Geeks2U Promise
We guarantee you'll love our fast, friendly service - or we'll refund your money.  
133,572 Happy Customers & Counting
Need tech support?
1300 769 448
Extended hours, 7 days a week
Home  /  geekspeak  /  Australia waits for Amazon’s Alexa to start listening

Australia waits for Amazon’s Alexa to start listening

Alexa’s name kept popping up everywhere at the recent CES 2017 electronics show in Las Vegas, but Amazon is still tight-lipped as to when its voice-controlled personal assistant will officially come to Australia.

When it comes to online ecosystems Amazon rivals Apple and Google but, unlike its competitors, the US online retail giant has been slow to expand in our part of the world. Amazon supposedly has big plans for Australia, but so far we have very little to show for it.

Back in 2013, Amazon finally started selling eBooks and Kindle readers directly via an Australian website and it recently launched the Kindle Unlimited service locally – offering access to a vast library of eBooks for $13.99 per month. We also saw Amazon Video quietly launch in Australia late last year in time for Top Gear reboot The Grand Tour but, beyond this headline act, the streaming video service has very little to offer local viewers.

Rumours abound that Amazon will significantly expand its Australian retail efforts this year, perhaps getting into fresh produce and even opening its own chain of physical supermarkets. At this time we’d expect to see more Amazon hardware available locally, such as the Chromecast-style Fire TV streaming video dongle and the Amazon Echo benchtop speaker.

Amazon’s Echo benchtop speaker is powered by Alexa, the voice-controlled personal assistant which sits at the heart of the retail giant’s online ecosystem – similar to Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana. Like the others, Alexa’s ambitions is to be your virtual best friend.

Always at your beck and call, Alexa is expanding beyond the Echo speaker to reach smartphones, home entertainment gear, cars and even kitchen appliances such as fridges and ovens. Alexa also talks to a range of third-party smarthome gear such as Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and LifX.

Alexa’s strength is that it’s tied directly into Amazon’s online store, so while you’re standing in the kitchen you can tell Alexa to add things to your online shopping list or even order items directly from Amazon. Alexa is also linked to a wide range of third-party services, letting you flop down on the couch and stream Netflix to your Fire TV while you check your FitBit stats and order a Domino’s pizza.

Of course none of this is officially supported in Australia yet, although it is possible to import an Echo speaker via a US delivery address and then link it to some services. Alexa will keep popping up in more and more appliances around our homes, at least for US users, but it remains to be seen whether Amazon’s plans for Australia in 2017 are all talk.


Recent News

Apple typically holds a launch event in September for its new model iPhones. Whenever those new phones launch is when the new versions of its mobile operating systems launch as well. They all used to be called “iOS”, but this now encompasses iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. iOS itself covers phones and iPod Touch only. Usually,

Chromebooks are laptops that use Google’s Chrome browser as the basis for their operating system. We’ve discussed them before but to date most of the models sold in Australia have tended to be low cost models pitched at the education market. As a much more controlled computer there’s less that can go wrong with a

When Apple announced recently that it was going to shift from producing computers using Intel processors to its own “Apple Silicon” it also said that it would still produce some Macs with Intel inside over the next couple of years. That’s just what’s happened with the very first Mac Apple’s released since dropping its Apple

We live in an age where it’s absolutely assumed that the vast majority of your interactions with computers will be with visual interfaces – strictly speaking Graphical User Interfaces if you want to get on the jargon bandwagon – but it certainly wasn’t always that way. To get to the touch, voice and mouse-activated interfaces

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Learn about the precautions we are taking and our new contactless pick-up and remote service options. Read More
Get help setting up your home office or homework area today. Learn More