These functions are powered by Alexa on Amazon devices, and Google Assistant on Google's speakers. Both voice assistants are bolstered by software, similar to apps, that gives them more capabilities.
On Echo devices these third-party developed apps are called "skills," and users can enable them for Alexa to do everything from play to CNBC's top headlines, to give updates on Kardashian news. There are over 40,000 third-party skills in Amazon's skills store, which you can find online or in the Amazon Alexa app.
For Google Home devices, these functions are called "actions," and there are over 1 million first and third-party actions users can enable.
In January, The Smart Audio report found that 39 million adults owned smart speakers.
If you're considering a purchase, check out CNBC's guide to shopping for a smart speaker here.
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