The smart speaker market is expected grow 21% next year

New numbers from Canalys point to a strong growth in smart speaker shipments in Mainland China this year. The market is on track to grow in 2020, having gotten the COVID-19 pandemic mostly under control in recent months. The rest of the world — much of which continues to struggle with the virus — is […]

Amazon makes Alexa Routines shareable

Amazon is making it easier for Alexa device owners to use Routines. The feature, which has been around for years, allows Alexa users to combine multiple tasks into a single voice command of their choosing. For example, you could make a routine that turns off your lights, plays relaxing music and locks your doors when […]

The robot homecoming is upon us

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Apple and Spotify’s podcasts come to Echo devices in the US

Amazon Alexa can now play podcasts from Apple, making Amazon’s line of Echo devices the first third-party clients to support the Apple Podcasts service without using AirPlay. Before, this level of support was limited to Apple’s HomePod. According to Amazon, the addition brings to Alexa devices Apple’s library of more than 800,000 podcasts. It also […]

Daily Crunch: Free Spotify comes to Alexa

The Daily Crunch is TechCrunch’s roundup of our biggest and most important stories. If you’d like to get this delivered to your inbox every day at around 9am Pacific, you can subscribe here. 1. Spotify’s free music service will now stream on Alexa devices, plus Bose and Sonos smart speakers Spotify has worked with Amazon […]

The time is right for Apple to buy Sonos

It’s been a busy couple of months for smart speakers – Amazon released a bunch just this week, including updated versions of its existing Echo hardware and a new Echo Studio with premium sound. Sonos also introduced its first portable speaker with Bluetooth support, the Sonos Move, and in August launched its collaboration collection with […]

Is Amazon’s Alexa ready to leave home and become a wearable voice assistant?

Amazon’s device event today played host to a dizzying number of product announcements, of all stripes — but notably, there are three brand new ways to wear Alexa on your body. Amazon clearly wants to give you plenty of options to take Alexa with you when you leave the house, the only place it’s really […]

Amazon unveils the $199 Echo Studio, its answer to the Apple HomePod and Google Home Max

Today at a special event Amazon unveiled a bevy of new Echo devices including several aimed a bit upmarket.  The Echo Studio is Amazon’s answer to the Google Nest Max and Apple HomePod. It’s larger than a normal Echo, supports 3D audio and Dolby Atmos. The seems to have device five drivers: one, downward facing […]

Amazon’s Echo Show can now identify household pantry items held in front of its camera

Amazon is introducing a new feature to its Alexa Show device designed to help blind and other low-vision customers identify common household pantry items by holding them up in front of Alexa’s camera and asking what it is. The feature uses a combination of computer vision and machine learning techniques in order to recognize the […]

Google falls to third place in worldwide smart speaker market

The global smart speaker market grew 55.4% in the second quarter to reach 26.1 million shipments, according to a new report from Canalys. Amazon continued to lead the race, accounting for 6.6 million units shipped in the quarter. Google, however, fell to the third spot as China’s Baidu surged ahead. Baidu in Q2 grew a […]