Amazon Echo

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Paleocon wrote:

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

If you've got other speakers, then I wouldn't bother spending the extra money.

Cross-posting from the 'silly purchases' thread:

I finally got my Roav Viva and now I have Alexa in my car!

IMAGE(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/818EsJczmeL._SX425_.jpg)

I was skeptical, but it works way better than I thought I would. It needed a loooong firmware update - which of course needed to be done in the car. Since I was playing with it after work I left my car running in the driveway for 30 minutes while I started dinner.

It works as advertised with all of the Echo functions (To Do list, Calendar, Daily Briefing, Skills, Smart Home, etc) PLUS it can use Google Maps or Waze for navigation. Now I can just say "Alexa, navigate to work" and Waze will magically open on my iPhone.

The main reason I got it though is so I don't kill myself mucking with the Spotify app while driving. Alas, Spotify support is not enabled yet but it is planned, which I knew before I purchased. I'll use Amazon Prime music in the meantime when I'm not listening to podcasts.

How about a link for the GWJ referral? That looks really good.

When I first heard of "Alexa in your car" I thought it was dumb. I don't think that anymore. Alexa is way better at voice commands than the factory voice commands in my car, so just for calling and such, this will be much better. Now, if I could easily dictate responses to text messages...

Atras wrote:

How about a link for the GWJ referral? That looks really good.

Edit: Here it is...

https://www.amazon.com/Roav-Alexa-En...

I got one of those. It's... okay. Using it for directions isn't great, because if it mishears you and directs you someplace you don't want to go, there's no way to cancel out and start over through voice, you've got to pick up your phone and do it manually. And it mishears me and directs me someplace I don't want to go a LOT. Also it appears to think that "home" is my old place in a different city where I haven't lived in two years, and I can't figure out how to change it. I've gone into both the Alexa app and Google Maps and both show my current address.

It can do phone calls, but when it does, the person on the other end complains that they can hear themselves through my car's speakers.

It can't do speech-to-text to send text messages, and when I tried, it said "Alexa does not support text messaging at this time" and apparently there was a glitch in which it didn't turn off listening for its wake word while saying it, so it kept triggering itself every time it said "Alexa" in an endless loop. Which was kind of hilarious, but not, like, helpful.

What it CAN do is play music from my Amazon library on command, and skip songs on command, and for a $40 gadget, that's actually kind of enough for me, because it keeps me from doing a Bad Thing(TM) and taking my hands off the steering wheel to do so manually.

People in newer cars with gee-whiz voice-activation features built into their dashboard are probably better off using that, but for those of us driving older vehicles, it's a decent workaround in a ghetto "that thing that plugs a Discman into a tape deck" sort of way.

IMAGE(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41e3zOY2Y%2BL.jpg)

Hmm I hadn't even thought of using it for voice or texts. That is the ONE thing that more or less works flawlessly (for me) on iPhone. I don't use 'Hey Siri' though because you have to unlock the phone anyway to read texts so I'm used to sticking my thumb out blindly to activate it.

Thanks for the tip about it not hearing navigation requests correctly. I generally pre-program places into Waze and save them as favorites with familiar names.

It might just be the Android version of the app being flakey, I dunno. I also don't use Waze, so maybe that works better.

I mean, for anyone who's considering getting one, even if we assume it's a coin flip between having PaladinTom's almost-totally-positive experience and my only-okay one, I don't think $40 is too high a price to flip that coin.

hbi2k wrote:

It might just be the Android version of the app being flakey, I dunno. I also don't use Waze, so maybe that works better.

I mean, for anyone who's considering getting one, even if we assume it's a coin flip between having PaladinTom's almost-totally-positive experience and my only-okay one, I don't think $40 is too high a price to flip that coin.

Disclaimer: I've used it for exactly one day!

PaladinTom wrote:
hbi2k wrote:

It might just be the Android version of the app being flakey, I dunno. I also don't use Waze, so maybe that works better.

I mean, for anyone who's considering getting one, even if we assume it's a coin flip between having PaladinTom's almost-totally-positive experience and my only-okay one, I don't think $40 is too high a price to flip that coin.

Disclaimer: I've used it for exactly one day!

On the internet that makes you an expert.

I got the Garmin Speak Plus, but I can't figure out how to run the wire without it getting in the way.

Echo Dot for Kids is coming out next week, full of kid (and parent) friendly features. Most of the features will also work on existing Echos.

I can't wait. My kid has a tendency to find artists who swear, and he also likes to blast music by the Beat Bugs at 3am. Now I'll be able to limit explicit music and inactivate it after a certain hour.

I'm super excited about this. My kids have been pretty good about echo use, but focused content will be awesome.

Have any of you guys encountered an issue with the original Echo where you give it a command, it lights up, but it doesn't audibly respond? This happens to mine routinely, and the only way to fix it is to unplug the device and plug it back in. It occurs sometimes several times a day, to the point where we don't use it frequently because unplugging and plugging back in is a pain.

My Echo is out-of-warranty and I'd rather not buy a new one unless I absolutely need to, so I bought a smart plug (Wemo Mini), plugged the Echo into it, and created an IFTTT trigger "level one diagnostic" that turns the plug off and on again, but the Wemo power cycles so quick it that the Echo doesn't even power off.

No, I haven't encountered that among my 6 Echo devices. But nice fix!

I get it occasionally on some of my devices, but very infrequently.

Can you put a wait/pause X seconds in-between steps in IFTTT?

LeapingGnome wrote:

Can you put a wait/pause X seconds in-between steps in IFTTT?

Unfortunately no, and Wemo's native app lacks that granular control ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s been on Android for a while, but Alexa is finally available on iOS through the Alexa app. Doesn’t work with Spotify or Tune-In yet, but everything with Amazon works perfectly.

I need to get that for my brother in law. Actually, I need to install it and wait until he notices.

lunchbox12682 wrote:

I need to get that for my brother in law. Actually, I need to install it and wait until he notices.

That's a creepy idea even without the fish face.

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