The US might be getting plenty of love from Amazon when it comes to its products and services, but Canada, the country’s lovable northern neighbor, has been neglected by comparison. That changes today, when the retail giant announced that, alongside Alexa, it has launched Prime Music and its trio of Echo products in Canada.
According to Amazon, the reason why Alexa took so long to launch in Canada boiled down to linguistics. Even though the US and Canada have English as an official language, the linguistic differences between the two countries could easily confuse Alexa. As a result, Amazon threw in local knowledge and skills by Canadian developers to make sure that Alexa’s functionality does not get linguistically compromised.
Speaking of skills, Amazon says that Canadian residents should expect 10,000 skills to be available by year’s end, including those from Air Canada, TD Bank, TELUS, CBC, The Weather Channel, and more. Interestingly, even though Alexa now has a Canadian English voice, there was no mention of a Canadian French option.
Alexa won’t launch in Canada alone, as it will be accompanied by Prime Music. Amazon says the service is now available in the country with one million songs, though that figure will hopefully increase over time.
Finally, you can’t use Alexa without some hardware, so Amazon also launched the Echo Dot, Echo, and Echo Plus in Canada. As a quick recap, the Echo Dot is the cheapest of all three, while the Echo is smaller and features a removable shell that can come in different materials. Finally, the Echo Plus features a built-in smart home hub and can directly link with other Zigbee products, such as Hue lights.
If you’re a Canadian resident, you can pre-order all three Echo products, with the regular Echo going for $100 CDN. Keep in mind that they will not ship until December 5, but that gives you plenty of time to wrap them up as presents for the holidays.