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Alexa's other new tricks include the ability to call businesses that aren't in your contacts and improved smart home groups, meaning you don't need to know the name of the device to use it.

The details were revealed as Amazon revealed another Echo with a screen - the Echo Spot.

The Spot is a scaled-down version of the Echo Show, also featuring a screen that displays videos, weather reports, to-do lists and calendars.

For the baby boomers, Amazon is also launching the Echo Connect in Q4. Tens of thousands of Alexa skills that can be accessed from Echo devices will now be available for in-car use, too.

Echo Connect: It's a little box that you put between your landline and your Echo speaker. It suggested 15 million devices had been sold to date. Even with the smaller form factor, the second-gen Echo packs a dedicated bass tweeter.

Diving into the new Alexa intelligence that comes with generation two, Alexa will have customizable "routines". The device is also available to preorder in the United Kingdom and Germany, and ships with an included Philips Hue smart bulb. Amazon says Echo Connect will cost $35 and will be available from fourth quarter.

The second-gen Amazon Echo is about a half in length when compared to its predecessor. Amazon thinks this will compete with the Sonos Play:1 and be a better solution for many users than the Apple HomePod, which can't play Spotify by voice commands.

"Echo Show brings you everything you love about Alexa, and now she can show you things", explains Amazon.

The other major improvement is multiroom audio.

If you'd like to replace your telephone with an Echo for free phone calls, but don't want a smart speaker, Amazon has you covered. It will be included in select BMW cars starting in 2018.

"These announcements are created to deepen its role in our daily lives".

Amazon has clearly been working incredibly hard to capitalise on the success of its smart assistant hardware. In the meantime, it's no doubt going to frustrate Echo Show owners.

Indeed one of the selling points of the new, smaller Echo is the range of shells you can get for it, covering different looks in fabric and wood - very Google Home. The California-based tech giant said there have been talks over the matter. I believe Alexa could be that product for smart assistants, but it's far from being a done deal. "Google made a change today at around 3 PM".

Industry analyst Geoff Blaber, from CCS Insight, said Amazon's announcements confirmed the company's place at the front of the smart speaker market.

In our hands on time with the device, we asked to watch Ray Donavon and it found this in the Showtime app - even though we didn't specify Showtime.