Posts tagged with: Echo

[Full Echo Review] One of Kyocera's first Android powered smartphones, the Echo was released in April 2011. Its unique dual screen form factor allows for "simultasking" or the ability to run and interact with two separate applications at the same time on separate screens. Both 3.5-inch TFT screens have a 480 x 800 WVGA resolution. Inside the Echo is a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 512MB of RAM and 1GB of ROM. It also features a five-megapixel camera with LED flash and autofocus. Read on for the latest Echo news, reviews and videos:

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    Amazon Prime is not just about free two-day shipping, as the company has been vain to point out every so often in reminder emails. But as music streaming services continue to grow at rapid pace, Amazon Prime Music feels like an inadequate spotlight for its members-only catalog. That light may grow hot soon. Sources to Reuters have said that Amazon will offer a standalone streaming music service around the late summer/early fall timeframe. Licensing negotiations are ongoing and a more comprehensive offering is expected. Individual monthly plan rates are said to be comparable to Spotify ...

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    With Amazon's runaway pace found in Alexa and the products based on that service, the voice assistant has gotten very popular with other tech companies. Google Assistant (and Google Home) and Microsoft's army of bots are on their way for the future. If Apple announces its own measure, it will be the last to do so at this year's WWDC. The Information reports that Apple will indeed be opening up Siri with an SDK and announcing an Echo competitor at the conference. Siri will likely hook onto Apple's existing services such as iCloud, HomeKit, HealthKit (we think the company will find a way ...

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    Every company that can afford to build a neural network that can learn deeper than deep is seemingly doing so right now. Microsoft is hiring a software engineer that will work on something called the "Bing Concierge Bot," an AI-based assistant more similar to Facebook M or Google Assistant than Amazon Alexa. The bot would be based over messaging apps like "Skype, Messenger, SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc." and, through human-like conversation, can help users do tasks such as booking dining reservations. Microsoft has been making testing out a whole set of bots for music search, captioning, ...

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    From your hand to your wrist to your home, intelligent devices have been slowly taking over, looking to improve and simplify every little aspect of the modern, always web-connected life. Smartphones are primarily credited for kicking off this second (third?) phase of the digital revolution, with wearables and universal voice-enabled controllers like the Amazon Echo leading the next automation step. The smart speaker that was limitedly released in late 2014 to mixed critical and user response, then expanded in June of last year to widespread acclaim has already spawned two lower-cost ...

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    Though Siri and Google Now both technically came before Alexa, it’s safe to say Amazon caught its competitors and tech consumers at large off guard when unveiling the voice-controlled wireless speaker/home automation device Echo less than two years ago. It of course took a little while for critics and prospective buyers to warm up to the inconspicuous but highly versatile and always flourishing cylinder, which ultimately managed to rack up an impressive 3 million unit shipments. Slowly moving away from a niche it personally carved out towards the mainstream décor, the Alexa-powered ...

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    Alexa had made a lot of friends over the past several months. It's with that kind of platform that Amazon has been able to sell its Echo products like hotcakes. Heck, other companies can sell Alexa products, too. You can even make your own "Echo". So, will Google finally make a move in the voice-interactive sector of the Internet of Things? Sources tell Recode it is working on a project called "Chirp" that will integrate the company's existing Google Now assistant. The Echo competitor may end up looking a little like the OnHub router. So, with a well-established neural network growing ...

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    To celebrate being recently named the most reputable company in the US by the Reputation Institute, Amazon does today what it always does best. That’s right, the e-commerce giant slashes the prices of a couple of sizzling hot gadgets for only a few more hours at the time of this writing. Frankly, we’d have expected deeper discounts served on such a special occasion, but then again, Amazon’s own in-house-manufactured Echo and Tap are practically never marked down, not even by a couple of bucks. They’re not like Fire tablets, which essentially go on sale every week in shifts, with ...

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    Are voice-powered in-home smart appliances going to be the next must-have piece of consumer tech? Amazon's Echo appliance has been off to a strong start, and Amazon's already brought that same Alexa-fueled voice control to a growing family of devices. Rumor has it that Google's even working on building an Echo-like device of its own. And while we may be about to see more and more manufacturers bringing us similar devices, you don't have to wait for one of those to come around to start playing with some Echo-like interactions of your own, thanks to Amazon releasing plans that let you roll ...

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    I've had the repeated pleasure of meeting the Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray — he writes his Tech Lab column for the newspaper — and have appreciated his "big picture" stories on innovation. He gets into the nitty gritty, too: last time I saw him on my way home, he was toting a Moto X for review. It's with that cred that NPR's Rachel Martin invited Bray for a segment a couple weeks ago on Weekend Edition Sunday about the Amazon Echo and the company's voice-powered assistant, Alexa. If you're not familiar with how this up and coming Internet of Things hub works, you prompt the voice ...

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    Google may have taken the early bird to get Nest, but it seems that one of it's first major flights will connect to a hub of Amazon's. In a few weeks, the Nest Learning Thermostat will make its first connection with the Amazon's Alexa voice assistance service, featured on the Amazon Echo, Fire TV and, likely, the company's latest Echo products. This will allow users to prompt Alexa to "set my bedroom thermostat to 68 degrees." One of Re/code's sources has said that Nest was previous considering an Echo-like voice assistance hub, but that forward product plans — which the company itself ...

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    Amazon's got a hit-and-miss record when it comes to hardware, and for every Kindle, there also seems to be a Fire Phone. Lately, though, the company's been finding some solid success, with winners like it super-affordable $50 Fire tablet and the surprise hit that the Echo smart appliance has become. Could Amazon take what it learned from that new Fire tablet and apply it to the Echo to make it even more successful – that is, give us something that's smaller and cheaper? Back in January we heard rumors that the company was working on some sort of Echo Mini, and today we're getting just ...

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    Take a walk around the CES show floor as we just did, and it's impossible to ignore the growing army of connected-home appliances and gadgets. Whether you're talking about a fridge with a screen or a contextual remote to help you control this gear, everyone who's anyone is scrambling to come out with products for this burgeoning market. Back in 2014, Amazon got a comparatively early start with the introduction of its Echo, an interesting mash-up between a Bluetooth speaker and a virtual personal assistant. The Echo may have been a little slow to catch on, but we've recently heard reports ...

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    From the day Amazon announced that its Fire tablet would sell for a mere $50, we knew this slate would be a big deal. It didn't really matter how meager some of the specs looked on paper, nor how frustrating it was that the tablet's Fire OS lacked the familiarity of traditional Android; at that price, this thing was going to sell, and sell like hotcakes. With the holiday shopping season now drawn to a close, Amazon's sharing a bunch of figures about just what we bought this year – and unsurprisingly, that impossibly affordable tablet is right up there at the top. The Fire tablet wasn't ...

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    If you've got a smartphone these days, the odds are high that you've had the chance to interact with one voice-powered virtual assistant or another. Whether through Siri, Cortana, or Google Now, you may have asked your smartphone to play you some music, look up the capital of Argentina, or figure out how many ounces are in three tablespoons. With last year's Echo appliance, Amazon brought this kind of interaction to its shoppers' living rooms. At first Echo sales were invite-only, reserved for Prime members, before Amazon opened availability to shoppers at large this past summer. If you've ...

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    The robot servant continues its manifestation as Amazon has now bolstered its software on its tube-like speaker-endowed device. The Echo has been on the market for a couple months now as a standalone voice assistant product, unlike Google Now, Cortana or Siri. In Amazon's case, the service is named Alexa. And with this update, among other new features, third-party apps can now develop specific voice commands for Alexa to recognize and interact with the apps. Three apps came on with these "Skills" today: StubHub, Math Puzzles and Crystal Ball. You can now ask Alexa about nearby events and ...

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    Earlier this week we saw Amazon shine the spotlight on its Echo appliance (above) as it made the digital assistant available for general sale. Much of Echo's power comes from Amazon's Alexa cloud-based voice service, translating spoken commands into actions. Now Alexa is preparing to make a bold expansion, as Amazon opens the service for devs everywhere to take advantage of. Amazon's inviting devs to build their own Echo-like products by making its Alexa Voice Service free to use. For companies already working on connected-home appliances, that means a quick-and-easy way to implement ...

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    The same technology that gave us smartphones has been spreading to device after device in recent years, bringing us everything from smartwatches to connected automobiles. One of the biggest areas for growth has been this idea of a smart home: getting our appliances, security systems, and climate control networks to all talk together. And while really tight integration is still a tricky feat to accomplish, companies have been taking big strides lately in delivering products that make smartphone tech feel like a natural fit in new environments. That's just what Amazon did last fall with the ...

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    The world of mobile technology is one of the fiercest competitive markets ever. In the quest to stand out from the pack, some companies make bold moves and succeed brilliantly. Others are more meek and fade into the unexceptional background. Still others fill the space between, innovating once, then endlessly iterating over and over again. Then there are those that just screw it all up. Thanks to choices that are either too bold, too meek, or just plain-old absolutely insane, these are the products that fall flat on their face. They're not to be mocked, but the lessons they teach should ...

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    At the beginning of August, Kyocera Echo users on Sprint started receiving an update to bring their dual-screen Androids up to Gingerbread. Sadly, it looks like some more testing might have been in order, since once that update started going out, Echos started dying. When Sprint saw so many users bringing in bricked phones to its stores, it put a halt on the update's distribution. Now, it looks like Kyocera and Sprint are making another go at it, with the updated update heading back out to users today. The companies haven't revealed just what the problem was with the first release that ...

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    It was just a couple of days ago that the dual-screen Kyocera Echo received its Android 2.3 Gingerbread update and, after negative feedback from customers that are having problems, the carrier has now suspended the update. According to the image above, the Kyocera Echo Gingerbread update that started to roll out on August 1 is now suspended. The reason for this measure is that there were quite a couple of users that reported performance issues and even bricks after applying the refresh. Now the manufacturer and the carrier are working together to troubleshoot the issue and launch a new ...

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    Last week brought word of an imminent update for the Kyocera Echo on Sprint, moving the phone up to Gingerbread. Today, the carrier as well as the manufacturer have confirmed the update, beginning to go out OTA now. Through the leaked info from last week, we knew about a few of the features this release would bring, like a newer edition of Swype, but today's announcements have included some curious mentions of new-found NFC abilities. On Kyocera's site, news of the update initially included two features that have since been taken down: calling over WiFi, and NFC reader support. If that was ...

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    We think it's fair to say that, at one point or another, most smartphone users have found themselves frustrated at the time needed to get the latest and greatest OS update out for their phone. Some manufacturers are more prompt than others, but it's a feeling that most of us can relate to. There are those times, though, when we totally get why a company might need a little extra time to pull an update together, due to one extenuating circumstance or another. We think that having dual screens certainly falls into that category, which is why it's great to see Kyocera about to deliver a ...

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    The Kyocera Echo tries to be a game-changer being the first dual-screened phone running Android and, in our review and testing, we found the hinge to be very robust. The manufacturer shows us just how robust the Echo is, something we have to confess we did not try ourselves. The screens are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass which is very scratch resistant and durable while the hinges are made out of "indestructible super copper alloy". In the video below, Kyocera claims they tested the hinge 100,000 times, dropped the phone from any angle. Watch the video below and please don't try this ...

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    The Kyocera Echo had so much potential, but we were left under-impressed with the hardware design. Even if it won't end up replacing any of our favorite single-screen smartphones, it still planted a seed: is there a way to make a dual-screen Android that's useful, affordable, and well-made? While it's still a ways off from being a commercial product, a prototype design from Imerj and Frog revisits the idea, and seems to have learned from at least some of Kyocera's mistakes. For starters, the prototype, known only as the "2-in-1 smartpad", uses its own custom software, built as a layer on ...

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    The Kyocera Echo might be one of the most unique phones in recent memory. The dual-display Android 2.2 handset on Sprint can do some interesting party tricks by running two applications on two screens at the same time. Simul-tasking is what Kyocera calls it. In our review, we gave the Echo a weak 2.5/5, because we felt that while the concept was interesting, the execution could have been better: the Echo isn't exactly speedy, plus it is ugly, heavy, and has poor build quality. It seems that we're not the only ones that question whether the device is compelling enough to use everyday. When ...

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