Say it ain't so: Amazon Echo will soon play ads

"So far, that strategy has been working pretty well for the company, with 71 percent of smart speaker customers in the U.S. buying Echo devices", reports eMarketer".

Amazon's virtual assistant, Alexa, is getting a financial upgrade with a new skill from American Express. No matter what Smart Home device you chose, you will be forced to adapt to that ecosystem by the means of proprietary software and features.

From my perspective, it feels as if this is what smart speakers have needed all along. However, if that was Apple's plans for their smart speaker, they'll be upset that Apple has beaten them to the punch.

Reuters/Mike BlakeMicrosoft is said to be developing HomeHub, a feature that could rival the Amazon Echo. The new intelligent display and speaker is shipping end of June. But that's not all.

There is also no way to disable the Alexa calling service once the service has been configured with a user's phone number.

The Show is Amazon's fourth major Echo-branded device.

If you've got one of the Amazon devices with the voice-command system known as Alexa, you simply enable the News4Jax news and weather "skills" - that's Amazon's word for an Alexa voice app - on the setup screen of your smartphone that controls what you want available on your Echo or Dot. The Echo Dot and Echo are outselling the newcomer again. Alexa will happily read out the recipe and directions to you, but since the Show has a screen, you'll be able to read the information yourself if you prefer.

Here's how it works: someone listening to a podcast might not hear a sponsored 6-second advertisement such as "Thank you for supporting us by listening, and thank you to our sponsor, Progressive, until the fifth time".

But the Show got even further.

Amazon Echo Show, the company's latest voice-controlled speaker with a touchscreen has been launched, and this device can also be used to make video calls.

Instead, every contact that also has the Alexa app is now in my Alexa Calling contacts.

Analysts with Morgan Stanley say the reasoning behind the so-called Echo Show is simple: It will make voice-activated shopping a lot easier.

According to Amazon, the gadget can be connected to Wi-Fi-enabled security cameras, including baby monitors and front door video cameras.

There is a new feature called "Drop In" which basically allows users to connect to another Echo Show without the other person having to accept the call.

The Show is a square speaker that is about 3.5in in depth and 7.4in wide and long. You can get the device in white and black colours.

Sporting the same, basic capabilities of its voice-only brethren, the Amazon Echo Show ups the ante with a screen, which brings with it a whole host of functionality.

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