart home AV control using Alexa voice commands

Amazon rolls out smart home AV control using Alexa voice commands

By Max Langridge

Amazon has announced a new Smart Home Skill API for Alexa-enabled devices that will allow consumers to control AV equipment such as TVs, speakers and AV receivers using Alexa voice control. Amazon Echo: What can Alexa do and what services are compatible?... Read more

Amazon's new Cloud Cam security camera monitors couriers and more

Amazon's new Cloud Cam security camera monitors couriers and more

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has launched an in-home delivery service that works with a new security camera it's simultaneously introducing.The camera, called Amazon Cloud Cam, is described by Amazon as an "intelligent indoor security camera that lets you keep track of your... Read more