Echo

Apple Music to Debut on Amazon Echo Devices Soon

Anymore, one has an equal amount of music streaming services to choose from as there are smart home speakers.  Two of the most popular have been Apple Music for streaming, and Amazon’s Echo devices for a smart home speaker.  Before you only had one option if you wanted to utilize Apple Music.  The HomePod.  Now the service and smart speaker are about to be united.

Amazon Prime Day is Coming July 11th - Are You Ready?

Prime Day You have probably heard by now that this year’s Amazon Prime Day will be coming up soon on July 11, 2017. For those unfamiliar with Prime Day, it’s generally a one day only event that Amazon holds for its Prime Members to gain access to deals on items. It is generally the largest shopping day of the year for the online commerce giant, rivaling Black Friday. Read on for more details about this year’s event, in addition to a couple offers Amazon is offering to get this year’s festivities started!

According to Amazon, the third annual Prime Day will be Tuesday, July 11, 2017 with hundreds of thousands of deals exclusively for Prime members around the world. New this year, members can enjoy 30 hours of shopping starting early at 6pm PT / 9pm ET on Monday, July 10, 2017 – with new deals as often as every five minutes.

In an effor to highlight small businesses on Prime Day, Amazon said that nearly 40 percent of the Lightning Deals that happen during the event will be from small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to hit the ground running.

“Our members love Prime Day and we have been thrilled by the response over the last two years. It is inspiring us to make it even better this year for Prime members,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President, Amazon Prime. “Every part of our business is working to deliver more deals for a record number of shoppers. This year’s Prime Day is too big for 24 hours – so we’re giving Prime members 30 hours to shop!”

In an effort to help shoppers stay organized, deals will be organized by more than 20 themes, including topics like pet lovers, gardeners, techies, artists, and more. And of course, what would be a Prime Day shopping extravaganza without Alexa?For users with Alexa devices, Amazon is introducing even more Alexa-exclusive deals discoverable through Echo devices and Fire Tablets.

To get your ready and prepared for the deals you might be after, Amazon is offering a $10 credit for users who might not have signed into their app for the first time. Unfortunately if you have already, you’re out of luck.

Here are the terms and conditions of that deal:

  • Offer valid for Prime members only who are active at the time of first sign-in to the Amazon Shopping App
  • Offer expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) July 31, 2017.
  • Offer only applies to products sold by Amazon.com
  • Offer does not apply to digital content.
  • Offer good while supplies last.
  • Shipping charges and taxes may apply to discounted and free promotional items.
  • Items must be purchased in a single order and shipped at the same speed to a single address.
  • Offer limited to one per customer and account.
  • Taxes, shipping and handling, and gift wrap charges do not apply when determining minimum purchase amount.
  • The maximum benefit you may receive from this offer is $10.
  • You will receive an e-mail from Amazon that indicates the dollar amount of the promotional code. The e-mail will also provide instructions on how to redeem the promotional code.
  • Promotion code expires at 11:59 p.m. (PT) July 31, 2017.
  • Promotion code only applies to items sold by Amazon.
  • Amazon reserves the right to modify or cancel the offer at any time.
  • Offer is non-transferable and may not be resold.
  • Offer discount will be allocated proportionally among all promotional items in your order.
  • If any of the products or content related to this offer are returned, your refund will equal the amount you paid for the product or content, subject to applicable refund policies.
  • If you violate any of these terms, the offer will be invalid.
  • Unless an Amazon Gift Card is the stated benefit of the promotion, promotional codes (including those placed directly in accounts) may not be redeemed for Amazon Gift Cards.

Another offer is that if you have yet to stream Prime Video to your TV, you can get another $10 in free credit. Terms and conditions of that deal can be found via the link.

Another great deal, and one that I’m considering myself, is 40% off of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited service, which allows readers access to thousands of books a month! Or if you prefer books of the audio variety, you can get 40% off of an Audible.com membership from now until July 11th.  Prime Members can also get 4 months of Amazon Music Unlimited for 99 cents!

Most of all, if you are not a Prime member yet, and want to take advantage of the above, or any forthcoming deals on Prime Day, remember Amazon offers 30 day trials to the Prime Membership service. That way you can take advantage of these deals, and then if you decide it’s not for you, you can always cancel and not miss out!

Low income households can also take advantage of Prime at $5.99 a month, and if you’re a student, you can get six months free!

Make sure to check it out, and certainly if you have any questions, let us know in the comments, and enjoy the savings!

SaveSave

Amazon Prime Members - Get Dad a Last Minute Echo or Kindle Today!

Father's Day At Script-Notes, we like to spend time to save our readers time, and money.  If you've run out of "time" for shopping for Dad for Father's Day, Amazon has some great deals going on Echo and Kindle devices!  The catch though is you have to be an Amazon Prime Member for them to reach you (or him) in time for Father's Day.

Read on for more...

As we mentioned above, if you're a Prime Member, you can go ahead and order today, and you'll be in luck and get free shipping.  If you're sitting on the sidelines though, and not a Prime Member yet, don't fear.  You can click below for a 30 day free trial to still take advantage, and of course if you decide it's not for you, can go ahead and cancel.  From personal experience though, Amazon has found numerous ways to provide value for its members.

That said, let's get to the deals.  As we mentioned at the outset, Amazon has a lengthy listing of deals available for its Echo and Kindle devices.  We own both a regular Echo and the Kindle Paperwhite ourselves, and love both.  The Echo has come in extremely handy in the kitchen for setting multiple timers, playing music, getting sports score updates and getting NPR news flash briefings.  For the reader in your household, the Kindle can be great and portable and has adjustable lighting if they like to read at night.

Without further adieu, here are the discounts:

Echo Devices

Kindle Devices

Happy Shopping, and a Happy Father's Day to all fellow fathers out there!

Amazon Echo Dot - Certified Refurbished Available for 24% Off

Amazon Echo Dot While we have gotten a lot of use out of our regular Amazon Echo speaker (available certified refurbished at $134.99), it's understandable that it might not be in the budget for everyone.  However, if you've been looking for a chance to get into the smart speaker craze and get a start on your smart home, Amazon is currently offering the second generation Amazon Echo Dot for 24% off its "brand new" offering at $37.99.

The smaller Dot, is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker - you can also hook it up to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or via a 3.5 mm audio cable for delivering stereo sound to whatever speakers you choose.

Other features include:

  • A Certified Refurbished Echo Dot is refurbished, tested, and certified to look and work like new
  • Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, read the news, set alarms, read audiobooks from Audible, and more
  • Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn
  • Introducing Alexa calling and messaging, a new way to be together with family and friends. Just ask Alexa to call or message anyone with an Echo, Echo Dot, or the Alexa App.
  • Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others
  • Hears you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
  • Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled computer; Amazon Echo is not required to use Echo Dot
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino's, and more

Amazon Unveils the 'Echo Show' - Coming in June

Amazon Echo Show On the tail of yesterday's report, today brought forth Amazon's unveiling of their new Echo product, the Echo Show.  Indeed, the Echo show is a smart home speaker system that gives the consumer everything in the usual Echo speaker, but now includes a 7 inch touch screen.

Users will also be able to watch video flash briefings, YouTube, get a visual of music lyrics, check security cameras, swipe through your photos, get a check on the latest weather, edit your to-do and shopping lists, in addition to a host of other features.  Thanks to far-field voice recognition, eight microphones, beam-forming technology, and noise cancellation, users can be heard from anywhere in the room, in addition to being heard over any loud music that might be coming from the speaker itself.

In addition to a new video chat experience, that allows users to be able to make hands free calls to contacts who also have an Echo Show, or the Alexa App, there is a new feature called "Drop In."  This lets users quickly contact or send messages to other Echo Show users, for quick tasks, like letting them know its time for breakfast, or check in on their little one's nursery/bedroom.

Of course, what would a smart speaker be, without smart home features?  The device will connect to products like Hue and Wink, as well as get visuals on your kitchen timers, and the latest news.

For news and information you can see and hear, just ask Alexa for your video flash briefing from CNN. Curious about the latest movie trailers or a need a how-to video from YouTube? Just ask.

Echo Show helps keep you organized at home. Start a timer in the kitchen and watch as it counts down, or easily see and manage your family’s calendar. Sign in to the Alexa App to take your to-do and shopping lists with you. Just add an item to the list from home, and whoever is out shopping will see it added instantly on their Alexa App.

If you are interested, the Amazon Echo Show is now available to pre-order in black and white for $229.99.  It is expected to start shipping on June 28.  As a special offer celebrating the device's launch, those who purchase two Echo Show devices at once can save $100 off of the order.

What do you think readers?  Will you be checking this out?  Leave a comment below!

WSJ: Amazon to Reveal New Echo as Soon as Tuesday

Amazon Echo Apparently "Looks" just aren't enough anymore in the relationships of the smart speaker world.  Hot off the heals of its release of the customer-invite only Echo Look, per Laura Stevens with The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is due to pull the wraps off a new Echo speaker that will utilize video calling capabilities, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Amazon's new product, which is expected to be announced as soon as Tuesday, would give users the chance to make internet-based telephone calls, positioning the speaker to be the centerpiece for home communications.

The unit is expected to possess a 7-inch touch screen, visually obtain answers to verbal questions, and allow you to get information on your Amazon queries in a more easily able to read manner.  The product has been in beta testing with Amazon employees for a few months, and after tomorrow's expected announcement, could start shipping units to consumers as early as next month.

An Amazon spokeswoman had declined comment.

On the downside, it's widely expected that the new speaker will price over $200.  The current Echo device, which doesn't have a touch screen, regularly sells for $180.  Although, as perhaps a sign of things to come, or a Mother's Day promotion, refurbished units can be had for great prices and new units are being discounted for a limited time as well.

Echo Speaker Wars

As mentioned earlier, the smart speaker competition is heating up with Alphabet Inc's Google Home, and Microsoft Inc getting in to the fray as well with their Invoke speaker, that can make phone calls.  The premise with smart speakers is that consumers can use the devices to turn off lights in their homes, close garage doors, lower the temperature, as is the case with the Echo, order products online.  Rumors are afoot as well that Apple may announce their own offering as soon as next month at their annual WWDC conference.

While it's unknown why Amazon is planning on releasing this version of Echo so close to the release of its "Look" device, it could be due in part to the previously mentioned competition that seems to be increasing.

Amazon is planning to roll out the device's calling capabilities in stages, perhaps starting as an intercom between Echo devices in a consumer's home or even between Echo owners.  Given that the device's capabilities will be Internet based, there is no need for a SIM card or other cellular types of technology.

Deal Alert: Amazon Echo with Alexa - Certified Refurbished

Amazon Echo Online retail giant Amazon has really carved a lead at the top of the smart speaker category with it's Amazon Echo with Alexa product, especially with its forthcoming Echo Look.  This has led to Google offering it's own speaker product, as well as leading many to think Apple could soon enter the fray with a Siri product of its own, possibly as soon as June reports MacRumors.

That being said, with this offer, you can currently pick up a certified refurbished Amazon Echo with Alexa speaker for well below the list price.  Certified refurbished products get tested and certified to look both work and look brand new, as well as coming with warranties.  Normally the typical list price of the product is $179.99, with certified refurbished models coming in at $164.99.  Now though, it's available for $134.99.

For those unfamiliar with the product, Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker that you are able to control with your voice.  Connecting to the Alexa Voice Service allows it to play music, provide information, provide the latest news and scores of your favorite sports team, weather, and even play some rounds of Jeopardy.  The product contains seven microphones, and beam forming technology so that it can hear you when you're well across the room, even if music is emanating from the speaker at the time.  The speaker can fill any room with a 360 degree sound.

We got ours in a Black Friday special last year, and have absolutely loved it.  It has come in handy for setting multiple timers while cooking, or even playing music for our little one.

Amazon's Echo Look: A Fashionista's Friend

Echo Look There is no doubt that Amazon has continued to make way into our households with its Echo devices and smart assistant Alexa.  Today, Amazon unveiled a new addition to the Echo family, with its Echo Look device, being offered by invitation only to Prime members.  The device is being billed as a "style assistant" camera that will help to catalog your outfits, and assigns your look a rating based on "machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists."

Each Echo Look comes with a built-in LED light, microphone, as well as a base mount that can either be attached to a wall, or it can be left to be freestanding such as on a nightstand, dresser, etc.  It can also work with a companion app that has a Style Check feature for comparing two outfits.  If you're not necessarily interested in the Echo Look, you can access this feature by going to your iOS Amazon app, go to Programs and Features, and look for it in that menu.

Similarly to other Echo devices, with the Look, you can still have Alexa read you your daily news flash briefing, play music, or check on how long it will take you to get to work with traffic estimates.  Amazon plans on adding additional skills to the Look also.

From the product page:

  • Introducing Echo Look—everything you love about Alexa, and now she can help you look your best
  • Using just your voice, easily take full-length photos and short videos with a hands-free camera that includes built-in LED lighting, depth-sensing camera, and computer vision-based background blur
  • See yourself from every angle with the companion app. Build a personal lookbook and share your photos.
  • Get a second opinion on which outfit looks best with Style Check, a new service that combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists
  • Echo Look helps you discover new brands and styles inspired by your lookbook
  • Ask Alexa to read the news and audiobooks, set alarms, get traffic and weather updates, control smart home devices, play music, and more
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Starbucks, Fitbit, NPR, and more