Amazon Echo, the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker and voice assistant, was recently updated to support Pandora and serve up even more sports scores.
It’s a much-needed update to the smart, wireless speaker which was previously limited to streaming music from Amazon’s Prime Music service, anything purchased on its owner’s account, iHeart Radio, and various Internet radio stations. While music from third-party streaming services including Spotify, Pandora and iTunes have always been available on the speaker through Bluetooth connection to a third-party device, Echo will now stream and control Pandora directly through its voice control features.
Just say commands like “Alexa, play a pop station on Pandora,” “Alexa, create a Pandora station for [band name]” or “Alexa, thumbs up [or down]” and you’ll be listening and customizing your Pandora music experience, hands-free. Echo’s native voice control for Pandora also includes the ability to pause and skip songs.
In order to activate this feature, Amazon Echo users have to navigate to “music services” under the Settings menu within the Echo app on their mobile device and add their Pandora account information.
Also in this new update, Echo now boasts schedule and score information for both the MLB and MLS. Sports buffs can now ask Alexa questions like “Alexa, when do the New York Yankees play next?” or “What was the score of the LA Galaxy game?” to stay in the know. This functionality is in addition to its current support for NBA and NHL information.
Amazon Echo’s new music and sports support make an even sweeter deal, but good luck trying to get your hands on one. The device, which has a $199 price point, is still available by invitation only. (It’s worth noting, though, that Amazon Prime members can request the device for $99 until April 7.) We’re not sure when it will be available to the general public, but we’ll let you know when we find out.