Alexa becomes more of a newscaster by giving you more in-depth information

amazon echo second generation deal smart speaker 1000x666

Alexa can already give you a quick overview of the news from your favorite outlets, but Amazon wants to see if the voice assistant can be something closer to a news anchor that lives in your home. Alexa is getting a feature that will highlight in-depth reporting and long-form news stories from major publications including Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Newsy, and NPR, according to a report from Engadget.

To activate the new features, users will ask Alexa to “tell me the news” or to “play the news” from a given outlet. Alexa can also give you a list of available stories from news providers. The long-form stories will be available in audio format on any Alexa-powered device including the Amazon’s extended line of Echo smart speakers. CNBC and Newsy will be providing video content that can be viewed on Alexa devices equipped with a screen, including Amazon’s Echo Show.

Because these stories are more in-depth and will require your attention, Alexa has playback controls that allow you to control what you’re listening to. If you’re not interested in one of the stories that come up, you can say “Alexa, skip” or “Alexa, next” to move on to the next story. You can also change your preferred news provider in the Alexa app by going to the “Flash Briefing” section and updating the outlet of your choice. This will put the news you’re more likely to want to listen to front and center.

NPR confirmed its involvement in the long-form news project in a letter to member stations, published by Nieman Lab this week. “Starting today, thanks to a new partnership between NPR and Amazon, new Alexa owners will hear not only the hourly newscast but, immediately after it, a continuous listening experience that delivers a stream of the best and most up-to-date content from Member stations and NPR,” the news publication said in the letter.

Alexa owners won’t have to wait long to try out the new long-form news experience. According to NPR, the extended news stories will be available on all Alexa devices including smart speakers and other products by Monday, April 15.

News

Google has tips for making your smart home more eco-friendly

Google is announcing new integrations for Google Assistant with energy and water-saving devices for Earth Day. The company is also offering tips on how to cut down on your energy bill.
Movies & TV

Best new podcasts of the week of April 13, 2019: Spacebridge and more

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a spacebridge, love advice, Topher Grace, and bite-sized history.
Music

The best new music this week: Tallest Man On Earth, Cage the Elephant, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: The Tallest Man On Earth, Cage The Elephant, Lizzo, Pivot Gang, and Sad Planets.
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on Echo Dot, Ring security, Fire Tablets, and more for Easter

Amazon slashed prices with deals on Echo Dot, Ring video doorbell and security systems, and Fire Tablets. Some of the best deals are for multiple-unit purchases. Most Ring deals include a free Echo Dot in addition to healthy price cuts.
Smart Home

Making hard-boiled eggs isn’t hard — here’s how to do it perfectly every time

With the help of science or some kitchen gadgets, making hard-boiled eggs can be a little easier. It may not be the hardest task in the world, but a few of these methods are foolproof.
Smart Home

Amazon and Best Buy smash prices on August smart home security locks

Amazon and Best Buy have the lowest prices for two August smart home door locks during a limited time sale. August was one of the first smart door lock companies designed specifically for smart home convenience and security.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Deals

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Smart Home

Get baked while you bake with these clever cannabis cooking gadgets

Ready to step up your edibles game? Here are the best cannabis cooking gadgets for your kitchen, from an "Instant Pot" for your cannabutter to the best grinders and decarbing devices on the market. Check out the full list for more.
News

This hybrid tiny home sauna gives hotbox a whole new meaning

Tiny homes seem to come in all shapes and forms these days, and Igluhuts are no exception. While the homes look more like a hobbit might come out of one on the outside, inside, there's a modern and sleek look aimed at relaxation and…
Smart Home

Can new laws protect you from smart home security breaches?

To help combat smart home data breaches, state and federal lawmakers are exploring ways to protect consumers. California, Oregon, and members of the U.S. Senate all have proposals to protect people's data.
Smart Home

Grow it, cook it, smoke it: Marijuana tech gadgets for your home and kitchen

Legal marijuana consumers buy around six marijuana products each month. Some of the products we found look like something out of a stoner sci-fi movie. Check out this collection of marijuana tech.
Smart Home

Power on and off: Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug by TP-Link brings weatherproof smarts

The Kasa Outdoor Wi-Fi Smart Plug grants remote control of two outlets in an IP-64 weather resistant housing. Simple and straightforward, this smart plug is a great fit for summer lighting.
Smart Home

Alexa, how much do you weigh? Questions unlock voice assistant's Easter eggs

Sometimes all we really need is someone to talk to, which is why we've rounded up the best (read: funniest) Easter eggs currently embedded within Amazon's virtual assistant. Apparently, Alexa knows more than you might think.