It’s a great gadget which is capable of doing a surprising amount.
However, overall it would have to be said that the Amazon Echo provides the most sophisticated system.
The more expert smart home users will probably be reading this, thinking that there’s a fix or a tweak out there for these issues, maybe using a Raspberry Pi. But first, you have to set it up.
You’ll find these at the top of the main Home section of the app, but if you swipe right on the screen you’ll see the main menu and the Things to Try sub-section. Try to guess the word on Alexa’s “card” based on clues, just like you do IRL. Add in the MySomm skill and it turns Alexa into Wine Gal, your personal wine sommelier that can give you wine recommendations for your meals. Yes, you can hack together local solutions, but they’ll always be kludgier.
One of the Echo’s main features is playing music. Of course, Amazon and Google work with their own music services, too. Amazon’s being naughty, not nice, but you can deal.
Did you unwrap a new Alexa or Google Home device this week? You can also charge the Megablast through the microUSB port that’s concealed under a rubber flap next to the 1/4 tripod thread.
The Echo Show is the best-sounding, loudest and most direct Echo device yet. It would require me to shout out and that can get awkward, especially requesting the Amazon Echo Plus to play you a song. First, make sure you’ve named your Echo.
There are a couple of things the Echo Show can do that other Echo devices cannot for obvious reasons. A smaller, dot-shaped button is used to interact with Alexa or activate the Bluetooth connection, and when you press the button at the same time as the volume down button, it mutes the mic. Open the app and select Settings from the left hand panel and then “set up a new device”. There are two: Shopping and To-do. Just say, “Alexa set an alarm to “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar at 6am”.
The Alexa sales range was among a barrage of factoids Amazon released on its activities during the holiday shopping frenzy.
For buyers on Amazon Prime, it’s important to hustle up on the purchase decision to take advantage of the free same-day delivery offer, which is governed by a cut-off date and applied on select cities in the United States. If you’ve wired your home to use smart lights such as Philips Hue, you can control them using your voice.
To customise the Flash Briefing, go to Settings Flash Briefing.
But once the fancy new gadget is out of the box, getting it set up correctly is crucial to making the most of your smart home hub. That’s a real shame, as sometimes it’s just easier to use a switch than it is to use your voice or an app. In addition to good audio, the 7-microphone array on the Echo Plus brings with it the ability to recognize voice commands from any location around the speaker with spatial awareness.
Load your contacts (don’t forget your own number!) into Alexa and the next time you have to call your mom, you can do it hands-free. All you need to do is say, “Alexa, call [name of your contact or device]” and it fires up.
Alexa, for instance, can read Kindle e-books in her computer-generated voice.
For more details see our guide to Alexa messaging and calling. Sony followed up with its slightly less good Google Assistant-powered LF-S50G, with Panasonic joining in with the SC-GA10. But that’s really not true. Taking a look at the most popular apps on the App Store, the Alexa app for the Amazon Echo occupies the top spot. After that, enable the skill, and say, “Alexa, tell a bedtime story to Anthony”. You can also get the latest sports scores or even play trivia games.