March 1

Review – The power of speach

So I have been using my Amazon Echo for over two weeks now.  It took some getting used to with how to phrase your question or request allowing Alexa to understand you, but I am sold. I use this piece of tech more and more each day.

The first couple of days I just used it to listen to music and I have to say the quality that comes out of it makes my ears hum with pleasure. As I started to explore I was pleasantly surprised to find some really cool things I can do with it. I have listed below some of the commands I use on a daily basis with my Echo.

  • Listen to my Spotify account. I love spotify and the music sounds great coming out of my Echo! You can also listen to your Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Tunein music as well as listen to your Audible and Amazon Kindle books!
  • To do list… If I have some tasks that I need to do and want list to show up on my phone in the Alexa app, all I have to do is ask “Alexa add “X” to my to do list” and it is done!
  • Shopping list… Just like the “To Do” list I can ask Alexa to add “X” to my shopping list and it shows up on my phone in the Alexa app.
  • Alarms… You can set up multiple alarms just by asking “Alexa set an alarm for “X:XXam” and your Echo will set an alarm! (A side note: as it stand the alarm is only good one time and you have to turn it back on each night. I would like to see the ability to set an alarm and repeat it on certain days.)
  • Timers… I have to say that this is one of my most favorite abilities of the Echo. I can start cooking something come up stairs and ask Alexa to start a timer for “X” minutes.
  • Weather… All you have to do is ask. For local you just have to ask “Alexa what is my local weather?” and she will give your current and nighttime weather. You can also ask Echo what the weather is in another city and it will answer with the weather for that city.
  • News… You can setup “Flash Briefings” and what you ask your Echo for the news it will play you the recorded news. I have NPR as my briefing and is pretty good at giving me the highlights of what is going on.
  • Control Wifi enabled household appliances, thermostats and lights. At this time I do not have any of these but hope to try it out in the near future. You can check them out here!

To find your history of what you have asked your Echo all you have to do is open up the Alexa app and you are greeted with it.  If you want to manage any of the lists, alarms, or timers just click on the menu icon on the upper right hand corner and it will open up a menu giving you the option to view or edit anything you wish on your Echo. This where you can connect your music and book accounts as well as changing your settings for the Echo.

If you do find it difficult to see what you want on your phone there is an option to allow you to access that same page from a web browser. As long as your Echo is connected to your network via your WiFi you can open the following address in your browser giving you an easier way to access the site. alexa.amazon.com

Combined with the Alexa App for my Android phone the device is very powerful indeed.

So as you can see it is more than just a speaker it actually has kept me from burning my dinner, over sleeping, and forgetting things at the grocery store!

Stay nerdy until next time!



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Posted March 1, 2016 by Richard Keen in category "Electronics", "Review", "Technology