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Alexa skills and commands: the prime Amazon Echo tips and tricks

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ALSO READ: OnePlus 6 – Launch Date, Full Specs, New Leaks, Price. Everything you need to know

Amazon Alexa is the software that runs all the Amazon Echo range of products. While she is pretty intelligent (not the best one), she is only as good as her skills. Google has a similar strategy pattern with Actions on Google. Skills are made by Alexa developers who want to add different capabilities to the smart assistant. If you have an Echo or been using it for a while now, this list will introduce you to all the best skills available for Amazon Alexa. Amazon Alexa Skills enable Echo to access various apps, websites, and services. Here are some of the finest skills that will enrich your user experience with Alexa.

Don’t you worry, we will also help you install these Alexa skills on your Amazon Echo. The Amazon Echo can make to-do lists, set alarms, stream podcasts, play audiobooks, read PDFs, provide weather forecasts, warn you of traffic, answer trivia, control your smart home and serve up other information in real-time. Alexa’s large library of Alexa skills still gives the Echo a bit of an upper hand (especially until Siri is Google Assistant-level awesome).

ALSO READ: Google Assistant is coming up with new Smart Display devices

Overview

The Amazon Alexa Skills section of the Alexa app is basically an app store for your Amazon Echo. It’s constantly growing, which means your Amazon Echo can constantly learn new ways to make your life easier and more automated. Furthermore, you can connect other home automation gadgets, like smart lights and thermostats, and you can even connect food ordering services, like Domino’s Pizza. Furthermore, the more Skills you “teach” Alexa, the better she’ll get at being your assistant.

source: The Hacktory

Now, you can even add skills by voice, so long as you know the name of the skill. There are some certain important skills that really make your life easier. We will list some of the important ones first to make a stand. We will have a lot of skills to give. Buckle up!

Use IFTTT

IFTTT

IFTTT is a free platform that helps you do more with all your apps and devices. IFTTT stands for “If This Then That.” It lets you create chains of conditional commands, called “recipes,” for your Amazon Echo. Amazon has introduced IFTTT Triggers, which allow you to connect Alexa directly to certain apps. Furthermore, you can head over to their website and look at the bucket of recipes.

For example, VoIP calls: This Applet uses VoIP to call any device you own with the IFTTT app installed. Works for international phones, too!

Stop it from hearing

 

MuteYour Amazon Echo is always listening.

Once the mute button is switched on Alexa won’t hear the wake word. So if you have random conversations saying the Amazon Alexa word, don’t worry anymore. But then again, you have to press the button again to make the wake word work.


Use as own personal math genius

If you’re baking or wanting to convert currency or temperatures, Alexa can do it. Just say something like “Alexa, what’s $20 American in Indian Rupees?” and she’ll tell you. This is one of the best Amazon Alexa skills. Furthermore, you can even convert other currencies.

Change the wake word

Change the wake word

You can change the wake word to one of three rather unimaginative alternatives: Echo, Amazon, or Computer (OK, I wish it had Jarvis). You can do this by heading over the app. Open Settings from the hamburger menu -> <yourname>’s Echo Dot -> Scroll down to Wake Word -> Select the one you need. Changes will be applied to that device only.

ALSO READ: Tor-based private Messaging App Briar is Live

More on Alexa Tips

Ask Alexa to repeat herself

If you missed something Alexa said, you can just say “Alexa, can you say that again?” or “Alexa, can you please repeat that?” and she’ll repeat what she said. This will happen as many times as you need. This is something I’ve been liking on my Echo Dot for a while now.

There are a couple ways you can control your Echo. The first one is the obvious App you had to download to setup the device. Furthermore, the second way is through the web. Just visit this site in your browser: http://echo.amazon.com and you’ll be able to log-in and control your device without needing a phone. Your welcome!

Let say you’ve got a tune in your head and can’t really recall the song. Still, try singing them to Alexa. Alexa may well recognize that song and offer to play the version you actually want. “Alexa, Here Comes Santa Clause, Here Comes Santa Clause” will offer the Elvis version of Winter Wonderland, you can then easily ask for the Snoop Dogg version (do it). You can even hum the sound and then it might suggest the song (works better on famous ones).

Now, something Interesting!

Furthermore, Alexa responds to a wide number of fun Easter eggs. We’ve picked out a few of the more interesting ones and listed them below, but not all will work in all locations:

  • “Simon says…”: You can get Alexa to repeat anything you say if use the command “Alexa, Simon says…”
  • Alexa, play Bingo”: Look up and download some free printable bingo cards, and ask Alexa to start a Bingo game with you.
  • “Alexa, ask Word Master to play a game”: This is like Geography. She says a word, then you have to follow with a word that starts with the last letter of the word she said.
  • “Alexa, start Animal Game/Capital Quiz”: This lets you play 20 questions about animals or geography.
  • “Alexa, start Star Wars quiz”: Self-explanatory.
  • “Alexa, play Jeopardy”: Trivia geeks will love these game-show style questions. Don’t forget to answer in the form of a question.
  • “Alexa, roll the dice”: Missing the di to your board game? She’ll roll 6-sided, 10-sided, 20-sided, and other dice as well.
  • “Alexa, open the Wayne Investigation”: This starts a choose-your-own-adventure game that immerses you into the world of Gotham.
  • “Alexa, sing happy birthday”: Does what you expect
  • “Alexa, rap for me”: Alexa will spit some lyrics

Ask Alexa these questions and this will enrich the usage for sure: So, Alexa:

  • “What does WTF stand for?”
  • “Up, Up, Down Down, Left Right, Left Right, B, A, Start”
  • “How much is that doggy in the window?”
  • “Is Santa real?”
  • “Do you know Hal?”
  • “Who shot first?”
  • “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?”
  • “What is love?”
  • “what’s the meaning of life?”

source: Popular Mechanics

Now go on and try all these Amazon Alexa skills you’ve got to try. You can thank me later. Over and Out.

ALSO READ: Here’s how to turn off Amazon Alexa calling, Echo eavesdropping

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HTC Exodus 1: Blockchain phone specs, price and release date

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Smartphone manufacturer HTC is taking a major leap into the cryptocurrency ecosystem. They are stepping into the wider blockchain industry. With HTC U12 and U12+ about to be unveiled in a couple of days, HTC has a lot of surprises for its users in its pocket. On 15th of this month, HTC unveiled a website that showcases the HTC Exodus. And HTC unveiled the Exodus today at web3summit.

Furthermore, there is only one company that has completely succeeded in making a fully blockchain powered device. Swiss company Sirin-Labs unveiled there first phone Finney and HTC is joining the race with Exodus. Finney has a 12-megapixel rear camera with low-light f/1.8 aperture and an 8-megapixel 85-degree wide angle front facing the camera. It is powered by a 3,280mAh battery with fast charging support. Connectivity features include Bluetooth 5.0, NFC and LTE, among others. Specs wise the phone packs pretty much enough but what’s worth mentioning is what happens over the internet. The blockchain phone comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. It has a 6-inch display at 18:9 aspect ratio, 402ppi and 1500:1 contrast ratio. The phone features 128GB built-in storage and 6GB RAM.

The HTC Exodus 1, aka the ‘blockchain phone’, is nearly ready to enter the wild, with the company has now confirmed the specs of its forthcoming cryptocurrency handset. Check out the TEASER.

Overview

Blockchain phones are the new Virtual Reality. Every smartphone manufacturer is going to add something or the other that gets their hands-on in this domain. Huawei is rumored to be working on a secret Blockchain powered device which will have layers of decentralized apps and much more. Samsung has also created a blockchain network but we have no sources claiming a blockchain phone in the making.

The Taiwanese firm unveiled the World’s first native blockchain phone. The tailor-made Android-powered phone will provide support for decentralized applications(DApps). Apps like CryptoKitties, and will feature a secure hardware enclave for users. Now the users will have access to a Universal Cryptocurrency wallet that is native to the device itself.
With over two decades of experience manufacturing the world’s leading smartphones and shipping over 100 million phones, they believe they can help reshape the internet with the HTC Exodus.

HTC Exodus www.htcexodus.com/

source: HTC

Working with multiple protocols with the intent of interoperability between blockchains. increasing DApp user base. Bringing a streamlined mobile user experience to the DApp community. Providing more nodes on the path to true decentralization. We want to double and triple the number of nodes of Ethereum and Bitcoin. To have your identity and data on the phone rather in a centralized cloud and open-mindedness towards the collective wisdom of the crowd.
This is what HTC claims the Exodus can stand up to. The performance will be incomparable with any device of any brand as there aren’t any competitors in this domain of phones.

  • Exodus will have Hardware support for Cryptocurrencies

  • Will support Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Etherum

  • Advanced security features and claims of virtually “tamper proof”

The phone will be compatible with multiple protocols and will exchange and make use of information vividly. Phil Chen who creates HTC’s virtual reality headset Vive is the leader of the Exodus project. HTC is rumored to be working on a VR specific device. HTC has a lot of gaming genre users and this will help them enhance their users’ experience. Still, it is good enough to witness a new and revolutionary phone.

The company wants customers to be able to pay for the phone with cryptocurrencies, but we haven’t received any distinctive details. “We think that the phone can be an agent in the future for decentralization,” said Chen. “We want you to hold your own key [through] a secure management method in our phones.” This is official early access release to the EXODUS 1. They are inviting a community of developers and enthusiasts to work with us to keep building security. Join them in rebuilding trust together, one phone at a time. Get your early access now! Go to www.htcexodus.com now!

 

What exactly HTC wants Exodus to do

Chen, who now holds the title of CDO (Chief Decentralized Officers), is the head of the firm’s crypto and blockchain related initiatives. “Through the Exodus, we are also excited to be supporting underlying protocols such as Bitcoin, Etherum, Dfinity and more,” Chen wrote in a blog post accompanying the announcement. Still, a vast majority of HTC fans want something new and innovative from them in a long time.

He also wrote that “I want to see a world where the end consumers can truly own their data (browsing history, identity, assets, wallets, emails, messaging, etc) without the need for central authorities. There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I believe the mobile hardware layer can contribute significantly to our new decentralized world.” With Facebook’s Data Leak controversies, HTC might end up taking the lead in the smartphone race with this.

HTC Exodus Blockchain powered phone

Source: HTC

I suppose we have to wait for a month or two to get more info on these type of devices. This revolutionary product might change the way we use the internet today. I don’t know exactly if I wanna buy one. It’ll be fun to use DApps and to hover over the decentralized web tbh. If anything does happen to your device, you can breathe easy, as HTC has imbued the Exodus with a social-themed security protocol that sees users nominate several contacts to hold a piece of a unique security key – and only bringing all of these pieces together will unlock the device.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow ZO3.tech on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.
Till next time. Over and Out.

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Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 675 with new Kryo 460 CPU

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Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. is continuing to bring together global manufacturers and operators, along with software and hardware technology vendors, to strategize and discuss industry trends and technology developments with their Snapdragon chipsets. Mark your calendars for this 3-day event highlighting 5G, connectivity, AI, IoT and so much more. This year’s summit promises to be one of the best ever, featuring wireless leader keynotes, breakout sessions, multiple exhibits and networking events, all showcasing the latest technology, and much more. Qualcomm made a lot of advancements in the last few months. And the tech giant made steady announcements at their 4G/5G Summit at Hong Kong.

Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit at Hong Kong

In the Keynote, Qualcomm’s President Mr. Cristiano Amon talks about how 5G is nearing deployment, with global trials underway and deployments planned in the coming months. He continues about how the next generation of wireless will allow virtually every industry to deliver advanced connectivity and increased intelligence across the rapidly evolving wireless edge. It is essential that the broader ecosystem pursues the wireless and computing technologies that will provide the foundation for the coming transformation. To just have an overview read to it, focus on the key points as per Qualcomm:

  • Qualcomm optimized the Snapdragon 675 for mainstream use.

  • The first smartphones using the Snapdragon 675 will ship in Q1 2019.

  • The Snapdragon 675 is Qualcomm’s third mid-range processor announced within the past six months.

Overview

Qualcomm makes one of the finest processors in the industry and as it turns out they also focus on the mid-range consumers. It comes out on the top with the 710 followed by the 670 in the mid-range category. Now that it is history, Qualcomm announced a new processor in the 600 range. The Snapdragon 675 is a really interesting processor but not for all the reasons you are thinking. In terms of where it fits in the overall Qualcomm’s mid-range processor, is somewhat between the 670 and the 710. And for a little humor, the Snapdragon 675 has got a slightly worse Adreno 612 GPU in it compared to the 615. The Snapdragon 675 has got the same modem as the 670, the exact DSPs and the image processors, but with a bit of enhancement.

Qualcomm 675 chipset launched

So, why is the Snapdragon 675 so interesting? Well, it is using the 4th Generation Kryo 460 CPU Design. And as per our research and Qualcomm’s announcement, no other processor in its lineup uses the 4th Gen CPU. Well, the Kryo core 1st Gen design is found in-house in the Snapdragon 820 and 821. Then the 2nd Gen Kryo which was built with the Cortex technology is found in the Snapdragon 835 and finally, the 3rd Gen is found in Snapdragon 845.

Snapdragon 675 + 4th Gen Kryo Core

Snapdragon 675 is basically a Cortex A76 coupled together with a Cortex A55. This new Architecture built on ARM Cortex offers a 20% overall performance improvement, optimized across 2 performance and 6 efficiency cores. So Qualcomm is using the 4th Gen with this 6+2 configuration. So it still is an Octa-core chipset but with 2 cores dedicated for higher stability and results and 6 for better power efficiency. So, more interestingly,  what this tells us is that the next 800 series will be using the 4th Gen Kryo.

The 675 is not only filled with upgrades. For example, the 675 is constructed with an 11nm process whereas the Snapdragon 670 had a 10nm process. The GPU has been downgraded from an Adreno 615 to an Adreno 612, too. With that said, Qualcomm assured us that the Snapdragon 675 performs considerably better than the Snapdragon 670. With built-in game enhancements, for example, reduce “janks” or stutters by over 90 percent during gameplay.

The Comparison of Snapdragon(s)

So let’s look at the rest of the Snapdragon 675 and detail out how it differentiates from the 670 and the 710 chipsets. So as you can see all the 3 processors use the 6+2 setup. The performance core gets a boost with the A76 instead of the A75. When it comes to GPU the 675 lags behind and as it turns out the 710 has got the best GPU. But as per Qualcomm, they have been tweaking it for a better gaming performance. The differences which can only be pointed out when we will receive a device. It supports the LPDDR4X where the X stands for even more power efficient than the standard LPDDR4.

Now that they all showcase the same DSPs across is a good thing. With the 250L, it gets the 480fps HD Slo-Mo that will pump-up any camera. The modem is exactly the same as the rest. It’s like Qualcomm didn’t even bother making an upgrade to it. Focusing on the important part, the 675 uses Samsung’s fabrication process. So, this will be built by the looks of it exclusively on Samsung’s fabrication plans.

Snapdragon 675 Snapdragon 670 Snapdragon 710
CPU 2x 2.0GHz Kryo 460 (Cortex-A76)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 460 (Cortex-A55)
2x 2.0GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A75)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A55)
2x 2.2GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A75)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A55)
GPU Adreno 612 Adreno 615 Adreno 616
RAM LPDDR4X @ 1866MHz LPDDR4X @ 1866MHz LPDDR4X @ 1886MHz
DSP Hexagon 685 Hexagon 685 Hexagon 685
ISP Spectra 250L
25MP single or 16MP dual
48MP snapshots
480fps HD Slo-Mo
Spectra 250
25MP single or 16MP dual
Spectra 250
32MP single or 20MP dual
Modem X12 LTE
600Mbps down
150Mbps up
X12 LTE
600Mbps down
150Mbps up
X15 LTE
800Mbps down
150Mbps up
Quick Charge 4+ 4+ 4+
Bluetooth 5.0 5.0 5.0
Process 11nm LPP FinFET 10nm LPP FinFET 10nm LPP FinFET

 

Qualcomm’s Worse is actually Better

So coming back to the GPU here, the 675 boasts an Adreno 612 instead of a 615 or a 616 on its brothers. Qualcomm is actually saying that they have heavily optimized the gaming performance. This does mean that the overall performance will be better as compared to the rest. Qualcomm also suggests that on a list of particular games that they tried, this performs much better. They get 90% less ‘JANKS’, whatever that means.

gaming on snapdragon 675 chipset, qualcomm

It might get a better user experience while gaming. Qualcomm is known to make certain tweaks for a better gaming performance and experience. The list of games does suggest that it focuses on a great diversity of games. This is actually good stuff from Qualcomm. Qualcomm also states that it works closely with both mobile game and game engine developers to improve the gaming UX on Android, though this isn’t unexpected given how they’ve collaborated with game studios such as NetMarble for Snapdragon flagship chip releases in recent years.

Gaming enhancement on snapdragon 675

Although that the 600 range continues to be very strong with support for 6 cameras, 3 on the front and 3 on the back. So everything from super-res zoom to telephoto capture to specialized Bokeh mode is now available on the 675. So there’s a bunch of things that Qualcomm has put into their processors that make them very useful. They did a great deal of work for the mid-range smartphones. Expecting really strong developments from the manufacturers now. That’s it for now.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow ZO3.tech on TwitterFacebook or Instagram. Till next time, Peace Out.

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Top Apps of 2018 you must have

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Top 10 apps you must have

Google play store is full of useful as well as garbage apps. Every day tons of apps get uploaded on the play store. It is our duty to analyze and make the list of the Top 10 apps you must have in 2018.

Finding valuable apps on play store can be confusing sometimes. Below is the list of top 10 apps you must have in 2018 for a better utilization of your phone and user experience.

1.Castbox 

Castbox an app you must have in 2018Listening to podcasts in not only a trend these days but it also helps you to enhance yourself. This app enables you to listen to different podcasts from over 16 categories. It provides podcast in 70 different languages so no matter from which country you are it is going to be a lovely experience.

You can also download the episodes to your phone for listening later as per your convenience. It also has the audiobook library which I guess is very useful for every learning individual.  You must have this app on your phone which represents your learning and classic mentality.

2.Headspace

 

It is an app which helps you with things like focus, relaxation, development of an ideal routine and some other stuff. As we get so busy and stressed in our daily life we lose our peace in mind. Well if you are also a person who feels like the life is getting worst and needs to be controlled and cheerful, Then this app is definitely for you.

This app has various programs and tips that will help you in developing a healthy routine without losing the essential components of life.

3.Telegram

Telegram A fastest messaging app

The Popularity of Telegram is increasing very fast because of its lite and fast interface. With over 200 million active users this app is taking over the market by its quality. It is fast and even works on weak signals and has the potential to handle 100,000 members in a single group.

The data is secured by 256-bit symmetric AES encryption and also has good privacy terms. After using it for a while and getting good feedback from other users, we decided to include this one into our list of Top apps in 2018. It has some really cool and amazing features in it. For more details definitely check out our dedicated article on tips and tricks of Telegram.

4. Medium

Medium app. One of the top apps

Medium is always considered in Top apps from last few years. It is a free blogging platform where bloggers and writers share their experience and expertise. It is a great tool for enhancing your vocab and learn a variety of things and lessons.

If you love to write or want to learn the format of writing, then this app will help you out. It also enables to build an audience. A variety of categories and exposure to useful information. You must check out this app if you haven’t yet.

5. TED

I guess you already know about TED talks and its work. But, those of you who don’t know It is a platform where people from all over the world speak up their experiences, research and their vision towards making the world a better place.

They put new content daily on their app and you can access it easily. Learn and get inspired every day by listening to the speakers. Just put your earphones on and go on learning and enhancing your mindset for a better life.

6. Snapseed

Snapseed app

Snapseed is a very powerful photo editing app. Most of the professional photographers use this app for editing their photos while they are on their phone. It has some really cool features which can turn any normal image into a classical and amazing image.

Manual adjustments are really awesome in this app which allows you to edit the photos like a pro. Even if you don’t have any prior knowledge. This is also a must checkout app that deserves to be downloaded from play store in your phone.

7. Nutrino+

If you are an Instagram lover who regularly posts and loves to see likes on your profile. Then this app will help you t become an Insta star. It enables you to gain followers and likes on your posts. If you have a page and want to boost your appearance then this is the tool which leads you to gain quick followers.

The most important thing this app is not fake and gives genuine followers.

8. Quora

Quora app logo. One of the top most app

Quora is one of the Top recommended apps that you must have in your phone. You can ask any question that arises in your mind and gets the answer from n number of people and different opinions as well. It is a great app to make you utilize your time.

You must invest your time in these types of apps to develop yourself and get attached to the reality of the world. If you haven’t downloaded it yet then go download it from play store now!

9. Curiosity

This also one of the great learning apps must-have apps. New information is given on regular basis on this app. If you want to stand out of the crowd with good knowledge then this is a good app to try. It updated you with information with different fields like astronomy, Psychology, research and much more.

10. Lybrate

Lybrate is a health app that connects you to doctors with different specializations. If you have any query regarding your health or want to clear any doubt then you can ask for free. the doctors will respond to your query within 24 hours.

There are always new and helpful posts related to health and fitness. if you are really concerned about your health then you must try this app. It can be very helpful for you. You can also take video consultations as well as telephonic on a paid basis if you want.

So, This was our list of Top 10 apps that you must have in your phone. These apps will make your user experience better and add value to your life.

 

 

 

 

 

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