Google reportedly working on Echo Show competitor

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If you are eager to know what's new on the second generation of Amazon Echo smart speaker, then here's the details. The new Amazon Echo Plus will work on over 100 smart products out of the box which is a good thing.

Amazon is also adding higher fidelity equipment to the next-generation Echo in an apparent response to the HomePod.

Also, the Echo Spot comes with an integrated front camera which you can use to make free video calls.

Amazon began accepting order for both the new Echos Wednesday.

The new Echo Plus significantly expands the Alexa platform as a controller for the smart home, since it acts as a sort of hub via Zigbee support.

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Amazon's Music Unlimited service is home to tens of millions of songs and thousands of playlists users can stream from their smartphones, tablets, Alexa-enabled devices and more.

The first Echo device to be equipped with a screen, the Amazon Echo Show is able to show you a wealth of information that would be impossible on a regular Amazon Echo. We literally carry portable computers around in our pockets every day, and they can do everything these devices have been shown to do and more.

"Echo Spot combines the popular small design of Echo Dot, the display of Echo Show, and the features you love about Alexa into an all-new, stylish and compact device", said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President, Amazon Alexa.

TechCrunch's sources say getting Netflix onto the device is an important goal for the Manhattan team, but beyond a screen size somewhere between smartphone and tablet little is known about what it will look like. That means it can interact with a bevy of connected devices without the need for learning new skills.

The device will launch in Q4 in the United States and early 2018 in the UK and Germany. That includes support for gaming on Echo devices using the Echo Button. Before Amazon, Google had a similar spat in 2013 when it sent a cease and desist letter to Microsoft complaining about how YouTube was being developed for the Windows Phone, notes GeekWire. Google's project to produce a similar piece of hardware is code-named Manhattan and sources indicate there is considerable pressure on the team to release it to market before the end of 2017.

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