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New Amazon Echo? 5 essentials tips you need to know now – CNET




These tips will help you from the moment you unbox your Amazon Echo.

Chris Monroe/CNET

You just took your new Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock or Echo Show 8 out of the box, but what exactly do you do with it now? You already know that it can play music, tell you the weather forecast and set alarms — but Amazon’s Alexa does so many things that it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to begin. 

For example, Alexa can learn who it’s talking to, order supplies for around the house and even turn on the lights. Not to mention, you can make calls and send texts using the Echo speaker — or drop in on someone else’s speaker (with their permission, of course).

Right out of the box, Alexa won’t tell you how to do these things, but we’ve got you covered. Read on for essential tips for your Amazon Echo ($60 at Amazon) that you’ll need to know.


Find the perfect spot in the house for your new Amazon Echo.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Find a good spot for your Echo in the house

The first thing you’ll do when you’ve unboxed your new Amazon Echo is to plug it in. And when you only have one Echo speaker, you don’t want to just plop it down anywhere in the house — in fact, there are four places you should never place your device. You should make sure it’s in a centralized spot where your voice can carry from most rooms, like in the kitchen or living room. (Here are the four best uses for Amazon Echo in every room of your house.)

Get the basic stuff taken care of first

Now that you’ve got your Echo plugged in and set up, it’s time to learn the basics. This includes downloading the Alexa app and setting up your location so you’ll have an accurate weather forecast. 

We also recommend that you take the time from the beginning to create a voice profile for everyone who lives in the house. While you can set this up at any time, being able to let Alexa recognize the different users’ voices will give each user a personalized experience. For example, when Alexa recognizes your voice, it’ll play the music and news you like to listen to and will call or message people in your address book.

You may also want to set up voice purchasing so you can quickly order an item you often buy, like paper towels. To do this, you’ll also need to enable 1-Click ordering in the settings app. Remember to set up a password so that only you can make purchases this way. You can find this in Settings > Account Settings > Voice Purchasing.


Once your Echo is plugged in, you can start with the basics.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Using voice commands to get stuff done

Every action you want Alexa to make will require a voice command. For example, turning on music, controlling the volume of the smart speaker and creating lists or reminders. You’ll just say something like, “Alexa, turn the volume down,” or, “Alexa, add coffee to my shopping list.”

You can also communicate with Alexa through texts, instead of speaking. Just open the Alexa app and tap the Keyboard button in the top left corner.

Don’t want your wake word to be Alexa? You can change it to Echo, Computer or Amazon. Just say, “Alexa, change the wake word” and make your choice. 

Read more: We tested all 4 Amazon Echo wake words. Here’s what we learned about Alexa

Control your smart home devices from your Echo speaker

Wishing you could arrive home at night with the lights already lit up? Well, if you’ve got smart lights, smart plugs ($25 at Amazon) or switches, you can control them using the Alexa app so that you never have to trip going up the front porch stairs again.

Other devices you can control include smart locks (in case you forget to lock your door before leaving), thermostats, robot vacuums and more


Connect all your smart home devices in the Alexa app.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Call, text and drop in on your friends using Alexa

Lost your phone in the house again? No worries — you don’t need it because Alexa can make calls and send texts for you. Just say something like, “Alexa, call Mom,” or, “Alexa, text Katie.” The contacts have to be in your address book for this to work. 

You can also use your Echo speaker to drop in on friends and family who have added you as an accepted contact. To do so, just say something like, “Alexa, drop in on Dad.”

Oh, and about that lost phone — Alexa can help you find it in your home.

Now that we’ve got the essentials out of the way, here are five surprising things you didn’t know your Amazon Echo could do, 10 weirdest things Amazon Echo can do and how to turn your Fire TV into a larger Amazon Echo Show.

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LG considers exiting smartphones in 2021 – The Verge



LG is considering exiting the smartphone market in 2021. After losing around $4.5 billion over the past five years, LG’s smartphone business has been struggling to compete with rivals. Now LG CEO Kwon Bong-seok has notified employees that the company is considering making big changes to its smartphone business.

The Korea Herald reports that Kwon Bong-seok sent out an internal memo to staff on Wednesday, hinting at a change in direction for LG’s phone business. “Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” says an LG official in a statement to The Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business.”

LG confirmed the internal memo was genuine in a statement to The Verge, noting that nothing has been decided yet. “LG Electronics management is committed to making whatever decision is necessary to resolve its mobile business challenges in 2021,” says an LG spokesperson. “As of today, nothing has been finalized.”

LG’s Rollable phone.

This new internal memo follows a now-deleted report from Korean outlet TheElec earlier this month that claimed LG was planning to exit the smartphone business. LG branded that report “completely false and without merit,” in a statement to Android Police just a week ago.

LG has previously promised “wow factors” to try and attract consumers and make its flagging mobile division profitable. LG has tried multiple times with the G7, the V40, the G8, and the V50 to compete with Samsung and Huawei, but it’s not been enough to push its market share in the right direction. LG’s latest Velvet and Wing smartphones have attempted to try something new, but neither were well received.

Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Apple all continue to dominate worldwide smartphone shipments, according to IDC. LG is now turning its focus to its Rollable phone, in an effort to differentiate it from the competition. LG teased the Rollable device again at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, with a “unique resizable screen” that extends from a phone to become a small tablet display.

LG has promised its Rollable device is real and will launch in 2021, but with the company reconsidering its mobile plans it could be one of the last LG phones we’ll see.

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Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro is equipped with a new camera with 120x zoom – Phone Mantra



Due to the lack of a periscope camera in Xiaomi Mi 11, the smartphone is quite strongly criticized

After the release of the flagship smartphone Xiaomi Mi 11, which turned out to be quite problematic, as we already reported yesterday, all the fans’ attention turned to the upcoming model Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro

A well-known Chinese insider under the nickname Digital Chat Station claims that the Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro smartphone will be equipped with a 120x zoom camera. It is also expected that the main camera of the smartphone will have four modules, and not three, like the Xiaomi Mi 11. The manufacturer is obliged to add a periscope camera for high-quality optical zoom. Due to its absence in Xiaomi Mi 11, the smartphone is quite strongly criticized.

Recall that the main image sensor Samsung ISOCELL HMX (S5KHMX) with a resolution of 108 MP optical format 1 / 1.33 inches with pixels of 0.8 microns is installed in Xiaomi Mi 11, which previously appeared in Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 10, Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro and Motorola Edge +. It is suggested that the smartphone will be equipped with a yet unannounced Sony IMX782 50MP sensor, which should also be used in the Huawei P50 line of smartphones.

Digital Chat Station was the first to accurately report the specifications and release dates of Redmi K30 and Xiaomi Mi 10. It also regularly publishes information received from its own informants in the research and development departments of various companies so that you can trust this source.

The Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro is expected to be announced in February.

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MediaTek taps TSMC 6-nanometer tech for new flagship 5G phone chips – Cape Breton Post



By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – MediaTek Inc on Wednesday said it would use Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s 6-nanometer chipmaking technology for its newest chips aimed at premium 5G smartphones.

Taiwan’s MediaTek appears to be one of the first high-volume customers for the technology and is among a handful of companies with modem technology to connect phones to mobile data networks, competing against Qualcomm Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. The new chips announced Wednesday, called Dimensity 1100 and 1200, build on MediaTek’s efforts to go after higher-priced handsets where Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips have historically had stronger market share.

Like Qualcomm and Apple, MediaTek designs chips and then contracts out production to outside firms. The newest chips will be made at TSMC, on a chipmaking technology called 6-nanometer. Qualcomm’s chips are being made by Samsung on 5-nanometer technology while Apple Inc uses TSMC’s 5-nanometer technology.

Smaller chipmaker technology is faster and more power efficient. MediaTek’s previous chips used a 7-nanometer process, and moving to newer manufacturing technology along with advances in the chip’s design make it 22% faster at computing tasks while consuming 25% less power, Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of international corporate sales, told Reuters in an interview.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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