Home Mini was the most popular smart speaker in Q2 2018

Amazon Echo Show

Amazon Echo Show

Google had shipped 2.3 million units of the Google Home Mini globally while Amazon had shipped 2.2 million units of Echo Dot during Q2 2018. More importantly, Google owns YouTube and has blocked it from appearing on the Echo Show in a battle with Amazon over its failure to sell Home and Chromecast products.

The Seattle-headquartered company is reportedly planning to launch eight new Alexa-enabled devices this year.

The Echo Dot will be available next month and cost £49.99. Notably, Alexa Guard turns your Echo products into little monitors that listen for breaking glass and smoke detectors.

The new Echo Plus is basically the same thing as last year's Echo Plus, but in a package that conforms to what we have with the current line of Echo tubes.

As part of the firm's plans to extend voice control to a wider number of appliances around the home, Amazon also unveiled its £25 Smart Plug, which once in place will allow users to control the socket using Alexa voice commands via an Echo smart speaker.

Amazon Echo Show
Google Home Hub leaks, set to face off against Amazon Echo Show

Amazon Smart Plug. This $25 device plugs into a power receptacle and ... is a smart plug.

The company has successfully powered into the smart speaker/voice recognition space, so most analysts believe it's more a case of when not if, the tech giant stakes its claim to the smart screen/smart home space. In a demo following the Amazon event, an Amazon spokesperson walked me through a few other usecases, like "Alexa, one potato" or "Alexa, popcorn".

Not exactly a new product, but the popular tiny Echo Dot speaker is getting an upgrade. The tiny Echo Input, which measures just 12.5mm tall so it "disappears into the room", is created to add Alexa voice control to an existing speaker via a 3.5mm audio cable or Bluetooth. The Echo Input is 12.5mm tall. At first that sounds as odd as an iPod without a screen or an iPhone without a headphone jack. "When paired with your Echo device, you can feel the music as it fills the room". Plug all sorts of digital and analog inputs from your existing audio ecosystem to integrate them with Alexa's music control tools.

The new speaker has 70 percent better sound, Amazon's senior vice president of Alexa devices, David Limp, said at a media event Thursday.

And because you're standing in front of the microwave to put in your food, the AmazonBasics Microwave comes with a built-in Ask Alexa button. Want a wall clock ($30) to really tells you when you're running out of time?

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