Best Black Friday Ring doorbell deals: Savings on Ring doorbells, floodlight camera, alarm kit and more – CNET

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

While many of the biggest Black Friday deals are starting to run out, there are still great discounts remaining on Ring doorbells, Ring floodlight cameras and security kits.

Some of the best Black Friday deals are a return to Prime Day pricing lows, and you'll also find new additions to the line-up of home security products, including the Ring Video Doorbell Pro, now with a free Echo Show 5 (save $170). Walmart's sale began on Nov. 25 and Best Buy started discounting on Nov. 22, but Amazon saved many of its biggest price drops for Black Friday, and we anticipate that prices won't be this low again between now and Christmas.

You'll notice that some of these items are now on back-order for two to three weeks, and those ship times will likely increase. Amazon devices rarely go "out of stock," however, so in the worst-case scenario shipping dates may just get pushed further back.

We'll keep the list below up to date with the best Ring doorbell deals and discounts for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, so check back often. Pricing and availability were accurate at time of last publication, but may change without notice.

Deals available now

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Ring offers live 1080p video, motion alerts and two-way voice communication and a feature called Pre-Roll (when someone or something trips the motion sensor, you can see what happened before that). This deal saves nearly 50% off the regular $250 retail price and throws in an Echo Show 5 ($90 list price) to boot.

Note, the Ring Pro doesn't have a rechargeable battery. If you can't connect it to the existing doorbell wires at your front door, this isn't the video doorbell for you. Read our Ring Video Doorbell Pro review.

Ring

The Ring Peephole Cam is perfect for apartment dwellers or people without hardwired doorbells. It's super easy to install, and $70 is a super welcoming price. If you're interested in video doorbells in general, this is a great place to start. Read our Ring Peephole Cam review.

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Ring Alarm is a modular-style home security kit, and you can get various arrangements of the kit for great discounts. The five-piece with a free Echo Dot is the best deal, though, at 50% off the list price. You can also get the 14-piece set for an impressive $200.

Amazon notes that stock is running low, and it looks like this deal will be delivered in December if you order now.

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Ring's Floodlight Cam usually sells for $250, so finding the camera for under $200 -- let alone with a free Echo Show 5 smart display thrown in -- is a pleasant surprise. This package is perfect for jumpstarting your outdoor security system, whether to keep your house safe from burglars or just to spy on the raccoons who keep getting into your garbage.

Like the five-piece alarm deal above, Amazon notes that stock is running low, and it looks like this deal will be delivered in December if you order now. Read our Ring Floodlight Cam review.

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Dyson Black Friday deals: dwindling stock on Dyson Ball, V10 Animal and more – CNET

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Black Friday is here, and now you can really clean up -- literally. Dyson, one of the most highly regarded vacuum brands, has some great deals happening right now, with at least one more coming this weekend. Check out the best Dyson discounts on cordless vacuums, a heating-cooling air purifier and other Dyson products below. At this time most deals are only available in-store, but you'll also find a preview of additional Cyber Monday price drops to come throughout this long weekend.

Read more: Black Friday 2020 vacuum deals: Save on Neato, Hoover, Shark and more

Prices and availability were accurate at time of publication, but tend to fluctuate. Check back often, as we'll be updating this article on a rolling basis to account for newer, better deals and expired discounts.

Black Friday deals available now

Home Depot

Dyson's "entry-level" corded vacuum usually costs $350, but that price has dropped to a much more reasonable $199.

Best Buy

The V10 Animal returns to its all-time Amazon low of $350 this season, with Target confirming the price drop will start this week. We expect it to be that price at Best Buy and elsewhere, too. This cordless model delivers 55% more suction than the V7 and an hour of runtime using the battery.

Dyson

The Dyson V8 boasts 15% more suction than the V7, according to Dyson. Normally $380, the Motorhead version drops to $230 at Target starting this week.

Black Friday deals coming soon

Dyson

Dyson's V7 Animal normally costs $400, but it's getting a whopping 50% discount this week. Best Buy has confirmed this price will be available by Saturday, Nov. 28.

Dyson

No, this isn't a vacuum -- but if you're a Dyson fan, take note. If you're looking to clean the air in your house, Dyson also has one of its air purifiers on discount this Black Friday, for 25% off its usual list price. The HP01 cleans the air, but also functions as a space heater and fan -- that's a lot of features to pack into a Dyson device for under $400. (Just note that it's sold in the past for as low as $300.)

Lowest known Amazon price to date: $300

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Amazon’s 2nd-gen Echo Frames are available to preorder for $250 – CNET

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Amazon Echo Frames are available to preorder now for $250, and Amazon says they will ship by Dec. 10.

Echo Frames -- the smart glasses with the voice assistant Alexa built in -- began their gradual rollout last year as part of Amazon's Day 1 Editions program, which offers limited releases of more experimental products. The Echo Frames, now in their second generation, are launching in earnest this season, and are open to preorder for anyone.

Unlike the smart glasses of movies or competitors, Echo Frames are less focused on creating visuals for users than they are on plugging Alexa direct into (or at least proximal to) your ear.

The second-gen smart glasses will include a few updates over the pilot product. Battery life is increased 40%, the power will automatically shut off when the Frames are set down for more than three seconds, volume will adjust automatically to account for ambient noise, and the frames themselves will come in three colors: Classic Black, Horizon Blue and Modern Tortoise (black and orange mottling).

When connected to an iPhone or Android phone over Bluetooth, Echo Frames can make audio calls, play music, set timers and answer questions. A spokesperson for Amazon said people can use Echo Frames to do things like control multi-room music across compatible Echo speakers and control smart home devices.

See also: Amazon Echo Frames review: We decided we don't really want to wear Alexa

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Black Friday deals on smart home devices: $199 Shark Robot Vacuum available now, $19 Nest Mini coming next week – CNET

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

November 27 is right around the corner, and that means countless Black Friday deals on everything from TVs to robot vacuums. But smart home devices are seeing some of the best discounts of the year, even matching the record low prices of Prime Day earlier this fall. Major retailers like Walmart and Best Buy have already announced many of their deals for this Black Friday, and online retail giant Amazon has promised to match many of its biggest deals in the past, too.

Whether you're looking for Google Nest or Amazon Echo smart speakers, connected cameras or other niche gadgets, you've come to the right place. Here are the best deals that are coming for Black Friday 2020 -- and some of them are even already available.

Deals available now

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Shark's Robot Vacuum is on sale for nearly half off, a huge saving for a robot vacuum that can clean your house without requiring you to lift a finger. You can even limit its coverage to certain rooms, thanks to a home mapping feature.

Chris Monroe/CNET

C by GE lights are solid additions to the smart home: you can control them with you voice assistants, like Google Assistant and Alexa, and you can set them on schedules and triggers. Finding a 4-pack for $20 is great, and it's about as cheap as you'll find any quality smart bulb. See the best smart bulbs we've tested.

Deals coming soon

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Google's Nest Mini is one of the best budget smart speakers around, and for under $30, it's a steal. This pint-size speaker comes with full-size smarts, thanks to Google Assistant. That means you can do everything from play music to control your other smart home gadgets, from lights to smart locks. This deal is already live at Walmart, though you may want to wait a few days if you can: Walmart will be knocking the price down to $19 starting Wed., Nov. 25.

Chris Monroe/CNET

These two products would normally run you a grand total of $320. Starting this Friday Nov. 20, though, both devices will be bundled for only $150. That's a surprisingly cheap way to kickstart your connected home.

As with many other deals, Best Buy will be matching this one.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The new Amazon Echo smart speaker is one of our favorite connected speakers ever, between its impressive power and sound quality, an ever-smartening Alexa voice assistant and a new sphere-like profile. On November 20, you'll be able to get it for $30 less than its usual, reasonable $100 price tag.

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Amazon launches Alexa Care Hub for elder and family care – CNET

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Amazon Echo's Alexa software is taking on more responsibilities.

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Amazon launched on Wednesday its Care Hub for Alexa designed to help people care for aging relatives from a distance. The Care Hub is a free service that requires two linked Amazon accounts but only a single Echo smart speaker or display.

Amazon announced the Care Hub during its September product event, framing Care Hub as a practical solution for caregiving from a distance while respecting the privacy and autonomy of those receiving care. Once the aging individual extends an invitation from their Alexa app account to a caregiver's account, the caregiver can use the hub to monitor general activity, set up personalized alerts (if, for instance, there is no activity recorded by a specific time of day) and more.

The Care Hub also enables a Call for Help feature, which allows those receiving care to set personalized emergency contacts who can be reached with a simple voice command.

The tech giant said that privacy is a priority for the Care Hub and that information sharing has been balanced to give caregivers useful insights into their loved ones' activities without creating access to specific voice commands, songs played or movies watched, for example.

For more information on Alexa's recent and upcoming features, read about everything announced alongside the Care Hub at September's event.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Amazon launches Alexa Care Hub for elder and family care – CNET

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Amazon Echo's Alexa software is taking on more responsibilities.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon launched on Wednesday its Care Hub for Alexa designed to help people care for aging relatives from a distance. The Care Hub is a free service that requires two linked Amazon accounts but only a single Echo smart speaker or display.

Amazon announced the Care Hub during its September product event, framing Care Hub as a practical solution for caregiving from a distance while respecting the privacy and autonomy of those receiving care. Once the aging individual extends an invitation from their Alexa app account to a caregiver's account, the caregiver can use the hub to monitor general activity, set up personalized alerts (if, for instance, there is no activity recorded by a specific time of day) and more.

The Care Hub also enables a Call for Help feature, which allows those receiving care to set personalized emergency contacts who can be reached with a simple voice command.

The tech giant said that privacy is a priority for the Care Hub and that information sharing has been balanced to give caregivers useful insights into their loved ones' activities without creating access to specific voice commands, songs played or movies watched, for example.

For more information on Alexa's recent and upcoming features, read about everything announced alongside the Care Hub at September's event.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Apple TV app coming to PS4 and PS5 – CNET

Roku app: Apple TV+
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When the PS5, Sony's new video game console, launches on November 12, it will host a newly designed media center that introduces an Apple TV app. That app will also be available on the PS4.

As opposed to current entertainment streaming on the PS4, the new media center will not require you to download each app separately. Instead, it will automatically include all the major streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and, now, Apple TV+.

Apple TV will also likely be arriving on the new Xbox Series X/S at launch, according to a report by Windows Central.

Sony and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Apple TV app coming to PS4 and PS5 – CNET

Roku app: Apple TV+
Sarah Tew/CNET

When the PS5, Sony's new video game console, launches on November 12, it will host a newly designed media center that introduces an Apple TV app. That app will also be available on the PS4.

As opposed to current entertainment streaming on the PS4, the new media center will not require you to download each app separately. Instead, it will automatically include all the major streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney Plus and, now, Apple TV+.

Apple TV will also likely be arriving on the new Xbox Series X/S at launch, according to a report by Windows Central.

Sony and Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Cyber Monday 2020 Amazon Echo deals: Save on Echo Dot, Fire HD tablet, Fire TV Stick and more – CNET

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET's gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

Black Friday may have come and gone, but the deals on Amazon devices are lasting through Cyber Monday and who knows how much longer after that. We wouldn't recommend waiting on a good deal though -- they could disappear fast. Amazon has a bunch of great deals on its devices, but some of the items may ship to you after Christmas. That means if you're thinking of picking up an Amazon Echo smart speaker or Amazon Fire tablet for a loved one on your shopping list -- or for yourself -- you'll probably want to make a decision soon.

Pretty much everything in the Amazon hardware family -- Kindle readers, Echo Show devices, Fire tablets, Ring doorbells, Echo speakers and Fire TV streamers, for instance -- is at or near its lowest price of the year. Most of these prices are as good as what we typically see during Amazon Prime Day, but we're not sure when that might happen again. Either way, we don't expect these prices to go any lower between now and the end of the year.

Deals available now

Amazon

This combo deal regularly retails for $60, but it's now on sale for $29. Get the all-new Echo Dot along with a Sengled Smart Bulb and take the first steps in setting up your smart home. Since the Echo Dot is also on sale for $29, you'll be getting the Sengled Smart Bulb for free.

Note this is the Sengled Smart Bulb that requires either Bluetooth control or the Sengled Zigbee hub. Read our Amazon Echo Dot (2020) review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Want an 8-inch screen instead of a 5-incher? This is the bigger, better Echo Show, with a screen that's much easier on the eyes. Read our Echo Show 8 review.

Amazon

This $50 deal delivers an Echo Show 5 smart display and a Blink Mini camera, a great combo for keeping an eye on other areas of your home. The Echo Show 5 is Amazon's compact 5.5-inch smart display. The Blink Mini is Blink's affordable 1080p HD indoor plug-in security camera.

The combo deal is officially $125 and regularly priced at $110, so this is a pretty hefty savings if you're interested in smart security and Alexa. Read our Echo Show 5 review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Normally this Ring doorbell runs $230, and the Echo Show 5 smart display goes for $90. But starting Nov. 20, this bundle is just $150, making it an affordable way to jump-start a smart home. Read our Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon's Echo Flex is a clever little gadget, adding Alexa to a modular smart plug design. You can attach various augmentations to the plug, like an LED clock, a motion sensor or a night-light. To get this little device plus all of Alexa's smarts, for only $10, is a solid deal.

Chris Monroe/CNET

The Ring offers live 1080p video, motion alerts and two-way voice communication and a feature called Pre-Roll (when someone or something trips the motion sensor, you can see what happened before that). This deal saves nearly 50% off the regular $250 retail price and throws in an Echo Show 5 ($90 list price) to boot.

Note, the Ring Pro doesn't have a rechargeable battery. If you can't connect it to the existing doorbell wires at your front door, this isn't the video doorbell for you. Read our Ring Video Doorbell Pro review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

If you want a display for video chatting, watching Netflix or just as a smart alarm clock, the Show 5 -- the smallest smart display from Amazon -- is a great little gadget. It dropped to $45 during Prime Day, and since that price is returning to Best Buy on Nov. 22, we expect it to return to Amazon this weekend, too. Read our Echo Show 5 review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Like the new, full-size Echo, the 2020 Dot boasts a striking new spherical aesthetic. It's a solid smart speaker and remains a great way to try out using a voice assistant and smart home tech.

The new Echo Dot will be $29, saving you $21 off the regular retail price. Read our Amazon Echo Dot (2020) review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Amazon gave the Echo a total redesign in 2020. The smart speaker is now spherical, but that's not all. The newest Echo sounds great, includes a Zigbee receiver for smart home integration and looks good sitting on your countertop. 

This sale saves you $30 off the $100 regular retail price. Read our Amazon Echo (2020) review.

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Mesh Wi-Fi routers are becoming more and more affordable. The new Eero 6 system three-pack adds full support for Wi-Fi 6.

It's not the best or most powerful mesh system, but if you have your heart set on Amazon's latest Wi-Fi system, this sale saves $56 off the regular $279 price. Read our Eero 6 review.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Fire HD 10 tablet delivers upgrades like USB-C charging and a faster processor for better performance. There's also a 2-megapixel front camera and 32GB of memory in the regularly priced $150 base model. 

The Fire HD 10 has the same better-than-1080p (1,900x1,200-pixel-resolution) display as the previous model and the same microSD expansion slot for additional storage up to 512GB. This sale is for nearly 50% off the regular price. Read more.

Amazon

Need something a bit more kid-friendly? The Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet offers a 10.1-inch 1080p full HD display and 32GB of storage to hold their favorite shows and apps.

It also includes one year of Amazon's Kids Plus subscription, a Kid-Proof Case with built-in stand and a two-year worry-free guarantee to replace it if disaster strikes. Read more.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If the Fire HD 10 costs more than you want to spend on your toddler's tablet, the Fire 7 Kids Edition is also on sale beginning Nov. 20 for $40 off the regular $100 price. You'll still get the Amazon Kids Plus subscription, child-proof case and two-year guarantee. 

The Fire 7 Kids Edition has 16GB of internal storage and up to 7 hours of battery life, a microSD card for up to 512GB of expandable storage and a screen with a 1,024x600-pixel resolution. Read our Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Fire TV Stick Lite is the most affordable way to put Amazon's TV smarts in your home. There aren't TV controls with this model, but you will get full HD, Alexa voice remote "lite" capability and access to thousands of TV channels and subscription options. Regularly $30, this sale cuts a decent $12 off the price. 

Note there is also a sale beginning Nov. 20 on a Fire TV Stick Lite accessories bundle that includes the latest Fire TV Stick Lite, a remote case and a Mission Cable USB power cable. Regularly priced at $63, it will be on sale for $50. You can see that deal here. Read our Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

For just $2 more than the sale price on the new Fire TV Stick, you can upgrade to the 4K model to support even the swankiest streaming. You'll get all the goodies baked into the Fire TV Stick with the added bonus of better video quality. 

It's regularly $50, but this sale saves you $20. Read our Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review.

At this price, the Echo Buds are considerably cheaper than Apple's stock AirPods, which aren't sweatproof and don't offer any kind of noise-canceling capabilities. You get both of those features here and more, including onboard Alexa. Read our Echo Buds review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The Amazon Echo Auto is a clever little device that ports Alexa into your car, letting the voice assistant speak and play music through your stereo. At $30 off, it's a solid deal for anyone wanting to smarten up their non-voice-equipped car, plus you can add six months of Amazon Music Unlimited (normally $8 per month) for no extra charge.

Amazon

If you still pull in live TV over the air, you can record shows and watch them anytime with the Fire TV Recast DVR. This version has a 500GB hard drive (a full 1TB version is also available) with two tuners, so you can record two shows at once.

Ry Crist/CNET

This might be the best deal in this roundup: $479 gets you this brand-new, CNET Editors' Choice Award-winning Wi-Fi 6 mesh router setup. The big brother to the Eero 6 listed below, the Pro version is great if you have internet service over 500Mbps and want to ensure that you get that speed for every device in your home. Read our Eero Pro 6 review.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The older version of Amazon's entry-level smart speaker was selling for $19 during Prime Day. That deal is returning to Best Buy -- with a free smart bulb thrown in -- starting Nov. 22, so we assume it will be returning to Amazon too, stock permitting.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The updated Kindle joins the Black Friday sale list with a $30 discount. Adjustable brightness and 8GB of storage should meet the basic needs of a typical digital reader. Upgrade your purchase with Kindle Unlimited and ad removal for an additional fee. Read our Amazon Kindle (2019) review.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Like the Echo Dot, the new Echo Dot with Clock is on sale. Save $21 on this Echo Dot model with an LED clock display for a great bedside alarm clock assistant. 

You'll get all the Alexa smarts you expect with the added bonus of a visual indicator of time and other info.

Blink

Blink Outdoor smart security cameras come in multiple kits, and this sale offers up to $130 on a set. The largest kit available (and the $130-off deal) is a five-camera option for $250. An add-on camera will set you back $60, a $30 discount. 

Blink Outdoor cameras are wireless battery-powered HD security cameras that run for up to two years on the included two AA batteries. You can get motion-detection alerts on your phone with the option to customize motion zones in the Blink Home Monitor app, and these cameras work with Alexa for voice commands and smart home integration. Read our Blink Outdoor Security Camera review.

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Every new Alexa feature announced at Amazon’s fall hardware event: Hunches, Guard Plus and more – CNET

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Amazon's annual hardware event has come and gone, with a slew of product announcements, from a brand new Echo speaker and Echo Show display, to a cloud-based gaming platform. But the star of Amazon's smart home is, as always, Alexa. Amazon's voice assistant continues to expand its reach, connecting with over 140,000 smart home devices, and boasting more than 100 million Alexa-compatible devices installed across its user base. But Alexa's power isn't just in its rapidly growing scale and ever-expanding reach.

When I spoke to Daniel Rausch, Amazon's vice president of smart home and Alexa mobile, before the hardware event, he said Alexa is becoming more independent too. Alexa will soon be able to act on Hunches without asking, to listen for and react to sounds other than a wake word, and to protect your home more actively with an upgrade to Alexa Guard.

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All this will lead to what Rausch called "the ambient home," in which Alexa is "ready to respond [to voice commands], but is more predictive and proactive."

Here are the biggest upgrades coming to Alexa.

Alexa Guard Plus

Amazon has rolled out and expanded Alexa Guard over the past couple of years to allow you to monitor your home while you're away. While it's activated, Guard will listen for glass breaking, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and footsteps and other signs of a break-in, and will send you a mobile alert.

The company is now offering something called Alexa Guard Plus, a subscription service that runs $4.99 per month, and it adds a few features on top of the standard offerings. First, Guard Plus will add a more robust "sounds of activity" detector, which will listen for doors opening or closing and other sounds associated with unwanted visitors. Second, Guard Plus will bring deterrence features, for instance triggering Alexa to play a recording of dogs barking if a security camera catches someone sneaking around the back of the house while you're away. Finally, the Guard Plus will add a new hands-free emergency help line, run by a third-party company, to connect users to emergency services like police, the fire department or emergency contacts.

Amazon also announced support for Alexa Guard Plus from a variety of hardware partners, including Abode, Wyze, Amazon's own Ring, A3 Smart Home, Scout and Resideo. You can read more about Guard Plus in our follow-up story

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Amazon

Upgraded Hunches

For over a year now, Amazon has been ramping up the use of Hunches -- those instances when Alexa suggests an action, like locking your front door as you're turning off lights for the night. In fact, of the smart home actions that occur via Alexa, Rausch says one in five are initiated by Alexa itself, rather than via a user's voice command.

With Amazon's new upgrades to Hunches, Alexa will be able to perform certain actions without asking. That means, if you're traveling, Alexa might automatically turn off your basement lights. That could lead to some problems, as you might expect. But Rausch seemed confident when we spoke that the Alexa app will help users maintain control over what Alexa is capable of deciding on its own, and will "close the loop" by checking with users to make sure the automatic actions were the right ones to take. In addition, certain devices -- such as smart door locks -- are not included in the Hunches upgrade, so as to avoid issues like being locked out of your house during a midnight snack run.

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Sound detector routines

In addition to responding to Amazon's traditional wake words for Alexa, such as "Hey, Alexa," or "Hey, computer," or even "Hey, Samuel," for you Samuel L. Jackson fans, soon you'll be able to trigger routines with different sounds, such as a dog barking, a baby crying or someone snoring. Rausch said these sounds will work similarly to the wake word, allowing you to trigger various smart home actions, for instance turning on your bedside lamp when your newborn cries or turning off the TV when you begin to snore.

According to Rausch, some of these sounds, such as a baby crying, won't be sent to the cloud, to maintain privacy. But this new feature will certainly raise questions about privacy, especially around how broadly Alexa interprets various sounds as a specific kind of trigger.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Alexa Care Hub

As we continue to adjust to life during a pandemic, one major concern is elder care in isolation. Rausch seemed particularly excited about this feature, as he's been testing it with his aging mother in recent days. Essentially, the Care Hub allows two Amazon Alexa accounts to link, and gives one account broad access to activity on the other. 

Rausch said that the person in need of care would first have to extend an invite to another Alexa user, such as a family member or caretaker. The Care Hub, without providing the specifics of each individual Alexa interaction, could send a notification indicating general activity -- essentially to reassure the family member or caretaker that the individual being monitored is up and going about his or her day.

Such a system, said Rausch, can help the elderly "age in place [and] maintain dignity" during these particularly difficult times.

Natural turn-taking conversation

Alexa will soon be adding a conversational mode, which'll let users speak back and forth with Alexa -- even with multiple human participants in the conversation. To activate the feature, you just have to say, "Alexa, join our conversation."

More comprehensive deletion

Alexa will now be able to delete all voice recordings on your account with a single command: "Delete everything I've said." For more of Amazon's new voice assistant privacy features, read our piece on the announcements.

Other feature updates

Besides these major updates, Alexa is going to get a few smaller scale, quality-of-life upgrades, too. Here's the running list:

  • Group calling: Alexa will soon be able to facilitate video- or voice-driven group calls with up to eight participants.
  • Zoom and Amazon Chime on Echo Show devices: Alexa will be able to connect you with third-party video chat service Zoom, or Amazon's own Chime service.
  • Netflix on Echo Show devices: A years-long annoyance for Echo Show users is about to come to an end. Netflix is finally coming to Echo Show devices.
  • Music sharing: If you tell Alexa to "share a song with mom," mom will be able to listen on her Echo. (Applies to non-moms too.)
  • Reading Sidekick: With those learning to read, Alexa will trade lines and provide encouragement while following along in a shared book.
  • Alexa voice profiles for children: When kids talk to Alexa, the voice assistant will automatically adjust its responses to be appropriate for the age and needs of the child.
  • Interactive teaching: Users will be able to teach Alexa with this setting. The voice assistant will ask questions, and you can help fill in gaps in its knowledge.

For more: Read about everything else Amazon announced at its devices and services event.

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