Echo Dot gets boost with these speakers

IHome Audio has introduced a new product designed to augment the Amazon Echo Dot with stereo speakers and a digital clock. The iHome iAVS1 Bedside Stereo Speaker System for the Dot is the first product from the company made just for the Dot.

As the really long name says, it’s designed to be a bedside accessory, so it looks a lot like iHome’s other clock-radio offerings.

The smart-looking unit has a circular spot for your Dot on the center of the top. The iAVS1 gets its power from an AC cord. There are two AAA batteries in case the power goes out.

Alexa’s answers to your questions will now boom with a bit more bass. There are no volume buttons, but the Dot has volume controls on top, so that’s a moot point. Likewise, there are no alarm controls (or snooze button) on the iAVS1, because you can control all those functions with your voice through Alexa.

Lastly, there is a handy 1-amp USB port on the back of the iAVS1 to charge your phone or tablet.

The iAVS1 is pretty foolproof once you set it up. Ask Alexa to play some music from one of your music services such as Amazon Prime Music, Spotify or SiriusXM and the music will start and it will definitely sound better than with the Dot’s tiny speaker. However, the sound is “clock radio quality.”

To be honest, there are better sounding portable speakers to be had for $70, but they don’t have a digital clock or a spot for your Dot.



Jazz and pretty colors make game an escape

The soothing puzzler called Splashy Dots features smooth jazz and pretty colors — essentially everything you need to take your mind off the world for a moment.

Players are faced with sparsely dotted canvasses that they must complete by connecting the dots in a particular order.

With a sweep or two of your finger on an iOS device, you can turn the puzzling paint dots on the canvas into a colorful answer. Splashy Dots is ad-supported. Players can pay for hints, in case they get stuck on a particularly tricky painting.

You unlock more paintings as you go, and the game comes with a handful of levels to keep you entertained without spending any money.