Amazon brings Whole Foods delivery to 10 new US cities

in #new3 years ago

The Prime service has come to Las Vegas, New Orleans and Seattle, among others

Whole Foods delivery has expanded to 10 more US cities.

Amazon's grocery deliveries just expanded to 10 more US cities.

Its Whole Foods delivery service is now available in Charlotte, North Carolina; Las Vegas; Memphis, Tennessee; Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans; Oklahoma City; Phoenix; Raleigh, North Carolina; Seattle and Tucson, Arizona.

The Wednesday announcement brings the service to a total of 38 cities.

Amazon's grocery delivery is also expanding to more neighborhoods in New York -- where it came to lower Manhattan and Brooklyn in July -- Los Angeles and the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Get a new Amazon Echo, or thinking about getting one? Wondering how you might put it to use? You, my friend, are in the right place. Scroll through for a look at some of our favorite Alexa tricks

COOL THING 1: Music on demand
Alexa's core feature is the ability to play whatever music you ask her to play, and that's no different with the new Echo. Just say, "Alexa, play jazz," or "Alexa, play Walk Like an Egyptian," or even, "Alexa, play thunderstorm sounds" and she'll happily oblige.

Along with Amazon Music Unlimited, you can stream from Spotify and Pandora, as well as streaming radio and podcasts from TuneIn and iHeartRadio. You can't ask for tunes from Apple Music, but you can always stream the music from your iPhone to the Echo over Bluetooth (either that, or plunk down $350 for an Apple HomePod).

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How's it sound?
While we're talking about music playback, let me get in a quick word on audio quality. The new, second-gen Echo has a slightly bigger tweeter than before, but that only represents a marginal improvement over the original. It sounds decent and it's easily strong enough to fill a room, but if you already have an Echo, there's no need to upgrade.

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Amazon offers five different shell options. By default, you get a fabric shell in light gray or dark gray. For $20 more, you can get a silver shell or a woodgrain shell in walnut or oak. I assumed that we'd see at least a couple of other options emerge by now, perhaps from third-parties, like we've seen happen with phone cases. That hasn't happened yet, though.

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COOL THING 5: Rock out with your aux out
Here's another design tweak that gives the new Echo an extra trick: An aux out jack. Grab yourself a 3.5mm cable, and you'll be able to connect the Echo with your existing audio setup (you can also connect the Echo to external speakers over Bluetooth).

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Not just the Echo
One more thing: The ability to connect with external speakers is now a standard feature across the entire line of Echo speakers (before this year, it was exclusive to the pint-sized Echo Dot). That means that you'll be able to connect Alexa to your existing audio setup no matter which Echo you buy, including the Echo Plus seen here.

"It's just another way we're making it even easier for more customers to enjoy Whole Foods Market's healthy and organic food," said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market's executive vice president of operations at Whole Foods Market.

Amazon and its produce partner, which it acquired for $13.7 billion in 2017, offer two-hour delivery service from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for Prime members. Amazon charges its Prime members $119 ($59 for students) a year for two-day free shipping and other benefits.

In August, the online retail giant started offering grocery pickup through Prime Now at two Whole Foods stores in Sacramento and Virginia Beach.

Prime Now offers fresh produce, meat, seafood, staples, select alcohol and locally sourced products from Whole Foods Market.