Updated Amazon Echo Shows arrive this week, with a few new tricks even older devices can do

Updated Amazon Echo Shows arrive this week, with a few new tricks even older devices can do

Amazon is launching a trio of updated Echo Show smart displays this week: the midsize Echo Show 8, the compact Echo Show 5 and the chameleon skin-covered Echo Show Kids (basically a Show 5 with jazzier colors). Boasting better cameras and more powerful processors, the new devices are slated to begin shipping June 9, less than two weeks before Prime Day 2021 (June 21 and 22).

As with most Amazon product launches, the new smart devices will have some nifty tricks up their sleeves, like the Echo Show 8’s ability to pan and zoom during video calls to keep callers centered or the augmented reality technology that lets you add animated reactions to a video call. Some, like pan and zoom, will be exclusive to one or more of the new devices, but others, like animated reactions, will roll out to all Echo Shows.

We’ve already covered what’s new about the updated Echo Show devices, plus looked at Alexa’s new sound detection triggers and how to turn your Alexa display’s webcam into a security camera — but there’s more. Here are the rest of the features that have already arrived — or soon will — on your Alexa smart speaker or display.

Amazon Sidewalk goes live June 8: Here’s what to know

Much ado has been made about Amazon Sidewalk in the run up to the shared Wi-Fi service’s debut on June 8, and we’d be remiss not to mention the company’s new low-bandwidth shared wireless network among the new features arriving on Echo devices this week. To help readers make a more informed decision about Amazon Sidewalk, we’ve explained Sidewalk’s major benefits, sorted out Sidewalk’s confusing privacy permissions and even provided detailed steps for how to disable Sidewalk if you decide you’d rather not participate.

There are totally valid reasons for opting out of Amazon Sidewalk, but there are also good reasons for giving it a try. If the idea of opening up a small slice of your monthly bandwidth so that you and your neighbors might have broader, more reliable wireless service for your smart home devices, give it a try. You can always choose to opt-out later…Read more>>