Alexa skills top 25,000 in the U.S. as new launches slow

 Amazon this week officially launched the first skills for Alexa offering premium content that customers can purchase while using the voice apps – a move the company had announced was in the works back in November. The ability for developers to generate money from their skills comes at an opportune time, as it turns out, given that new data indicates the rate of skill growth is beginning… Read More

Chromecast is back on Amazon

 Amazon will once again allow sales of Apple TV and Google Chromecast on its site, after banning them two years ago in an effort to promote its own Fire TV hardware to online shoppers. The addition of Apple TV is not surprising – Amazon and Apple came to an agreement earlier this year that included the launch of the Amazon Prime Video app for Apple TV, and the return of the Apple TV to… Read More

Here are the deadlines for all your online holiday shopping orders

 While some folks still head to the stores on Black Friday and throughout December, many of us are turning to the web for Christmas shopping. Just one complication: shipping tends to bottleneck during the holidays and some gifts simply don’t arrive on time. But we’ve sorted all that out for you. Here are the order deadlines for folks buying their gifts online who want them delivered… Read More

Amazon expands same-day delivery and one-day shipping to thousands more cities

 Amazon announced today it has expanded its same-day delivery and one-day shipping service to thousands more markets across the U.S., just in time for last-minute holiday shopping. Before, these services were available to Prime members in 5,000 cities and towns, the retailer tells us. Now, they’re available in over 8,000. The market expansion is not just focused on serving major metros,… Read More

Amazon Echo’s multi-room music streaming feature now supports Spotify and SiriusXM

 Just in time for all of those ridiculous holiday playlists, Amazon’s added two key players to the Echo’s multi-room streaming feature. Spotify and SiriusXM now join the ranks of TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Pandora and, naturally, Amazon’s own Music Unlimited service. The feature, which hit the smart speakers over the summer, makes it possible to stream songs to multiple Echos on… Read More

Twitch launches an Alexa skill that plays your channels on Echo Show, offers live audio streams

 Twitch, the Amazon-owned video game streaming service, is now available on Alexa. The company says it has launched a new skill for Alexa device owners that will allow Twitch users to track their favorite video creators and be notified when they start streaming, as well as discover new games and channels, among other things. The skill seems best designed for the Echo Show, the Alexa-powered… Read More