Amazon gives a release new echo device today because apparently the 50-plus Alexa announcements that it made last September were not enough. This new device is the Echo Show 5, which is essentially a much smaller, nicer Echo Show. It has a rectangular 5.5-inch screen, a camera and a speaker that is probably better than an Echo Dot, but not by a huge margin. However, the most important feature is probably the price: it starts at $ 89.99. That is less expensive than most smart speakers with a display.
It will come in two colors – "charcoal" and "sandstone" – and Amazon also sells a $ 19.99 magnetic stand that allows you to tilt the device, making it easier for children to see things in the kitchen that are not quite right can reach the counter. But it is more likely that you use it as an alarm clock or a desk accessory. I had the opportunity to listen to a song on the device briefly and although it seemed good for its small size, it confirmed to me that you want it in your office or bedroom rather than in your kitchen.
But again, people rightly get nervous when they put something in their bedroom with a camera. To address these concerns, Amazon installed a physical, visible shutter switch on the device. The visible a part really matters. You can just see that the camera is immediately covered and turned off. Other devices can physically turn off the camera with a switch, but you must look at the screen to know if it is turned off.
The small smart screen space becomes very busy. The Google Nest Home Hub is not much larger than the Echo Show 5 and sells for $ 129. Amazon has been selling the Echo Spot for a while. That Echo Spot, a device that is almost identical to the new Echo Show 5 in its functionality, costs $ 129.99, which apparently shows that round screens are not cheap. Lenovo is about to send its Google alarm clock, which is only $ 79.
The Echo Show 5 competes most directly with smart screens with Google Assistant, of course. That is not as easy as it seems. The best feature for these gadgets is their ability to display family photos and many more people use Google Photos than the Amazon rival service.
In addition to this product announcement, Amazon also promises to provide more information about how it uses your personal information. That is why it is announcing a few new Alexa commands today. The first is now available: you can tell Alexa to "delete everything I said today" and it will erase your history of queries and saved statements. The second is "remove what I just said".
Both seem to be clear responses to the more general realization that Amazon stores your Alexa requests or maybe one larger-than-you-probably-realized group of Amazon employees and contractors who listen anonymized Alexa searches to improve accuracy. Amazon also sent 1,700 voice recordings to the wrong user in a GDPR mix-up last year. People may not want their voices to be stored on Amazon servers for a very long time – and these functions will help. (It would be more convenient if you would automate these deletions.)
The company also announces a new "Alexa Privacy Hub, "It looks like an extension of the work it has done in Europe to comply with GDPR rules. The new Privacy Hub will be online and in the Alexa app. It will have quick access to privacy settings and" educational videos about how Alexa works, guidance on various privacy measures, easy access to privacy settings, answers to frequently asked questions and more, "said Amazon.
Preorders for the Echo Show 5 are today and will be sent in July.