When is the last time you used your landline phone? Chances are that your smartphone is the one and only device you need. Old-fashioned phones have been fading away from most living rooms. But it doesn’t mean that landline phones aren’t useful. Amazon is well aware of that.

The company unveiled the Echo Show earlier this week, a $230 device with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, two powerful speakers as well as a camera and a touchscreen.

But don’t get fooled by the display. It works more or less like the original Amazon Echo. If you want to play a song, you can tell the device “Alexa, play some Beach House” to start streaming Beach House songs using your favorite music streaming platform. You don’t open the Spotify app on the screen.

The Echo Show isn’t an Echo with a built-in Android tablet. It’s an Echo with an information display. Sure, you can tap on it to pause the music. But your voice remains the main user interface.

There’s one thing you can do with a display that you couldn’t do before — video calls. Amazon didn’t invent Skype calls. Arguably, I’d even say that Apple made video calls popular again thanks to FaceTime.

But would you say you use your phone to call your family and friends more often or less often than 10 years ago? Today, it’s all about texting, Snapping, WhatsApping and more. I’ve noticed this myself. I talk less but I share short snippets of text constantly.

This trend is so strong that it doesn’t feel natural to cold call someone anymore. I rarely pick up the phone except if it’s my mum.

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SOURCE: Romain Dillet