Apple Music Karaoke Mode Musk Briefly Not Richest COVID Variants Call of Duty and Nintendo 'Avatar 2' Director 19 Gizmo and Gadget Gifts Gifts $30 and Under Anker MagGo for iPhones
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Amazon Echo is a Star Trek computer for your home

Stand aside, Siri. Amazon's Echo smart speaker, with its Alexa voice assistant, has plenty to say. Also, Microsoft makes Office free to use on mobile, and most messaging apps score poorly on security.

Amazon has a new female computer voice assistant called Alexa. But she's not on a phone -- she's in a smart speaker called Amazon Echo .

The Echo may be the closest thing we'll have to a Star Trek computer at home. You can ask Alexa common questions, and she'll fetch facts from Wikipedia. You can ask her to play music or set a reminder. But instead of making you a cup of hot Earl Grey tea, she'll help you order tea on Amazon:

Now playing: Watch this: Amazon Echo is a Star Trek computer for your home

Also in this tech-news roundup, learn about the new Microsoft Office mobile apps that don't require a subscription. You can now create and edit Office documents for free.

But there's bad news for messaging apps. The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports most of today's popular chatting apps are not fully encrypted. Only six apps received a perfect security score: ChatSecure, CryptoCat, Signal/RedPhone, Silent Phone, Silent Text and TextSecure.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for a breakdown of the big stories, hot devices, new apps, and what's ahead. Subscribe to the podcast via the links below.


iTunes (HD) | iTunes (SD) | iTunes (HQ) | iTunes (MP3)

RSS (HD) | RSS (SD) | RSS (HQ)| RSS (MP3)

Download the audio version of today's episode:

Amazon Echo is a Star Trek computer for your home