Amazon Echo (2nd generation), Heather Grey
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- Amazon Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, check your calendar, weather, traffic and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control compatible smart home devices, and more.
- Just ask for a song, artist or genre from Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on Echo devices in different rooms. Echo can play Audible audiobooks, radio stations, news briefings and read kindle ebooks. Services may require subscriptions or other fees; Bluetooth not supported for multi-room music.
- Call or message anyone hands-free who also has an Echo device or the Alexa App. Also, quickly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
- Dolby processing speakers that fills the room with immersive, 360 degree omnidirectional audio, and delivers crisp vocals, deep bass, and clear highs at louder volumes.
- With seven microphones, beam-forming technology and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction-even while music is playing.
- Just ask Alexa to control your compatible smart lights, switches and smart plugs.
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to control compatible smart devices, request an Uber, find a recipe, and more.
Home Security from Amazon
Link your Ring account to Alexa for hands-free home monitoring so you’ll always know when someone’s there. Enable announcements in the Alexa app to hear alerts on compatible Echo devices when anyone presses your doorbell or triggers Ring’s built-in motion sensors. Then talk to visitors through compatible Echo devices, like Echo Dot or Echo Show, by simply saying “Alexa, talk to the front door.”
With the free Alexa app on Android (5.0 or higher), iOS (9.0 or higher) and desktop browsers, you can easily set up and manage your Amazon Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Plus.
Use the Alexa app to connect services such as Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify and Google Calendar. Set up your compatible smart home devices from Philips Hue, LIFX, TP-Link, D-Link, Logitech Harmony, and more. View shopping and to-do lists while on the go. Control your timers and set custom tones for your alarms, and much more. The Alexa App is also where you discover and enable third-party skills.
Make calls to anyone with a supported Echo device or the Alexa app, view your conversation history, manage contacts and get notifications when you receive a message.
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However, I identified a number of first-world problems that I thought the Echo could solve, so decided to give it a try. The installation and set up was simple and took very little time.
The two big things I'd wanted the Echo to do for me were to add things to a shopping list "on the fly", and set timers. For this reason, we installed it in the kitchen area.
In addition to perfectly carrying out these "mission critical" tasks, I have been able to use a few IFTT triggers to duplicate the Echo shopping list on my Apple Reminders list, add events to my iCloud Calendar, turn on some smart bulbs.
I would certainly recommend the Amazo Echo as a great starting point for voice-activated home automation. Alexa has a bit of "personality" and the regular updates from Amazon suggesting new uses or skills keep the device "fresh" and fun.
It has been a pretty seamless experience so far, setup worked first time, re-configuring when I change my WiFi, perfect!
However as with most assistants it doesnt always get words right and has issues hearing me when the portable air-con is on (granted my google home has similar issues). The skills are great however its such a pity it has to be in English US to use most of them, prefer the Aussie voice.
Looking to purchase a dot shortly.
Well done Amazon!!
Ok, now the plus side, Alexa answers questions very well...accesses my gmail, but reads aloud to the room...hmm I don't always want anyone to able to do that. Alexas "learn my voice" just doesn't work, Alexa apologises explaining "I cant do that yet" Alexa also keeps my partner happy with weather, answering questions and me happy with news, weather and classical music,except she keeps trying to sell me shit from Amazon Music...NO thank you Alexa. Alexa can be amusing try saying "Alexa, Beam me up" the ripostes get quite hilarious. Alexa also will not connect to my TV....its old, so not really expected but it would have been nice! Alexa keeps lists and at our advanced ages that is great...list for Shopping, Bunnings, the Pharmacists, things to ask the doctor...she is really on top of her game. But so far the best fun has been "Alexa, Make cat noises" I have a much adored cat who, some evenings decides I need punishing for some misdeed and that command distracts him from chewing my arm or attacking my feet instanter!
There are more Apps nearly every day so the experience is improving....in conclusion Alexa is useful, getting more useful as apps are added, just need to be a bit more world conscious..there is more than the US .........