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Old 11-01-2016, 05:40 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,430 posts, read 1,667,352 times
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I got the Echo at the introductory price to Prime members a couple of years ago. The sound quality is decent and I request playlists and different genres as background music.

We bought a few wifi outlets and switches and use them in conjunction with Echo to turn fans and lights on and off with voice commands. The switches can be used with their apps to be used remotely or program them without Echo. I find this very useful.

Clear pronunciation is important along with remembering what the devices were named to have Echo work well. Our young grandkids quickly learned to enunciate clearly or be ignored. If OP's father has memory or speech problems, an Echo could be frustrating.

Last edited by jean_ji; 11-01-2016 at 06:02 AM..
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,579 posts, read 17,561,360 times
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I honestly don't see the need and I'm pretty into gadgets. When I'm home, I still usually have my phone in my pocket or iPad nearby to perform any function the Echo would do.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:27 AM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 17 hours ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,295 posts, read 15,347,934 times
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Voice control is particularly useful while cooking (and in the hot tub). I listen to music or audio books while cooking and it is nice to just be able to tell the device to turn up or down, pause, skip forward, change the music, etc.

ETA: I have tried the Android, Apple and Microsoft voice apps/assistants (OK Google, Siri and Cortana) and for the kind of applications I listed above, none of them work very well. They are more oriented toward locations, directions, finding stores.

Last edited by PNW-type-gal; 11-01-2016 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:32 PM
 
Location: location, location!
1,915 posts, read 1,735,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
I have tried the Android, Apple and Microsoft voice apps/assistants (OK Google, Siri and Cortana) and for the kind of applications I listed above, none of them work very well. They are more oriented toward locations, directions, finding stores.
The new Google Home starts shipping at the end of this week. It's a direct competitor to Amazon Echo, so we'll soon see if they tweaked "OK Google" for a better hands-off interface.

I was recently considering replacing a kitchen radio with an internet table radio (tunes in world radio stations via WiFi). But then I thought I could get all the radio stations with Amazon Echo, plus all the other things it does. But Google's imminent entry in the smart speaker category has me holding off until we see how it stacks up against the Echo.

I expect to start seeing some Echo vs Home reviews next week.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:30 PM
 
2,633 posts, read 3,374,570 times
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Appreciate all the input.

So I got one for my Dad. At first he was like...... Eh? But it is starting to grow on him.

He checks the weather the most, and gets news updates. He actually has been using it for music more than I expected... Requesting specific songs/singers. The speaker is fine for voice but annoying/tinny for music of decent quality. I need to buy the stupid cable to connect it to his nicer speakers. It's great being able to request radio stations from all over, or even favorite radio programs by voice. Can you believe there is a station that plays episodes of This American Life all day/night?

There's a lot to learn. I need to connect it to his Google so he can check his calendar by voice, and to hook it up to Pandora, and I still haven't tried using it to set alarms/reminders/check lists.

For Christmas I was going to buy other Echo compatible devices for voice control of voice etc.. But if Google is coming out with a system soon, I'll need to check that out too.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:44 AM
 
662 posts, read 477,547 times
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Here's an interesting development, as I did find it a pain to find the particular iftt to make alexa find my mislaid phone:

Amazon Adds Ability To Shop For New Alexa Skills Via Amazon.com Search | HotHardware

I hope it actually does make it easier to find a useful skill for the echo.
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Old 11-06-2016, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
8,959 posts, read 7,737,941 times
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I am hesitant about these devices as I expect they might talk back to me and/or take control.

HAL, do you understand me?
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Old 11-06-2016, 07:07 PM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,430 posts, read 1,667,352 times
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In frustration I called Alexa a not nice name the other evening and she said "thank you for your input". Definitely Hal-like with her calmness. There is also a recorded log of requests in the Alexa app and that one is in there, oops.
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:02 PM
 
662 posts, read 477,547 times
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https://www.cnet.com/news/amazon-ech...a-easter-eggs/

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Old 11-06-2016, 08:10 PM
 
1,132 posts, read 1,272,909 times
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We use ours a little. At first we played with it a lot. Now not so much. I am not retired though. I do ask the temperature sometimes. My wife and I occasionally have it play music while we cook but it's kind of limited. It can only play things I bought on Amazon or Pandora and there is no way to know what songs you have outside of checking the app which defeats the purpose somewhat .
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