Rest of the Day: You Can Now Talk to Alexa on Your IPhone

Feeling lonely while shopping? You can now talk to Alexa through the Amazon app on your iPhone. You can use it to search for anything, but you can also get a lot of the same functionality as with Echo.

  • But is it worth the time to talk to your virtual assistant on your phone? For me, the appeal of Alexa and Echo is that you don’t have to pull out your phone, so I’m not sure why I should ask Alexa for something or request music if I’m already holding my phone. The advantage, however, is that you can use it with smart home devices like the Echo, so you can ask Alexa to turn on the lights or adjust the temperature in your home if you have the right devices. [Amazon]
  • Netflix is ​​considering editing some shows and movies specifically for mobile phones. At yesterday’s press event, their chief product officer said they are looking into “[making] a different solution for mobile,” as phone viewing predominates in many markets, although he did not elaborate on what that might look like. Perhaps that means they’ll crop wide movie footage to better fit regular phone screens, or even optimize the show for portrait mode. It would be crazy to crop a widescreen image to a portrait one. [Slash Movie]
  • Also in Netflix news in April, they are going to replace the five-star ratings with simpler ones . I wonder, however, how this will affect how other people have rated the show. Five thumbs up. [The Verge]
  • The people who pirate e-books are surprisingly old and wealthy. A recent study commissioned by an anti-piracy company argues that people who download books from file-based sites tend to be slightly older and have a higher income than the average pirate. I think it makes sense; this is a niche piracy of sorts, and I admit I was looking for digital copies of books that I already have when I couldn’t get a free digital copy. You can also just borrow free e-books from some libraries. [Torrent Freak]

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