Amazon Echo

I’m guessing you don’t need to buy the Phillips smart hub to go with all your Phillips lights you might buy. Oh

I’ve added all those to my wishlist haha

I think the 'Smart Hub' interacts with things like Philips Hue - so the Echo Plus having that inbuilt, means you don't need a separate Hub.

I think the Hub operates with Zigbee, which should let it communicate with more than just the Hue. My central heating smart device (Hive by British Gas) also utilises zigbee for communication, but there's already an Echo app for Hive.

The difference seems to be that it will automatically connect with smart devices, whereas the current Echo requires you to go through your phone.

I don't understand why all the new features are never brought to the Tap.

PaladinTom wrote:

I don't understand why all the new features are never brought to the Tap.

I don’t understand why the Tap exists, TBH.

In other news, I finally got the invite for the Echo Look. Still not sure why I ordered it, so I’ll blame the pain meds.

sometimesdee wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:

I don't understand why all the new features are never brought to the Tap.

I don’t understand why the Tap exists, TBH.

It's niche for sure, but I bring it outside in my backyard all summer, and into the bathroom with me most mornings. It's nice to have an Echo that isn't tethered to power all the time.

Hmm, still not sure why I bought a $200 Voice-activated selfie camera. I’m pretty sure I’m going to return it,

Video recipes? That's all I could think of when I was considering it, and so I didn't buy it...

Robear wrote:

Video recipes? That's all I could think of when I was considering it, and so I didn't buy it...

That’s the Show. The Look is the camera that supposedly gives you fashion advice.

I'm a new Amazon Echo owner as of this holiday season. Enjoying it so far. What are some of your favorite uses/skills for it?

“Add ... to my shopping list.” (Shout it anytime you run out of something. Almost worth the price imo.)

“Ask NPR One to play Up First.” (Short daily podcast.)

“Play Daily Tech Headlines on Tune-In.” (Short tech news podcast.)

“Ask Big Sky if it is going to rain tomorrow.” (Better weather app that uses the Dark Sky API.)

“How’s traffic?” (Approximate work commute time.)

“Good morning.” (Fun daily message.)

“What’s up?” (Nice daily summary.)

So far we are....

Using it to play random music in the background of our kitchen.

Having it entertain my son with jokes....

Using it to turn on/off our Christmas Lights.

Using it to update our Grocery List. (I'm going to change this a little soon)

Not mentioned yet:

Setting timers or alarms.

Getting the first paragraph or two from Wikipedia.

You can setup news sources in the app, then "Alexa, daily briefing" which will give you a weather and news summary.

I also make use of the rainforest and ocean sounds for sleeping. I don't remember the exact skill name right now though.

We just got Alexa via the new Sonos speakers that support it. So far, my wife's using it to prank me by telling it to play bad music in the room I'm in.

Chaz, you just exposed me to my new favorite way to use my Echo.

astralplaydoh wrote:

Chaz, you just exposed me to my new favorite way to use my Echo.

Last night, I was playing Final Fantasy XV, in a tutorial room or something. Suddenly, I started hearing water sounds. I thought it was raining in the game or something. Then I went to a loading screen, and kept hearing the sounds. The water heater is directly underneath the TV in the basement, so suddenly I panicked, thinking the water sounds were the hot water heater blowing the release valve.

Turns out my wife had asked Alexa to play baby screaming in the living room, and Alexa had interpreted that as baby sleep sounds, and played ocean wave white noise.

Eventually my heart rate went back down. Most of the time she just has it play It's A Small World or Dominick the Donkey at me.

Chaz wrote:

Eventually my heart rate went back down. Most of the time she just has it play It's A Small World or Dominick the Donkey at me.

Hee-Haw Hee-Haw!

"When Santa visits his paesans, with Dominick he'll be..."

The special hell, all of you!

Fun Echo trick: if you say, "[trigger word], Simon says [phrase]" (e.g., "Echo, Simon says 'Final Fantasy 6 is the best Final Fantasy game'") it will repeat the phrase back to you.

This also works if you use the microphone in the remote control.

I had a grand old time one evening messing with my four-year-old nephew-- who couldn't enunciate quiiiiite well enough to trigger the Echo most of the time-- by eavesdropping on him trying to talk to it from the other room and whispering responses into the remote.

hbi2k wrote:

Fun Echo trick: if you say, "[trigger word], Simon says [phrase]" (e.g., "Echo, Simon says 'Final Fantasy 6 is the best Final Fantasy game'") it will repeat the phrase back to you.

This also works if you use the microphone in the remote control.

I had a grand old time one evening messing with my four-year-old nephew-- who couldn't enunciate quiiiiite well enough to trigger the Echo most of the time-- by eavesdropping on him trying to talk to it from the other room and whispering responses into the remote.

Yup. I do this to mess with my four-year-old all the time!

At CES, Anker unveiled an Echo device for cars. If it supports Spotify (like they say it will) I will likely be picking one up. I've almost died trying to change Spotify playlists while driving. Plus all the extra goodies like access to the Flash Briefing, Calendar, To Do and shopping lists, and smart home stuff make this a nice little package if it works as advertised.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075WN2FY5...

PaladinTom wrote:

At CES, Anker unveiled an Echo device for cars. If it supports Spotify (like they say it will) I will likely be picking one up. I've almost died trying to change Spotify playlists while driving. Plus all the extra goodies like access to the Flash Briefing, Calendar, To Do and shopping lists, and smart home stuff make this a nice little package if it works as advertised.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075WN2FY5...

Not worried about excessive data usage since it goes through your phone for data access?

Nevin73 wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:

At CES, Anker unveiled an Echo device for cars. If it supports Spotify (like they say it will) I will likely be picking one up. I've almost died trying to change Spotify playlists while driving. Plus all the extra goodies like access to the Flash Briefing, Calendar, To Do and shopping lists, and smart home stuff make this a nice little package if it works as advertised.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075WN2FY5...

Not worried about excessive data usage since it goes through your phone for data access?

Assuming you have "unlimited" (or like 20gb), then it probably isn't a big change.
Otherwise, this is always the trade off for these types of services.

lunchbox12682 wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:
PaladinTom wrote:

At CES, Anker unveiled an Echo device for cars. If it supports Spotify (like they say it will) I will likely be picking one up. I've almost died trying to change Spotify playlists while driving. Plus all the extra goodies like access to the Flash Briefing, Calendar, To Do and shopping lists, and smart home stuff make this a nice little package if it works as advertised.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075WN2FY5...

Not worried about excessive data usage since it goes through your phone for data access?

Assuming you have "unlimited" (or like 20gb), then it probably isn't a big change.
Otherwise, this is always the trade off for these types of services.

Hmm, interesting. I hadn't thought of that. I would hope the voice service itself won't use that much data. If I tell Alexa to "play Spotify" will I use significantly more data than if I just fire up Spotify myself?

If it truly works like an Echo it should only send audio to the cloud after the wake word. Otherwise the always listening audio should be cached to the device.

It's interesting. Alexa is much better at playing audio that I tell it to than Google Assistant or Siri. Getting a playlist to play is a pain. It's sad because Windows Mobile 8.1 did this kind of stuff really well 5 years ago and Alexa does it really well. Why can't Google and Apple?

I find that there is a lot of stuff that it says is only available on Amazon Music Unlimited, but if I ask it another way, it finds it free just fine.

Is the dolby speaker upgrade worth the $50 from the Dot to the Echo? Is the speaker as good as other $50 bluetooth speakers?