Amazon Device Deals: Echo Dot for $30, Kindle Paperwhite for $95, and more: There are a lot of Amazon deals to choose from. Sales on these aren't rare, but these prices are good. Check our buying guides on the best Kindles, streaming sevices, smart displays, and smart speakers for more help deciding. Target also has Amazon Devices on sale. Amazon Echo Show for $75 ($55 off) at Amazon: The Echo Show gets its own bullet point, here.
When Amazon first introduced Alexa and the Echo speaker six years ago, the idea of talking to a digital assistant wasn't totally novel. Both the iPhone and Android phones had semi-intelligent voice controls -- but with the Echo, Amazon took its first step toward making something like Alexa a constant presence in your home. Since then, Apple and Google have followed suit, and now there's a huge variety of smart speakers available at various price points. As the market exploded, the downsides of having a device that's always listening for a wake word have become increasingly apparent. They can get activated unintentionally, sending private recordings back to monolithic companies to analyze. And even at the best of times, giving more personal information to Amazon, Apple and Google can be a questionable decision. That said, all these companies have made it easier to manage how your data is used -- you can opt out of humans reviewing some of your voice queries, and it's also less complicated to manage and erase your history with various digital assistants, too. The good news is that there's never been a better time to get a smart speaker, particularly if you're a music fan.
Would you buy an Apple TV/HomePod Frankenstein device? According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has one in the works. "The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters." Read more: Who do I pay to get the'phone' removed from my iPhone? Never one to underestimate Apple's ability to take an idea that, on the face of it, seems stupid and irrational and turn it into a multibillion-dollar craze, but this feels a bit weird even for Apple.
Apple is working on a new product that combines its HomePod smart speaker with the Apple TV. The upcoming device would include a camera for video conferencing and control over smart home equipment, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with Apple's internal developments. It would also include the same functionality we've seen from Apple's existing products: streaming video and audio, gaming capabilities, and Siri support. Apple is also said to be working on another product that would combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker. Similar products have been released by Amazon and Google recently, such as the Echo Show 10 or the Google Nest Hub.
Apple will discontinue its original HomePod four years after first releasing the smart speaker. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant says it will instead focus on its new and smaller HomePod mini, which went on sale in November for $99. "We are discontinuing the original HomePod, it will continue to be available while supplies last through the Apple Online Store, Apple Retail Stores and Apple Authorized Resellers," Apple said in a statement, reported by TechCrunch. "We are focusing our efforts on HomePod mini." Apple didn't immediately respond Saturday to USA TODAY's request for comment.
Vizio and TCL sell budget-friendly TVs that don't compromise on quality -- perfect for gaming, virtual workouts, and binge-watching Cobra Kai. Reviewers love them because they're not as expensive as TVs from other top brands, but have many of the same features. But what brand should you choose? Both TCL and Vizio offer models with 4K resolution and advanced gaming features to use with the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. To help you decide, take a look at our TV breakdown. Sure, they don't have 4K or 8K displays.
Google and Apple are following through on their promise to play nice with each other. After announcing in December that the Apple TV app would come to Chromecasts with Google TV, the companies have shared today that the service is now globally available. With the integration, you'll not only be able to use Apple's app from your Chromecast's interface, but you can also access your purchased films and shows, as well as personalized suggestions without having to cast your iPhone to the TV. In the US, Google TV users will see Apple Originals in their personalized recommendations and search results. You'll also be able to ask the Google Assistant to open the Apple app or play one of its exclusive titles.
Resembling a sawed-off section of stovepipe in black or PVC in white, the original Amazon Echo was the anti-smartphone. It operated tethered to an outlet, it was communal. And it was pre-pandemically touch-free if you didn't care about muting its microphone. Unbound by a display, it inspired voice-driven variants that ranged in size from tiny rings to giant rigs. We've hand-picked 11 smart displays that will satisfy a range of wants and needs.
While CES was a bit different this year, we still managed to check out a number of inspiring new devices, apps and services. While we acknowledged the most promising tech in Engadget's Best of CES awards, there remain a bunch of gadgets that didn't make the list that will be worth checking out when they actually hit shelves later this year. Things like HP's new Dragonfly laptops, TCL's 8K TVs and Cowin's two-piece soundbar are all things to look forward to as 2021 progresses (and some are even available already). Here are some of the CES 2021 gadgets you may have missed this week. Cherlynn Low found a lot to like about last year's HP Dragonfly laptop: it was lightweight at 2.2 pounds, had a great battery life and an attractive design.
The last time I wasn't in Las Vegas for CES, the iPhone didn't exist yet. A virtual show means that this year the Engadget team is experiencing things more like our readers. The upside is that it's easier to get a broad view of everything going on, and I didn't have to figure out how to pack a PS5 in my luggage. The downside is I'm not seeing any sweet new TVs in person. It's the smallest of sacrifices, but being able to hop on live video and chat/argue with the team over our favorite picks is helping to fill the gaps.