Amazon recently introduced 12 new devices to be released in October and November 2018. There were many noteworthy device updates that were announced. The Echo Show has noticeably incurred some major design updates. Alexa smart home-assistant technology has also been upgraded. Is the new Echo Show equipped with the updated Alexa technology worth the money?
In this post, we focus on those new features to help you decide if the new Echo Show is a good smart home device for your home. We look at both the hardware (Echo Show) and the software (Alexa).
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Echo Show (2nd-Generation) New Features
The Echo Show has undergone significant upgrades from its previous model.
It features a new vibrant 10.1” HD display screen compared to the previous 7” original Echo Show. With two sideways firing premium Dolby processing speakers, the new Echo Show promises to deliver much louder audio and higher sound quality than its predecessor.
The Echo Show is announced to run Amazon Silk internet browser as well as Mozilla Firefox. It also supports video calls through Skype.
Another great feature of the new Echo Show is its built-in smart home hub technology that allows Alexa to seamlessly control any compatible smart home devices like door locks, security cameras, light bulbs, switches, plugs, sensors, and thermostats. This eliminates the need for a separate hub or app. For example, it hooked up with the Ring or August doorbell camera, the Echo Show allows you to see who’s ringing at the front door of your home.
Above all, the new Echo Show multiple functions can all conveniently be controlled by voice via the smart home voice assistant Alexa or managed on screen.
The 2nd-generation Echo Show is now available for order. Check it out here on Amazon.
Alexa Smart Home-Assistant New Features
Follow Up Mode
What’s the weather like in Los Angeles? A follow-up question to Alexa’s response could be; what are some good restaurants there? Alexa would immediately recognize the context which is Los Angeles. The Follow Up Mode allows for follow up questions to dig deeper into a subject without having to repeat or refer to the subject every time. Isn’t that smart?
Whisper on Alexa
This feature allows for a request to be whispered to Alexa. A reply from Alexa will then be whispered back to you. A common application could include instructions given to Alexa at night without waking up somebody with Alexa often times loud response. In short, it is meant to prevent Alexa from speaking too loud in certain situations.
This update is aimed at providing safety and security features. For instance, if announcing to Alexa that you are leaving the house, the device will go into ‘guard’ mode. This will prompt the device to remain alert for sounds that are subject to safety or security triggers such as glass breaking, smoke alarm, or other alarm sounds. A notification alert will then be sent once any of those threats are detected by the device. The ‘guard’ mode will also initiate away lighting. The device will turn lights on and off to make it look as if someone was home. The idea is to deter intruders from breaking into the house.
Doorbell Camera Answering
The feature allows a video doorbell to bring up the camera on the screen of the Echo Show device. The new Echo Show makes it also possible to speak to the person at the door. Included in the update is the ability to receive door chimes when the Echo Show is connected to a door camera. Once the doorbell is ringed, the Echo Show lets you know and you’ll be able to answer that ring right on your Echo Show 2 device as well as speak to the person at the door.
Microsoft and Amazon together are bringing Skype to the Echo Show new device. This is a great feature for families and friends who own the new Echo Show or Spot to easily engage in video calls with someone who owns a smartphone. This provides video calls with much greater flexibility between different devices and software.
Echo Show Web Browsers
Firefox or Silk web browsers are available for download on the new Echo Show. This opens up the opportunity to watch YouTube, Hulu, and other video services by visiting their websites. The Echo Show enhanced 10.1” HD touchscreen can also be used for browsing online contents including other video contents.
Email with Alexa
One prominent update includes email integration with Alexa. Sending and receiving emails are possible with simple voice commands. This update adds a lot more functionality to the updated Echo Show device.
A lot of new features such as productivity, security, smart home control add a lot more value and functionality to the updated Echo Show device. The Echo Show smart device conveniently and attractively packs a number of daily used features into one single device.
While smartphones can do many of the same tasks these days, the Echo Show can do more with less time, as it can be controlled hands-free with voice commands. It also impacts how we experience life in almost any room in our home when paired with other compatible devices and with its smart home hub capability.
Alexa’s new features make the Echo Show a device worth considering if you are in search of a smart home assistant. The Echo Show (2nd-generation) has by far experienced the most upgrades among all the devices announced by Amazon to hit the market in fall 2018.
To find out about the new Echo Dot (3rd Generation) upgrades click here.
- Amazon Echo Show Review, Tech Radar
- Amazon Echo Show Review, Tom’s Guide
- YouTube, CNET & Amazon