gaming
Wait, Skyrim: Very Special Edition For Amazon’s Alexa is Kinda Real?

During Bethesda’s E3 show early this morning, there was a cute video starring Keegan-Michael Key about Skyrim coming to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. We all chuckled and got on with our lives, because Key is a comedian and that would be a stupid game. And yet here we are, a few hours later, and you can actually play Skyrim: Very Special Edition. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Confirms Alexa Heard a Couple’s Background Conversation as a Command to Record Them

Two weeks ago, a woman in Portland, Oregon in the US learned that her Amazon Echo device had recorded and sent a private conversation between her and her husband to one of his employees in Seattle, Washington without their knowledge. “Unplug your Alexa devices right now,” she says the employee told them, “You’re being hacked.” Read More >>

google
Google Just Turned a Huge Corner in the Smart Speaker Game

When Amazon launched the Echo back in late 2014, it kicked off one of the biggest trends in tech. Almost overnight, it seemed like every company wanted to get in on that sweet smart speaker action. However, largely because Amazon was first to market, the Echo has consistently been the top-selling smart speaker for the last three and a half years. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Sent Us A Chocolate Echo For Some Reason

One of the weirder things about being a technology journalist is that occasionally, PR people will send you stuff unsolicited, in a bid for some free coverage of their brand. 99% of the time, this never works. But, annoyingly, Amazon has managed to break through my cynicism with chocolate. Read More >>

wtf
Amazon Knows That Alexa Is Laughing At You 

The insidious nature of technology is often marked by silent consequences like addiction, surveillance, and online harassment. But one ghost in the machine has become chillingly audible: Alexa is laughing at you. People are reporting that Amazon’s Echo devices have mysteriously started cackling at random, and the company has confirmed it’s working on the problem. Read More >>

smart speakers
How to Use Google Home or Amazon Echo to Control What’s on Your TV

Your smart speaker is getting smarter—and part of that involves taking over what’s on the big TV screen sat in the corner of your living room. You can buy Google Homes and Amazon Echos with screens built-in, but here’s how to use them with a separate display, whether you want to watch movies or see the weather forecast. Read More >>

battlemodo
How the HomePod Stacks Up Against Other Smart Speakers

It seems like every new wireless speaker on the market comes with a voice assistant now. Since 2014, when Amazon announced the Echo, the idea of a smart speaker has taken the gadget world by storm. Apple has finally thrown its hat into the ring with the release of the HomePod, leaving us to wonder which smart speaker is the best smart speaker. So we tested them to find out. Read More >>

amazon
Alexa, Burn My House Down

If you thought Echos were only good for invading your privacy and enticing hackers, then boy do I have some news for you. Amazon just introduced a new addition to the Smart Home Skill API for Alexa: cooking. Your voice-controlled assistant could potentially be burning down your house in no time! Read More >>

amazon
Yes, Your Amazon Echo Is an Ad Machine

Did a loved one buy you an Amazon Echo over the holidays? Sorry about that. But now, in addition to well-founded fears about surveillance and security, you’ve got a new problem: ads. Read More >>

crime
Lancashire Police Want to Use Amazon Echos to Report Crimes and Deliver Police Bulletins

I don't get smart speakers, or virtual assistants. Frankly I found them to be annoying and more of a hassle than unlocking my phone and looking things up for myself. But I seem to be in the minority, since people can't stop bringing virtual assistant speakers into their homes for one reason or another. Read More >>

reviews
The Google Home Max Almost Made my House go Boom

The weird thing about picking up the Google Home Max is the weight. It’s only 11 pounds, but it feels heavy, the way speakers used to feel. So I feel like I smirked when I plugged it in, thinking, “This thing’s gonna be loud.” At top volume, the Google Home Max did not blow me away. I could, however, have a conversation with it. Read More >>

amazon
Don’t Buy Anyone an Echo

Three years ago, we said the Echo was “the most innovative device Amazon’s made in years.” That’s still true. But you shouldn’t buy one. You shouldn’t buy one for your family. You definitely should not buy one for your friends. In fact, ignore any praise we’ve ever heaped onto smart speakers and voice-controlled assistants. They’re bad! Read More >>

reviews
The Best Bluetooth Speaker Now Works With Alexa and It’s Amazing

When you’re a tech journalist, your friends typically have a classic, back-pocket question around the holiday season: What should I get So-and-So as a gift? My most-used answer used to be the Boom, a Bluetooth speaker made by Ultimate Ears. This year is different. This year it’s the Blast, an Alexa-powered speaker made by angels from heaven. Read More >>

gadgets
Amazon Echo Dot Vs. Google Home Mini: The Cheap Speaker Showdown

In the gadget-world, it’s cliché to compare something to The Jetsons. But when it comes to a cheap little box that you talk to and that answers your questions and that controls your entire home, the comparison is just too perfect. The £50 Amazon Echo Dot and the £50 Google Home Mini are two such boxes. They’re not perfect gadgets, but they offer a lot for the money. Read More >>

reviews
Amazon’s Echo Plus Gets Close to Giving Us the Easy Smart Home We Deserve

Despite what you may have read, the Amazon Echo was never a do-anything smart home device. Sure it could tell you about the weather and maybe control your lights, but it lacked the under-the-hood hub capabilities that could make all your connected devices work together. The new Amazon Echo Plus offers just that. I’m not sure it’s worth it, but that absolutely depends on you. Read More >>