Gadgets

SPY Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Amazon Devices

Amazon Devices Guide: What You Need
Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP/REX/Shutterstock (5927700g) David Limp, Amazon Senior Vice President of Devices, pushes down an Echo Dot in San Francisco. Amazon.com is introducing two devices, the Amazon Tap and Echo Dot, that are designed to amplify the role that its voice-controlled assistant Alexa plays in people's homes and lives Amazon Echoing the Echo, San Francisco, USA
Photo by Jeff Chiu/AP/REX/Shutterstock

* Amazon’s quickly become one of the leading tech companies in the world
* With Alexa, their line of voice-activated devices is changing how we watch TV
* Know how each product works with this guide

What started as a simple warehouse selling second-hand books has become one of the biggest technology companies in the world. These days it’s hard to keep up with every new innovation Amazon releases.

That’s why we’ve made a list of all the Amazon devices and how they work. It’s time to get up to speed.

What is the Fire TV?

The Fire TV is a little black box you connect to your TV’s HDMI outlet for easier streaming. With the Fire TV, you’re able to access Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and more (separate subscriptions to those services are required) without having ever having to change the channel. Connect the box to your TV and stream your favorite channels in seconds.

Fire TV Image courtesy of Amazon

  

What is the Fire TV Stick?

Think of the Fire Stick as a mini version of the Fire TV: it’s smaller, not quite as powerful and is roughly half the price. As a portable streaming media player, though, the Fire Stick is second to none. Simply connect the Stick to your TV’s HDMI outlet and you’re able to access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and more. Connect the USB stick to your tablet to mirror your tablet screen on the TV. A great way to show home videos, photos or for a presentation.

Fire TV Stick Image courtesy of Amazon

  

What’s the difference between the Fire TV and Fire Stick?

While the Fire Stick offers more or less the same features as the Fire TV, it lacks the same hardware. Unlike the Stick, the Fire TV includes a MicroSD card slot and an Ethernet port. The Fire TV also has double the memory and, unlike the Stick, includes 4K support – a great option for gamers who like to play on a 4K TV.

When it comes down to it, the Stick is more for casual viewers while the Fire TV offers more features and faster loading times.

  

What is the Fire Tablet?

Featuring a quality build at traditionally low prices, the Amazon Fire Tablet offers more ways to stay connected on the go. Featuring a beautiful 8-inch display, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and an extra long battery life, the latest HD 8 Fire Tablet makes it easier to stream your favorite shows, access apps, games and more wherever you are. The newer models also come with Alexa. It’s a classic tablet but packed with the latest features.

Fire Tablet Image courtesy of Amazon

  

What is Alexa?

Alexa is Amazon’s own voice-activated service. Like Apple’s Siri, Alexa is able to answer questions, open apps, find shows and more. Unlike Siri, Alexa is designed to work with all your Amazon devices, which means she can actually control your various smart home gadgets remotely. Alexa now comes standard on most Amazon products, including the Fire.

  

What is the Echo?

With seven high-tech microphones, the Echo is essentially a smart speaker designed to execute various tasks by voice command. With Alexa at its core, the Echo is able to play music, access apps, read audiobooks, execute various commands and much, much more. Think of it as your virtual voice-activated assistant. The audio quality is second to none.

Amazon Echo Image courtesy of Amazon

  

What is the Echo Dot?

Shaped like an old hockey puck, the Echo Dot is another welcome addition to the Echo line. While the functionality remains the same, the Echo Dot is essentially a more compact and convenient version of the original Echo. However, the Dot doesn’t have the same audio quality as the original and is actually intended to be used with an outside audio source.

Echo Dot Image courtesy of Amazon

  

What is the Echo Show?

The Echo Show is everything you love about the Echo, but now with a beautiful new touchscreen. More than simply checking the weather or the time, you can ask Alexa to play YouTube videos or make a video call. It even dubs as an intercom. Think of it as a more dynamic version of the Echo.

Echo Show Image courtesy of Amazon

  

What is the Amazon Tap?

The Amazon Tap is fundamentally a Bluetooth-enabled portable speaker. With Alexa’s help, you can play songs, listen to the radio, set a timer and more, all with the tap of a finger. Providing up to nine hours of battery life, you won’t have to worry about finding a plug in the middle of the party.

Amazon Tap Image courtesy of Amazon

  

What is Audible?

Audible is Amazon’s collection of audiobooks, podcasts and original series. With thousands of titles to choose from, Audible comes free of charge with an Amazon Prime subscription ($99/year) and starts at $14.95/month for non-Prime members.

Audible Free Trial

  

What’s a Kindle? 

As one of the first E-readers, the Kindle helped make reading cool again. The premise was simple: keep all your titles in one compact device. It revolutionized the way people read books on the go and is now available in a range of different formats, from the budget-friendly Kindle Paperwhite to the premium Kindle Voyage.

  

How’s the Kindle App different?

The Kindle App allows you to transform virtually any device into a Kindle E-reader (I.e. your existing cell phone or non-Amazon tablet). It gives you full access to the Kindle library, which houses more than one million different e-books, and is a great app for those who don’t want to purchase a brand new gadget.

Download Kindle

  

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is a membership-only service that works like Amazon Prime but for books and audiobooks. It gives users unlimited access to titles and is compatible with virtually any device using the Kindle App.

Download Kindle Unlimited

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