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Amazon Debuts Sphere-Shaped Echo Speaker, Ring Home Security Drone, Luna Cloud Gaming Service and More

Amazon today announced the launch of its fourth-generation Echo speaker, which features a new spherical design and improved sound performance thanks to a three-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, and new Dolby processing.

The $100 fabric-covered speaker comes in three colors, including black, blue, and white, and it’s accompanied by a built-in smart home hub with Zigbee, Bluetooth Low Energy, and Amazon Sidewalk integration. Amazon Sidewalk extends the range of devices like the Ring and includes support for Tile devices.


The new Echo is equipped with an AZ1 Neural Edge processor that moves speech recognition on-device for faster than ever response times to requests.

Alongside the new sphere-shaped Echo, there’s a spherical Echo Dot that’s priced at $50 and a kid’s version that comes with animal face designs and is priced at $60, along with an updated $250 Echo Show that has the same AZ1 neural processor plus a 10-inch display, the ability to pivot, and a 13-megapixel camera.


A Guard Plus feature, priced at $4.99 per month, allows Alexa devices to listen for sounds like footfalls or doors opening and closing and it can play fake sounds like a dog barking to scare off intruders. Amazon also unveiled Alexa Care Hub, a feature designed to let users monitor a family member’s home.

There are new Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6 WiFi 6 mesh systems available, and for Ring, Amazon is adding end-to-end encryption for videos. A new Ring Car Alarm is meant to be plugged into the car’s OBD-II port and it includes built-in sirens and sensors to monitor for car theft.


A Ring Car Cam is Amazon’s new in-car security solution, and it too includes a siren and emergency crash assist functionality. The Ring Car Alarm is priced at $60, while the Ring Car Cam is priced at $200.

Also new in the Ring family is the $250 Always Home Cam, which is a drone-based security system that can fly to different places in the house from a home dock. It basically flies around the house on pre-set paths, recording while in motion.


Amazon introduced an updated $40 Fire TV Stick with HDR, Dolby Atmos Support, and an Alexa Remote, plus there’s a Lite version that has a simplified remote for $30. To compete with Apple Arcade and other streaming gaming services, Amazon’s final announcement was Luna, a game streaming service.


Luna works cross-platform on Macs, PCs, Fire TV, smartphones, and tablets, and it will be compatible with Apple devices, according to Amazon, because it is designed to be a web app and is not subject to Apple’s rules.


Luna will be priced at $5.99 per month, and Amazon has designed the Luna Controller, to go along with it. The $50 controller has “cloud direct technology” to cut down on latency, essentially connecting the controller directly to Amazon’s servers.
This article, “Amazon Debuts Sphere-Shaped Echo Speaker, Ring Home Security Drone, Luna Cloud Gaming Service and More” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Boost Mobile Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

Just about everyone knows the names of the “Big Four” top-tier wireless service providers: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. But, for every one of these major network operators there are a number of others with their own rates, customer service, and phone selection.These prepaid Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) license towers from the big names in the space.Let’s take a closer look at Boost Mobile and learn about it the brand, its rates, and features.About Boost MobileFollowing the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, DISH has acquired Boost Mobile. Boost Mobile operates in the United States with a nationwide CDMA/LTE network for coverage. It offers pre-paid rate plans which means no long term contracts or obligations.Taxes and fees are included and include unlimited talk, text, and data. Additionally, the come with mobile hotspot capabilities and unlimited music streaming.What deals does Boost offer? Boost Mobile offers a four-line rate plan for $100 when switching from another carrier. Each line gets unlimited data, talk, and text and provides for up to 1GB of hotspot.Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?What are Boost’s rate plans?Boost does not charge for going over your allotted data and taxes are included in the cost. Each plan comes with unlimited data, but only a set amount of it is high speed.$35/month: Unlimited talk, text and 3GB of high-speed data$35/month: Unlimited talk, text and 6GB of high-speed data (Walmart Exclusive)$50/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 35GB high-speed data w/ 12GB hotspot$60/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 35GB high-speed data w/ 30GB hotspotAlthough Boost offers multiple plans with “unlimited” data there are differences between each. Consumers can choose the option that works best for video and music, international calling, and customer service needs. For instance, some may not care whether video is streamed at 1080p or if audio is at 1.5Mbps.5 Plans Under $50Boost recently revised its plans to create five options which cost less than $50 per month. Each comes with its own amount of data and some of them are for new, in-store customers.$10/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 1GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspot (New in-store customers only)$15/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 2GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspot (New in-store customers only)$25/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 5GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspot (New customers only)$35/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 10GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspot$45/month: Unlimited talk, text, and 15GB 4G LTE, mobile hotspotThe $HRINK-IT! plan rewards subscribers for making on-time payments. The price drops five bucks after three payments; it drops another five after six payments. In short, you start out at $45/month and get to $35/month after paying your bill on time for half of a year.SEE: How to unlock your Sprint phoneCan I do multiple line accounts at Boost Mobile?Customers interested in family plans or multiple lines can do so with discounted pricing. As of today Boost Mobile offers a $20 discount when adding a line to one of the unlimited plans.There are currently two rate plans which offer Boost subscribers unlimited data, one for three-line accounts and one for four lines.Other Boost features and offeringsBoost Mobile provides a handful of extras (Boost Extras) to its customers, most of which can pair with the various rate plans. Details include international calling, extra data, HD video streaming, and phone insurance.Boost Mobile offers a $25 referral credit for anyone you have sign up for its service. Both get an account credit once your friend activates, pays for an eligible monthly plan and registers their new number.A Boost Perks mobile app lets customers save money with partner brands such as AMC, Papa John’s Sams’s Club, Costco, and others.What phones does Boost offer?Take a peek at the current lineup of Android phones offered through Boost and you’ll find familiar names from brands like LG, Samsung, and Motorola. There are also devices from the likes of Coolpad, ZTE, and Wiko, too.As we often see with a lot of prepaid providers, phone selection is a mixed bag, leaning more more toward affordability as opposed to performance. With that said, we do recognize there are some incredibly robust and current models, including the Samsung Galaxy S20.For those looking to save money there are also a handful devices which are certified pre-owned, meaning that although they were once used by someone else, they come with a guarantee/warranty.Can I use my own phone with Boost Mobile?You can often use your current CDMA phone, especially if it was previously paired with Sprint. Head to Boost’s website to check whether your specific model is supported. Also, we’re seeing a growing trend of unlocked phones with support for Sprint/Boost bands.

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