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One of the best ways you can support TouchArcade is by doing your Amazon shopping through a TouchArcade affiliate link. We’ve set up the easy to remember toucharcade.com/amazon too if you want to type that in or bookmark it. We get a small percentage of anything you buy through any of these links, which otherwise would just go to financing Jeff Bezos’s experimental pizza bagel flavors or whatever else he’s up to now, and it goes a long way to supporting the site at no additional cost to you. These Amazon Items of the Day articles are all products we have used ourselves, and feel are things that the TouchArcade audience might be interested in!

I’ve thought these smart speaker devices were super stupid for the longest time, largely because of my experiences with Siri. Well, last time the Amazon Echo Dot was on sale I decided, “Eh, Alexa is turning into a meme I’ll spend $40 and try this out, it can’t be worse than Siri.” …Which rapidly turned into me strategically placing these things throughout my house because I use them so much. The Echo Dot I have in my bedroom I use as an alarm clock and to ask what the weather is going to be like when I’m getting dressed. The one in my bathroom (yes, I have one in my bathroom) I use to get “flash briefings” (quick news reports) to hear what’s going on during the day when I’m brushing my teeth. The Echo Dot in my kitchen is great for unit conversions and timers when cooking, and the list just goes on and on.

I think what makes Alexa so much more useful than Siri is it’s connected to Amazon’s larger cloud infrastructure which allow you to add “skills” to Alexa. For instance, if you enable the skills to do it, you can have it suggest wine pairings, order pizza, and even call people for you. My favorite killer feature is by using the Amazon Echo Dot as a poor man’s Sonos setup. I can say, “Alexa, play Spotify everywhere,” and my music will play all over my house. There’s an AUX output on the back too, so I’ve got a couple of them hooked up to older Bluetooth speakers I had laying around for better audio quality.

The Amazon Echo Dot has been fairly surprising, as I was almost certain it was going to be super dumb or not very useful when I first ordered it, and my experience has been the exact opposite. If you’ve never fiddled with Alexa before, $39.99 (as of this writing) is a super low barrier to entry with giving it a go- Just beware, if you find it as useful as I have you’ll probably be buying way more than one.

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Thanks for checking out today’s Amazon Item of the Day, and as mentioned before, even if you’re not interested in this particular product, buying things from Amazon by first visiting toucharcade.com/amazon is immensely helpful in supporting the site at no additional cost to you. Additionally, if you’re ever thinking of signing up for any Amazon services, we’d really appreciate if if you’d do it through these links:

If you want to take things a step further, you can check out our Patreon, but either way we just appreciate you sticking with us and continuing to both visit and contribute to the TouchArcade community over the years! If you’ve got a product you’re interested in seeing featured in an Amazon Item of the Day, don’t hesitate to reach out. The best way to get in contact with us is via email at tips@toucharcade.com and be sure to include “Amazon Item of the Day” in the subject.

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