via IFTTT Amazon Alexa and Google Home Updates and New Features – March 11 2018 – EP 2
If you’re wondering what’s new with Amazon Alexa, the Google Home series of products, or even some of the products that integrate with Google Home and the Amazon Echo series, then this video will help you get the latest updates. I take you through the latest Amazon Alexa updates, as well as the newest Google Assistant and Google Home feature updates.
This week, the big news from Google is the fact that you can make phone calls in the UK on your Google Home or Google Home Mini. Google has finally enabled this feature in the UK and so you’ll be able to ask Google to call one of your contacts. Make sure you watch our video on how to sync your iPhone contacts so that they all work on your Google Home.
Secondly, we have a set of new camera integrations (or deeper smart camera) integrations. First up is Arlo, which you can now Cast onto your Chromecast using your voice and Google Home. Secondly, you can now ask your Google Home to lock your front door, instead of “ask August to lock” your front door. What this means is that the integration for Google Home and August is much deeper and much better than its ever been.
Additionally, the team at Google and at Nest (same company/engineers now) have come out with Nest Hello. That device will use facial recognition software that’s alot like Google Clips to announce (on your Google Home or Google Home Mini) who’s at your front door when they ring the Nest Hello doorbell).
Now, everyone has heard about Amazon Alexa laughing at people randomly. Amazon has come out and admitted that there was an issue with Alexa in that it thought it was hearing “Alexa, laugh”. Since then, Amazon has put out a patch to affected Echo devices that elminates that phrase and instead substitutes “Alexa, can you laugh?”
I’ve noticed since the patch that my Echo Plus is triggering on randomly, but is simply just listening. I worry that this is part of a larger programming issue and will be reaching out to Amazon.
Amazon has of course gone out and acquired many more skills and smart home integrations this week. The first is integration with Deezer (music service). Deezer premium+ subscribers will love that their Alexa-enabled device will be able to run their flow feature that basically is a never-ending personal playlist.
Additionally, we’ve seen more and more content come out for children on the Alexa App, as Gimlet has published a new skill called Chompers. Chompers is intended as a companion for your child when he or she is brushing their teeth. It’s fun to see these kinds of skills join the Amazon ecosystem.
A new product that’s hitting the market (and a hotel near you) comes from Honeywell. They’ve gone ahead and created a hotel-specific thermostat with Alexa on board. This means your next hotel room could have Alexa in it.
Finally, the Oscars were an event that both Google and Amazon went after from a content perspective. Both companies included special content on their voice assistants for the Oscars and I think that this shows them looking at TV’s live content as an important part of their business going forward.
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