Go chat yourself with Facebook’s new Portal companion app

Ignoring calls that it’s creepy, Facebook is forging onward with its Portal smart display. Today Facebook quietly launched iOS and Android Portal apps that let owners show off photos on the screen without sharing them to the social network, and video call their home while they’re out. The app isn’t likely to move the needle […]

Having trouble with Amazon Alexa? You’re not the only one. [Update: It’s fixed.]

Update: An Amazon spokesperson told TechCrunch “This afternoon we had an issue that impacted some Alexa customers’ ability to interact with the service. The Alexa service is now operating normally.” If your requests to Alexa are being met with answers like “I’m having some trouble, please try again later,” you are not alone. Multiple users […]

Amazon is testing a Spanish-language Alexa experience in the US ahead of a launch this year

Amazon announced today it has begun to ask customers to participate in a preview program that will help the company build a Spanish-language Alexa experience for U.S. users. The program, which is currently invite-only, will allow Amazon to incorporate into the U.S. Spanish-language experience a better understanding of things like word choice and local humor, […]

Digging into key takeaways from our 2019 Robotics + AI Sessions event

Extra Crunch offers members the opportunity to tune into conference calls led and moderated by the TechCrunch writers you read every day. This week, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater and Lucas Matney shared their key takeaways from our Robotics + AI Sessions event at UC Berkeley last week. The event was filled with panels, demos and intimate […]

Amazon launches a certification program for Alexa skill developers

Developers building voice-enabled applications for Amazon Echo and other Alexa-powered devices will now have a new way to validate their abilities, with Amazon’s launch of a new AWS Certified Alexa Skill Builder – Specialty certification. This is the first time Amazon has offered a certification program for Alexa developers, the company says. Certification programs are […]

New privacy assistant Jumbo fixes your Facebook & Twitter settings

Jumbo could be a nightmare for the tech giants, but a savior for the victims of their shady privacy practices. Jumbo saves you hours as well as embarrassment by automatically adjusting 30 Facebook privacy settings to give you more protection, and by deleting your old tweets after saving them to your phone. It can even […]

You can now ask Alexa to control your Roku devices

Roku this morning announced its devices will now be compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. Through a new Roku skill for Alexa, Roku owners will be able to control their devices in order to do things like launch a channel, play or pause a show, search for entertainment options and more. Roku TV owners will additionally be […]

Amazon has paused sales of its Echo Wall Clock due to connectivity issues

Amazon launched an Echo Wall Clock before the end of last year but, less than a month later, things aren’t running to schedule. The e-commerce giant has paused the sale of the $30 Alexa-powered smart clock after a number of customers reported connectivity issues, according to The Verge. The clock is still listed on Amazon but, as […]

Put Alexa and a JBL speaker in your ceiling with this clever LED downlight

This light makes the smart home even more accessible. Installed as any other ceiling downlight, the June AI downlight features Amazon Alexa through integrated JBL speakers. There’s a light in there, too. The idea is great: make the smart home invisible. Instead of having an Amazon Echo sitting on a table, this device sits in […]

Sonos delays Google Assistant integration until 2019, private beta to launch in 2018

Sonos today announced that Google Assistant will not be available on its products until at least 2019. The service was supposed to launch in 2018 but the company said in a blog posting it needs a bit more time. Additional information about timing will be released in early 2019, Sonos says. Eager customers can sign […]