Amazon Echo

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It really feels like Amazon is doing a "throw Alexa onto the wall and see what sticks" strategy

You just came up with their next idea.

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deftly wrote:

Celebrity voices coming to Alexa. Samuel L. Jackson is first. $0.99 intro offer for the upgrade, $4.99 later. Includes swearing. Worth it.

It'll be so nice to hear Alexa say "Motherf*cker".

Alexa is like Amazon Prime video (edit: or Amazon search in general). Poorly designed to get to what you want. New releases or Thursday night football; hope you like google searching. In this case asking Alexa, to ask Sam to do something, when I don't remember what the most of the alexa ask commands are in the first place. Why not simplify and just as Sam Jackson to do something? Even when I ask precisely, and the transcription is perfect in the app, it still tunes to the wrong channel / picks the wrong radio station. Lets get the basics working first Amazon....

/RANT

Sorry, this has been bugging me for a while. Certainly not a one off.

<3 Alexa ehcos and 3 Fire TV sticks.

EvilDead wrote:

Alexa is like Amazon Prime video (edit: or Amazon search in general). Poorly designed to get to what you want. New releases or Thursday night football; hope you like google searching. In this case asking Alexa, to ask Sam to do something, when I don't remember what the most of the alexa ask commands are in the first place. Why not simplify and just as Sam Jackson to do something? Even when I ask precisely, and the transcription is perfect in the app, it still tunes to the wrong channel / picks the wrong radio station. Lets get the basics working first Amazon....

/RANT

Sorry, this has been bugging me for a while. Certainly not a one off.

<3 Alexa ehcos and 3 Fire TV sticks.

You, sir, are quite correct.
Alexa sucks, but what else am I going to use?

lunchbox12682 wrote:

You, sir, are quite correct.
Alexa sucks, but what else am I going to use?

I am clearly the wrong person to be asking that since I have 6 Alexa devices!

Sure, it gets things wrong once in a while but nobody else does it as well or has anywhere near the breadth of features. With those features comes more complexity. That complexity makes it easier to make mistakes and means that you need more complex voice commands that may often overlap each other. So, yeah, there are issues but no one else even comes close to either the accuracy or the number of features.

Prime Video is, indeed, a mess. Just finding prime video requires a web search. On the plus side, almost every digital video you get with a dvd will work with Amazon Prime. Plus, you can download them to your kindle. You can't beat the price either.

Once in a while is not my experience. A typical example. "Alexa play 98.5, the sports hub, on tune in radio". Alexa: "Sure, playing 98.5 the CAT on iheart radio"

When I check the transcription, on the app, it's word for word from what I said yet it only tunes to the requested channel 60% of the time. No consistency.

My partner has the same issues so I know it's not just me!

EvilHomer3k wrote:

Sure, it gets things wrong once in a while but nobody else does it as well or has anywhere near the breadth of features. With those features comes more complexity. That complexity makes it easier to make mistakes and means that you need more complex voice commands that may often overlap each other. So, yeah, there are issues but no one else even comes close to either the accuracy or the number of features.

Prime Video is, indeed, a mess. Just finding prime video requires a web search. On the plus side, almost every digital video you get with a dvd will work with Amazon Prime. Plus, you can download them to your kindle. You can't beat the price either.

Don't know about that. I have multiples of both Google and Amazon's, and Google is better at a lot of stuff. Amazon has it's areas where it leads, too.

Google is more accurate at doing what I ask it to do, though. By far. Amazon has a better ecosystem so might do more stuff.

Just wondering, what/how do you guys use your voice assistants and smart speakers? We have an Echo in the living room and a Dot in the kitchen, and we use them almost exclusively to turn on/off lights, playing music, timers, and an occasional quick web search ("computer, how old is Paul Rudd?")

More advanced features just aren't really appealing to my wife or I -- playing voice games, intercom, audio messaging with other Echo users, tighter smart home integration, etc. At best, we tried out a feature, said "oh, that's neat", and went on with life.

The Echo and Alexa are neat, but whenever the physical devices die (I've already had one Echo fail!), I feel like they're not a necessary part of my already tech-saturated life. Amazon's gonna need to give me a reason to stick around in the long-run.

I do use the intercom pretty often, but not much past what you listed. But for now that's good enough.

We just have one (the original) in the kitchen where it serves up music while I'm cooking or while we're eating. But beyond that, it's basically just an ongoing grocery list keeper, so my spouse and I don't have to remember to take it with us or remember what's on it if there is an impromptu stop. While that use may be boring, it's been incredibly helpful over the years.

I've got my original Echo from way back when they did a limited pre-release available only to Prime members.

I used to use it to control my Philips Hue lights in my old apartment, but my new apartment's lighting system isn't set up to make good use of Hue bulbs and so I never bothered setting them up here. TBH, they were mostly a toy there, and an occasional annoyance if I had a guest over and had to explain to them how to work the flipping light switches.

I've got a better speaker for music, and I prefer Google Keep for my shopping list (the Alexa app takes too long to load on my phone), so I mostly just use it as a hands-free kitchen timer, tbh.

T-Prime wrote:

Just wondering, what/how do you guys use your voice assistants and smart speakers?

Music, shopping lists, to do list items, and smart home control - mainly just lights right now.

Echo was magical when I first got it, but it has definitely gotten very stale lately. I was bummed they are introducing so much new hardware, but didn't talk much at all about how they are updating the software - except that it can sense when you are upset - which happens a lot more often nowadays.

Mine fails all the time for turning our bedroom lights on/off in our bedroom - so much so that I either use the Hue switch we have or use my iPad Home shortcuts more often. I've had some bad experience with crappy smart bulbs too, so I've been replacing all of my lights with Hue lights - which are also HomeKit enabled.

I can't play Spotify in a 'downstairs' group if it includes the Fire TV Cube in my family room, which doesn't make any sense because Amazon music works just fine. And the current skills implementation with the 'ask' phrase has got to go. "Ask PocketCasts to" is just way too error prone because it needs to be spoken perfectly the same way every time. So do routines.

Right now, I give Alexa a grade of "fine." Maybe because I've been using Siri more in my car, but I'd consider switching over to HomePod if they weren't so expensive and came in different form factors. For now, any new smart stuff has to be Alexa and HomeKit enabled just in case I want to bail someday.

Can you do Zoom video conferencing on an Echo show? Googling comes up with very little info on it. I found the Amazon appstore app for it but it appears that only works on Fire devices and not Echos.

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