As posted on Remains of the Day: Now You Can Talk to Alexa on Your iPhone
Feeling lonely while shopping? Now you can talk to Alexa through the Amazon app on your iPhone. You can use it to search for stuff but also you can get a lot of the same functionality you’d get through an Echo.
- But is it actually worth your time to talk to the virtual assistant through your phone? To me, the appeal of Alexa and Echo is that you don’t have to pull out your phone, so I’m not sure why I would ask Alexa something or request music if I’m already holding my phone. The saving grace, though, is that you can use it with smart home devices just like an Echo, so you can ask Alexa to turn on your lights or adjust the temperature in your house if you have the right devices. [Amazon]
- Netflix is considering editing some shows and movies to specifically cater to mobile phones. At a press event yesterday their chief product officer said they’re exploring “[making] a different cut for mobile” as many markets are dominated by phone viewing, though he didn’t specify what it might look like. Potentially that means they would crop wide cinema frames to better fit common phone screens, or even optimize shows for portrait mode. Which would be crazy, cropping a widescreen image to portrait. [Slashfilm]
- Also in Netflix news, they’re going to replace the five star ratings with a simpler thumbs up and thumbs down in April. I wonder how it will display how other people rated the shows, though. Five thumbs up. [The Verge]
- The people who pirate ebooks are surprisingly old and rich. A recent study commissioned by an anti-piracy company asserts that the people who download books from file-sharing sites tend to be a little older and have a higher income than the average pirate. It kind of makes sense, I guess; it’s a peculiar piracy niche and I admit that I’ve sought out digital copies books I already own when I couldn’t get a free digital version. You can also just borrow free ebooks from some libraries. [Torrent Freak]