Here’s everything Amazon announced today

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Here’s everything Amazon announced today

Amazon held an event in Seattle today, and the announcements were non-stop. From new high-end Echos to talking fish, they had all sorts of stuff to show.

Don’t have time to catch up on all of it? That’s okay. We’ve put it all in one quick, easy-to-digest place. For you. Because we care.

Tap that right arrow to check out the next slide — or if you’re on mobile, just swipe on down.

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A New $99 Echo

Amazon showed off not one, but two new Echos today.

First up was a $99 Echo meant to replace the aging original. With a dedicated woofer and tweeter and Dolby sound, it’s clearly meant as a shot at Apple’s $349 HomePod; meanwhile, that cloth-covered body borrows some of the softer, less industrial aesthetics of both HomePod and Google Home

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Echo Plus

The $149 Echo Plus (right, above), meanwhile, borrows pretty much all of its looks from the first-gen Echo, but packs a new trick: a dedicated smart home hub. Amazon, like Apple and Google and pretty much any other company in the space right now, wants to be the unified brain of your smart home. The Echo Plus is meant to supplant the need for a zillion different “hubs” from various brands, with Amazon claiming about 100 partners already on board.

Speaking of partners: Every Echo Plus comes with a Philips Hue bulb, which seems like a little shove to push those testing the waters with Internet of Things/smart homes into deeper waters. That’s a clever move on Philips’ part — once you’ve got one brand of smart bulb in your house, you’re probably gonna stick with it for the sake of simplicity.

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Echo Buttons

In one of the weirder announcements (but not the weirdest!) of the day, Amazon also debuted Echo Buttons — little handheld buzzers meant to connect to your Echo and act as an input for things like Alexa-powered trivia games.

Buttons will sell for $20 a pair. The company hasn’t said much about what they’ll be able to do besides trivia.

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Echo Connect

Ever wished you could connect your Amazon Echo to a landline? No? Well now you can!

Amazon is pitching this little $35 box as a safety feature. It connects to your landline and gives nearby Echo devices the ability to tap them as needed. Echo devices are already able to make phone calls over VoIP — but what if your internet connection is down and you need to place a call? It seems a bit edge-casey, but I ditched my landline a decade ago, so what do I know.

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A talking fish

Remember when I said the Echo Buttons definitely weren’t the weirdest announcement?

Amazon briefly touched on its Gadgets API, which will let Alexa connect to various external devices, like the aforementioned trivia buttons and… this fish?

Late-night infomercial star Big Mouth Billy Bass will apparently be able to connect to Alexa in the future, responding to Alexa commands and lip-syncing tunes you play.

Because why not, I guess.

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A $70 Fire TV 4K

It’s been a while since Amazon’s Fire TV box got an upgrade, but they’re pushing hard this time around.

The new Fire TV can handle 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a 1.5 Ghz quad-core CPU built in. It also comes with a remote with Alexa voice control support, and can be controlled by Echo devices around your house.

At $70, in comes in at roughly the same price as Google’s 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra (which doesn’t have a remote of its own, instead tapping your smartphone as its controller), and more than $100 less than the Apple TV 4K.

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Echo Spot

Take an itty-bitty Amazon Echo Dot and blend it with the bigger Echo Show with its flashy screen. Bam, that’s the $130 Echo Spot.

Primarily built to kill off the alarm clock on your bedside table, this one scratches an itch I didn’t know I had.

It’ll do all the normal stuff an Echo does, but it’ll also work for video calls, with a built-in camera just above the screen. Given that most people will be thinking about putting these in their bedrooms, though, you… might consider covering it up when it’s not in use.

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No new Kindles

As important as what was announced is what wasn’t… and, alas, no word on new Kindle e-readers. It’s been over a year since the most recent Kindle hit the shelves, so plenty of people were hoping Amazon’s e-reader would get the upgrade treatment. No such luck.

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