Alexa is Down in the UK, so Please Try Not to Panic and Definitely Don’t Call the Police

For those of you who are not at work at the moment, and are at home to talk to your Amazon-issued eavesdropping device smart speaker, please try not to freak out at what I'm about to tell you. Alexa services are down across the UK and parts of Europe, so now you can't ask the virtual person living inside your home whether or not they can order you a taxi. Read More >>

Amazon is Launching a Whole Set of New Alexa Devices Today

If you didn't think there were already too many smart assistant devices on the market, you're in luck: Amazon is launching a whole new range of Echo hardware in Seattle today. Read More >>

Report: Almost Nobody Is Using Amazon’s Alexa to Actually Buy Stuff

Amazon may have sold millions of Echoes and other devices equipped with its voice-controlled Alexa smart assistant partially in the hopes that it could nudge users into letting an upbeat voice convince them to buy more crap. But it doesn’t appear to be working, according to a report in the Information on Monday. Read More >>

Amazon Music Now Includes ‘Alexa Cast’

If you have an Amazon Echo and use Amazon Music, you'll know full well that you can play all your music using your smart speaker. But you still have to use voice commands to sort through everything, which can be a pain. That's presumably why Amazon has just launched Alexa Cast to let you do the controlling from your phone. Read More >>

Someone Developed an App That Lets You Speak to an Amazon Echo Using Sign Language

Lots of people like these new smart speakers tech companies have been basically giving away, but they're not the most inclusive devices in the world. For one they rely on voice and sound to operate, which isn't great for people who are deaf, mute, or both, so some things have been done to try and fix that. That includes one intrepid developer figuring out how to communicate with an Amazon Echo using sign language gestures. Read More >>

Amazon is Making Special Echos for the Hotel Industry

When it comes to adding new technology, hotel chains seem quite eager to bring in new stuff to try and make things more comfortable for their guests. Whether it's basic things like Wi-Fi, more extravagant plans to ditch room keys, or even much fancier things like gaming suites or smartphones in your room. In the future you might even be able to talk to an Amazon Echo instead of a real person. Read More >>

“Alexa, Tell Everyone What New Features You Have for the World Cup”

Tomorrow is the day the World Cup kicks off in Russia, starting a month that's either going to be a blast with non-stop football action, or the most insufferable month of the past four years. I'm in the latter camp by the way, and while I'd rather ignore the World Cup in it's entirety I'm not allowed to. Because I need to bring you the news that Amazon has updated Alexa with new commands and features that will help you keep on top of everything happening in Russia. Read More >>

Amazon Echo That Records Kids Draws Concern From U.S. Lawmakers

U.S. lawmakers are raising concerns over the Amazon Echo Kids Edition, a hands-free, voice-controlled hockey puck of a device that reads bedtime stories, plays Disney tunes, and programs our offspring to be tactful and courteous when interacting with artificial intelligent machines — a useful survival skill to impart in advance of humanity’s impending subservience to the cybernetic authoritarian regime that shall one day enslave us all. Read More >>

Amazon Celebrates Star Wars Day By Reminding People Alexa is a Huge Nerd

Star Wars day may be an event on the nerd calendar, but that's not stopping the big companies from using it to help market their own services. Amazon is one of them, and to mark May 4th it's reminding people Alexa is a big fan of the saga. Read More >>

Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition Will Stop Your Kids Accidentally Ordering £500 Worth of Peppa Pig Toys

You know how everyone is currently obsessed with purchasing speakers that link up with some sort of artificial person that lives in a server belonging to a big company? Those devices are made for adults who do all sorts of adult things, like online shopping and listening to music that features words like "fuck" and terms I can't say here if I want to keep my job. Not exactly ideal if you have kids in the house, which is why Amazon's developed a child-friendly Echo Dot Kids Edition. Read More >>

Amazon Launches Alexa Blueprints, So You Can Create Custom Skills Without Learning to Code

Amazon has always been quite open about letting third party developers create skills for its Alexa virtual assistant, but now it's just made it even easier to build something for yourself. Alexa Blueprints will let anyone develop skills for Alexa, and they don't even need to learn how to code first. Read More >>

Amazon’s Rolling Out Intercom-Style Alexa Announcements in the UK From Today

Earlier this month Amazon launched a feature in the US called Alexa Announcements, which let Echo users send one-way intercom-style messages from one Echo device to another. Now it's announced that feature willing be rolling out that feature to UK customers from today. Read More >>

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 >>

Amazon is Adding Alexa Calling to Android, iOS, and FireOS Tablets

Last year Amazon added the Alexa calling feature to Echo devices, essentially turning your smart speaker into a phone. That meant you could use your Echo to call other Echos without having to pay anything. Echos in North America could even call mobile and landline numbers, as if it were an actual proper phone.  Today Amazon is expanding the functionality to new devices, bringing Alexa calling to tablets running Android, iOS, and Amazon's own FireOS. Read More >>