Amazon Echo - Siri thing from Amazon because their phone bombed


#201

https://twitter.com/josephfcox/status/817725359357628416
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C1kk3VsWIAAqA8k.jpg


#202

I am guessing they’re using the word try because if it’s anything like mine, Alexa always asks me to confirm an order. At which point I would simply say… no.


#203

Do these things work well with people who have thick accents? Or do they work in other languages (German) as well?


#204

US English, UK English, and German. And Alexa tends to do OK with accents but it’s worth sitting down with her and getting used to what works best and what doesn’t. And if you find it’s just not a good fit, you should be able to return it no problem.


#205

Twitch is home to two Google Home devices debating the existence of God


#206

The consensus out of CES is that Alexa won the show. Most of the consumer-electronics companies are building support/functionality for it, and Amazon revealed that Alexa now has more than 7,000 skills.

In retrospect, it shows perhaps how much 3rd-dimensional chess Bezos is playing. I’m sure luck also played a role, but remember when Alexa came out and everyone mocked it? Especially in the wake of the Amazon Fire phone bombing spectacularly?


#207

I just noticed the Firestick 2 (Fall2016 model) has Alexa, so I’ll be upgrading my Firestick original to that. Its also a lot faster apparently.


#208

Not everyone. Prime members had a chance to pick it up for 99 dollars, which I did. I was curious and originally used it as primarily a way to access music in my library.

It’s nice they added Alexa to to the Fire TV devices, already, but I kind of hope they ditch the remote as the listening device in the future. I am wanting remoteless options for pretty much anything audio/video these days.


#209

And yet there are only about 5 that are worthwhile.


#210

Don’t knock it. These things are all about the long tail-- that’s what ultimately made the iOS appstore so successful.


#211

Oh, I’m glad there’s momentum behind it. But it is disheartening how gimmicky almost all the skills are, and how few of the genuinely useful ones are properly integrated (ie don’t require you to remember some arcane combination of words to trigger them correctly). Alexa desperately needs default skill functionality across a range of applications.


#212

Well, I agree that the syntax can be too convoluted. I don’t want to have to say “Alexa tell Harmony to pause”. I want to be able to say “Alexa pause” and have it just work. There’s room for improvement.

That doesn’t really have anything to do with how long tail many of the skills are, though, so much as how Alexa handles non built-in skills.


#213

When I first received my Alexa, she should barely do anything at all, and responded only to the exact proper wording of a command. Then month after month I would get updates that say hey audibles here and hey try this… they’ve built a lot on her in a sort period of time, without ever requiring me to buy version 2.0.


#214

The best thing is the Dot is so cheap. It’s almost throw-away money to try one.

We really only use it for a few things – alarms and timers, weather reports, and music. It’s great for that, though. It really does feel like a step ahead to have an alarm clock you can talk to and reset an alarm with your eyes still shut.


#215

Well, that may be the case for you but for me it has many useful skills. I can control my lights, my thermostat and my garage door with it as well as several plugs. It has a great catalog of music through amazon Prime that I use a lot. I also stream spotify and Pandora through it. I have a couple of good recipe/cooking skills set up. Its good for instant sports scores. I can get quick answers to lots of questions, a skill that has improved greatly over the year or so Ive owned one. I stream sleep assisting sounds like waves and thunderstorms at night. It also has a great breathing and meditation skill. Theres more but you get the point, I think. BTW do you even own one?


#216

I picked up a Wemo smart plug over the holidays on a deal… it’s not my favorite though. What do you use?


#217

I picked up a few Wemos during a sale some months back and don’t really like them. Folks on the subreddit usually recommend the TP-Link Smart Plug, but I haven’t tried that one out. (Don’t really have the need atm.)


#218

Eh…my roommate got one as a gift over the holidays. Its been completely useless. Basically the only thing he uses it for now is setting an alarm.


#219

It’s extremely easy to under utilize a electronic device. I am contemplating joining allrecipes just to see how Alexa does with giving recipes. If I have a general complaint about Echo and all the streaming devices really… it’s this obnoxious need to constantly sign up for other accounts to use the features.


#220

I own one, have for over a year and I agree with Ginger. Most of what it does it pretty pointless. I use it for the same stuff as you do, like for music (but I would really like better speakers) and to control smart devices, but I have other devices that do both things better, since its easier to set up advanced stuff with other things (like iOS Homekit or my Sonos systems). Scores, sure, but I don’t need them enough to make it a selling point, plus again, I have apps that do it better. I never just ask it questions, because 99% of the time my phone with a screen can do it better.

The Echo is neat, but I am not convinced it is anything special. I think one with a screen and stereo speakers would be a really neat kitchen device though, but really I think it needs better phone integration, which will only be possible with an Apple/Goggle device.