Alexa Announcements lets you broadcast a message to all of your Echo devices

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Amazon’s Echo devices are getting a nifty new feature today.

Amazon has revealed Alexa Announcements, a new feature that lets you send a voice message to every Echo in your house at the same time. To make an announcement, just say “Alexa, announce that…” or “Alexa, tell everyone…” or “Alexa, broadcast…”.

The feature is supported on the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Look. It’s rolling out to devices in the U.S. and Canada beginning today.

This is different than the two-way intercom feature that Amazon previously rolled out to the Echo and is intended for quick messages that you want everyone to hear. For example, you could announce that dinner is ready or that you’ll be leaving for the mall in five minutes, all without having to go from room to room and saying the same thing to all of your family members.

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Alexa Announcements one-way voice feature rolling out to Echo devices

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Amazon is rolling out a feature today that lets users broadcast messages to connected Echo devices. The company is calling it Alexa Announcements, and the functionality is very similar to the broadcast feature Google Home has had since late last year.

Telling an Echo “announce,” “broadcast” or “tell everyone” something will make all connected devices on the account relay the message. “Millions of customers already have more than one Echo device in their home,” Amazon says, and given that Echo devices have have been able to function as two-way intercoms and make phone calls since last year, this feature seems like a logical step.

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Alexa Announcements one-way voice feature rolling out to Echo devices was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Here are the biggest announcements from Apple’s education event

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That Apple would just a choose a massive high school in the Midwest to host a press conference was peculiar enough. Then Apple went and crafted class schedules for everyone and set up a room where people could try on Romeo and Juliet costumes,…
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The 10 most important announcements from Apple’s first big event of 2018

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Apple Event Recap

Apple’s first big press conference of 2018 is now behind us and, well, it was pretty much exactly what we all thought it was going to be. Apple typically only hosts press conferences for big events with widespread consumer appeal. Even the keynote that kicks off Apple’s annual WWDC developer event each year is geared toward consumers as much as developers. Tuesday’s “Let’s take a field trip” event in Chicago was aimed squarely at the education market though. It’s obviously a hugely important space, and that goes without saying. It’s not terribly exciting, however, and that’s probably why Apple didn’t even both to live stream Tuesday morning’s press conference.

No, the event wasn’t terribly exciting. But there were still some important announcements made during Apple’s press conference in Chicago on Tuesday. In this post, we’ll recap all of the key things Apple announced during its first event of the year.

New 9.7-inch iPad

The star of the show on Tuesday was Apple’s new 9.7-inch iPad, which is Apple’s most affordable iPad ever at $ 299 for schools, or $ 329 for consumers.

Despite the low price point, the new iPad includes Apple Pencil support as well as tilt and pressure sensing just like the much pricier iPad Pro. It also has Touch ID just like the previous entry-level 9.7-inch iPad model. In fact, it looks exactly the same on the outside.

Key specs include up to 10 hours of battery life per charge to carry you through a school day with no problem, a 9.7-inch display, an 8-megapixel rear camera, an HD FaceTime camera, optional LTE, and Apple’s A10 Fusion chipset. This means the new iPad will also support augmented reality apps, which have the potential to play a huge roll in the classroom experience of the future (and today).

The new 9.7-inch iPad is available to order today, and it’ll start shipping later this week.

Apple Pencil student discount

At $ 99, the Apple Pencil is quite expensive. Students will be able to get one for $ 89 now — which is still quite expensive.

Luckily, there will also soon be a…

Logitech Crayon

This is a pressure-sensitive iPad stylus similar to the Apple Pencil, but it’ll only cost $ 49. That’s still a lot for a stylus, but it’s certainly better than $ 89-$ 99. Logitech is also making a keyboard case for the new 9.7-inch iPad, but no details at all were shared during the event.

No word yet on an exact release date for either product.

New versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote

Apple’s productivity apps are all being updated with… you guessed it… Apple Pencil support. The new apps won’t just support the Apple Pencil, they’ll have nifty Pencil-only features like the new “smart annotation” feature in Pages.

Digital Books

Teachers can now create digital books for their classes right on an iPad. iBooks Author supports this functionality on a Mac, but Macs are expensive and out of reach for many public school budgets.

The new Digital Books feature will be built right into Apple’s updated Pages app.

Upgrade to free iCloud storage for students

Students used to get 5GB of iCloud storage for free. That’s now being bumped up to 200GB.

Classroom app updates

Classroom is a nifty app that lets teachers remotely control their students’ iPads, and it’ll be coming to the macOS platform as a
beta this June.

Schoolwork app

This is a new addition to Apple’s education portfolio that will let teachers assign handouts and track progress right from within the app. It’s entirely cloud-based, and Apple says using the app is “literally as easy as sending an email.”

The Schoolwork app will be released in June.

Apple Teacher

This is a new professional learning program for teachers, which is already live now at this link. From Apple’s website:

“Apple Teacher is a free professional learning program designed to support and celebrate educators using Apple products for teaching and learning. As an educator you can build skills on iPad and Mac that directly apply to activities with your students, earn recognition for the new things you learn, and be rewarded for the great work you do every day.”

Everyone Can Code

Apple is providing several new online curricula full of tools to help learn (and teach) coding. It’s all based on Apple’s Swift programming language, of course, and Apple will be adding a new ARKit module as well as several new guides specifically designed to help teachers plan a coding curriculum.

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Week 12 in review: More announcements than MWC

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Week 12 was a busy one with new hardware being thrown at us from all directions. Granted, there was not a lot of high-end action going on, but in sheer numbers the past seven days were probably the busiest of the year so far. HTC had a couple of Desire handsets for us, Meizu brought the E3, while vivo had two announcements of its own. Big players LG and Samsung also took part, while Oppo delivered the only two flagship devices we saw – the R15 pair. We also saw the final hype buildup before the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2s and Hauwei P20 trio announcements next week. The two events are happening…

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In case you missed it: Android announcements at Mobile World Congress

Android’s mission, from day one, has been to bring the power of computing to everyone. We’re proud that the platform has made mobile technology accessible and useful to billions of people over the last 10 years. While we continue to celebrate Android’s open platform, we’ve been working closely with our partners to bring a consistent hardware and software experience that meets the expectations of users all around the world.

This week at Mobile World Congress, a new generation of smartphones were announced through our two programs: Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One.

Here’s a recap of all the announcements, straight from Barcelona:

Android Oreo (Go edition)

Android Oreo (Go edition) offers a fast and smooth experience optimized for devices with 1GB of memory or less, while still making sure you have a high-quality experience with the current version of Android and Google Play Protect. Thanks to optimizations to the platform and apps, Android (Go edition) provides double the storage available for use out of the box. At Mobile World Congress, we welcomed some of the first global smartphones to run Android Oreo (Go edition):

  • Alcatel introduced its first Android Oreo (Go edition) phone with the Alcatel 1X, featuring the latest Alcatel smartphone design language and technology.
  • General Mobile announced the “GM 8 Go,” its first product with Android Oreo (Go edition), as part of the company’s plan to bring computing to more people in Turkey and around the world. 
  • HMD Global announced the Nokia 1, a high quality Android Oreo (Go edition) device that delivers smartphone essentials with the reassuring quality users expect of a Nokia phone in a refreshingly familiar design to fans around the world. 
  • Huawei has also committed significant resources to supporting Android Oreo (Go edition) smartphones and will be bringing a device to all major emerging markets in the near future. 
  • LAVA International Limited introduced the LAVA Z50, which will soon be available at over 100,000 retail stores in India.
  • Micromax Informatics gave a first glimpse of BHARAT GO, its first Android Oreo (Go Edition) smartphone, with the goal to convert millions of feature phone users onto these smartphones.
  • TRANSSION announced it will release Android Oreo (Go edition) phones across its brands, TECNO, itel and Spice, which will cater to a wide range of consumer groups across a diverse set of international markets, particularly Africa.
  • ZTE featured the ZTE Tempo Go, an unlocked smartphone running Android Oreo (Go edition), that looks to provide an optimized and powerful entry level smartphone experience.

Android One

Following the 2017 launches from HTC, Kyocera, Motorola, Sharp, and Xiaomi, we added several new devices to our global Android One portfolio. Each of these devices pairs high quality hardware from our OEM partners with a software experience designed by Google to deliver an experience that is smart, secure, and simply amazing.

To kick off the show in Barcelona, HMD Global unveiled the new Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 8 Sirocco, a range of new premium and mid-tier Android One devices. With the latest Google innovations out of the box and two years of OS upgrades, these devices will deliver an easy to use experience that gets better over time. With Google Play Protect and three years of regular security updates, these will be among the most secure devices available.

Android One Nokia Phones (6, 7 plus, 8 Sirocco).png
Nokia’s Android One line up: the Nokia 6, Nokia 7 Plus, and Nokia 8 Sirocco

In addition, BQ recently previewed two Android One devices, the Aquaris X2 Pro and Aquaris X2, both committed to security and a great Android experience. General Mobile also unveiled their fifth Android One device, the GM8, which will be available in the coming months.

In the decade since the launch of Android, we have achieved amazing things due to the open nature of the platform and the vibrant ecosystem of partners. Looking ahead to the next 10 years, we’re committed to strengthening our partnerships to foster innovation, and bringing consistent and high-quality experiences to everyone.

We would also like to congratulate our existing partners on launching their latest flagship phones, including Samsung Galaxy S9, Sony Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact, at Mobile World Congress. Together with the new partners of Android Oreo (Go edition) and Android One, Android will continue to offer great choice and diversity of devices that meet the needs of our users.


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15 Exciting New Games and Announcements from Nintendo Direct Mini

Nintendo finally gave players some highly-anticipated January news in a new Nintendo Direct Mini. The latest Direct announces various new games and downloadable content (DLC) for the Nintendo Switch, and more. Press the right arrow to learn about 15 exciting new games and announcements from Nintendo Direct.

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The 11 biggest announcements and trailers from the 2017 Game Awards

Unlike most awards shows, the biggest appeal of The Game Awards isn’t the accolades themselves: it’s the multitude of new trailers and reveals that accompany them. (If you’re curious, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild brought home the game of the year award this year.) The 2017 edition of the show, which took place this evening, is no different. Its two hour-long-plus runtime included announcements that covered everything from a new map for PUBG to an actual motorcycle in Breath of the Wild. But if you weren’t able to catch it all, we’ve got you covered. Here’s all of the important news to catch up on.

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5 Biggest Announcements from Amazon’s Surprise Product Event

Amazon held a surprise Alexa-focused event earlier this week where it showed off a lineup of new Echo speakers and Echo-related devices. Amazon also unveiled a new Fire TV to compete with Apple’s recently announced 4K TV. Press the right arrow to view the biggest product announcements from Amazon’s latest press event.

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Watch all the announcements from Apple’s iPhone X event in under five minutes

Just the good stuff.

Over the course of a few hours this morning, Apple unveiled two new iPhones and updates to its Apple TV set-top box and a brand-new Apple Watch.

If you were smart, you didn’t watch the entire thing live in the middle of a workday. We did the hard work for you. Watch all of the big updates from Apple’s iPhone X event in a supercut video that’s condensed into less than five minutes. Just for you.

Enjoy!


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