Finally, the Fire TV Cube can do almost everything the Echo can do, including adjust smart home devices and run the many skills that are available; when possible, it'll do so with visuals. Asking for your weather forecast shows a nice graphic on the TV, and daily briefings can be accompanied by video (just as they are on the Echo Show). Messaging and voice calls aren't supported, as the company wanted to focus on entertainment first; that's similar to the Alexa implementation in the Sonos One. But for most people, the Cube will do just about everything that an Echo can do.
We'll have to try the Fire TV Cube out in person before we can pass judgement on how useful an always-listening set-top box is, but at $119.99, the price is low enough that it should provide a worthwhile upgrade over the existing $69.99 Fire TV, especially if you don't have an Echo already. Amazon has proven that Alexa is capable enough to drive plenty of Echo sales, and there's little reason to think it won't do the same with the Cube. It'll ship on June 21st, and Prime customers can pre-order today and tomorrow and get the Cube for $89.99.
This strikes me as exactly what the Apple TV could and probably should be. The fact that the Fire TV Cube is apparently not very good just drives this point home further. This is the right idea, and Apple could do it correctly (well, assuming they continue to work on improving Siri).Read more...