This Smart Microwave Will Change the Way You Make Popcorn
Amazon just announced 14 new smart-home devices, including updated Echo Devices, new Alexa features, and more, bringing Alexa to your kitchen, your car, and more and making your life easier (and cleverer) than ever.
Amazon may always be in the news—for little things like Amazon Prime Day and bringing near-instant delivery to grocery store chain Whole Foods—but it’s not every day that the online shopping giant announces new additions to its exclusive collection of Echo smart-home devices.
Yesterday was one of those days, to the joy of Amazon Prime members and Amazon fanatics across the globe. Amazon revealed more than 70 new devices, features, and developer tools for its proprietary Alexa, Echo, and Fire TV products—including the updated Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show and a smart AmazonBasics microwave. With all these upgrades and the 14 new devices, there’s a lot to take in—but these are our life-simplifying favorites.
Smart Microwaves Are Here
The new compact AmazonBasics Microwave looks like your run-of-the-mill countertop microwave. It’s black. It can fit a bag of popcorn or last night’s leftovers. But, unlike the budget microwave you grabbed last time you moved, this one can connect to your Echo device, so you can set cook times, power levels, and more with just your voice. (You do still need to put the food in the microwave—Amazon hasn’t quite figured out how to do that with Alexa.)
Alexa will set the timer on your microwave to perfectly cook your food and let you know when it’s time to eat. The microwave can also connect to Amazon Dash Replenishment, so when you start running low on popcorn, Amazon will automatically order you some more.
The AmazonBasics Microwave will be available starting November 14, though pre-order is available now. To buy: $60; amazon.com.
Alexa Can Go Where You Go
Echo Auto brings Alexa into the car. The sleek device connects to Alexa through your phone and plays through your car speakers using Bluetooth. You can use it to play music, check the news, open the garage door, search for the nearest coffee shop, manage your calendar, and more—basically, anything Alexa can do, you can now do in the car, which hands-free advocates and multi-taskers alike can appreciate.
Alexa’s Routines function can even work based on your location in the car, so you can always arrive home to see the lights on, the heat on, and the TV on your favorite channel.
Echo Auto is currently only available through pre-order by invitation, at a special price of $25; When devices ship later this year, they’ll start at $50.
Other product announcements include upgraded speakers, new looks, and other enhancements for the Echo Dot, Echo Plus, and Echo Show; new Echo companion devices, including a wall clock, a speaker plug-in, and a subwoofer for Echo devices; Fire TV Recast, a clever DVR; and an Amazon smart plug. (Incidentally, one of the three devices every smart home needs.) Most of these new devices will be available in early October. Amazon also announced new Alexa features, including Whisper Mode, guided cooking, and new activities for kids.