Amazon Echo - Siri thing from Amazon because their phone bombed


Also, caveat emptor.

The most intriguing new feature, though, is access to video and voice calls. Anyone can make or receive a call through the Show if they have the Alexa app (there’s no support for Skype as of right now), and Amazon is also unveiling a new feature called “Drop In,” which lets designated friends and family make a call at any time. The receiver then has a 10-second window to reject a Drop In call or switch it to audio-only. Amazon says it imagines this feature will only be used in a small number of scenarios — like checking in on an elderly relative.[/quote]

Don’t want to take that call? Better run, grandma!


So it’s Echo functionality with a video screen? I don’t see myself using the video much. I have no interest in video phone and I can watch Youtube videos on my iPad. Anyway, if they get it down to the price of a Dot, sure, why not? I won’t pay $200+ for it.

We like the Dot – we have three – but it really doesn’t get that much use. Some music, a timer now and then, and an alarm clock. It was cheap, though, so I feel like we got our money’s worth.


I think a screen would add a lot of functionality. It could display music info, show you options when ordering something, show recipes, etc. For me, the biggest drawback of the Echo is when I need to go into the app for more info, so I think that this would solve that and make it much more useful. Still, this doesn’t solve my other main complaint about the Echo, it needs high quality stereo speakers. Listening to music is fine and all, but I still go to my Sonos for better quality.

Looking forward to Apples half-ass attempt at a competitor.


The Apple one can’t have a worse name than the Microsoft Invoke Premium 2017 for Home edition.


If this saves me from trying to remind my parents how to use their phones, and all they had to do is dial on a central object… sold. I mean Echo is extremely easy to use. My mom listens to music every time she is over here doing something solo… and she doesn’t even own a smartphone.


I think you’re kidding, but as someone who has cared for a disabled relative who found it difficult to answer or make calls once placed into bed, this feature would have been a godsend. I long tried to set up an iPhone to do something similar, but auto-answering phone or FaceTime calls to select callers wasn’t an option. Eventually we had to settle for a Philips LifeLine panic button that could be worn as a wrist bracelet or a pendant. And it sucked, because when it was pressed in the middle of the night and I got the call, I never knew if it was an emergency, or a non-urgent but pressing need.


Not sure if anyone else enjoys the Echo, I just ordered 2 more for other rooms in the house that we are retiring really old radios from.

Amazon has a $80 off code if you buy 2, ECHO2PACK just use it at checkout.

So far I have an Echo, Dot, Fire Stick, and Fire Stick TV, so I have pretty much hitched onto the Amazon wagon.


Alexa now supports iCloud Calendar and Reminders.

Great news if you are an iOS/Mac user. Adding stuff to my grocery list through Alexa is going to be great for me. I use my watch/phone to do it now, but this will make it easier and quicker.


Although I was able to link my AppleID with an app specific password, and added a bunch of calendars, when I click on the Amazom Alexa app’s settings for Lists, I still only see AnyDo and Todoist. How will adding stuff to your grocery list work?


Haven’t had a chance to set it up yet. From the way the article talks about it, I assumed it would work like Siri does. Have a reminders list called “Grocery List” and say “Alexa add cheese to my grocery list.” Is it not that simple?

Edit: every other article only mentions calendar. I might have got my hopes up too soon. Still a step in the right direction, I’ll try it tonight.


Apple is listed under Calendars in the Amazon Alexa app under Settings. I had to go through 2FA to supply an Apple-created password. After that I specified “Apple: Shopping” as the calendar (?) to use. I added eggs to my shopping list and… bupkis. I can’t get it to work.


I’m pretty convinced the article above is incorrect and this feature does NOT work with Reminders, so there’s no syncing with shopping lists. There’s no mention of Reminders in Amazon’s announcement, just Calendar:

Starting today, you can now link your Apple iCloud Calendar to Alexa. To do this, iCloud Calendar customers can simply link their account in the settings tab in the Alexa app. Once linked, just say, “Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?” or “Alexa, add lunch with Sarah at noon to my calendar.”

iCloud Calendar support has been a top requested feature from Alexa customers, and we’re thrilled to bring this to Alexa devices in US, UK and Germany today.



I’m a huge fan of healthy paranoia too, and I have an Echo. Amazon says it only transmits what you say immediately after its keyword, and I believe them, simply because it would be pretty easy to discover they’re lying by watching network traffic and it’s in their best interest. If they started recording indiscriminately or pushed a software update allowing some government TLA to use their devices to snoop, nobody would ever trust them again.


I was hoping the link to kinja would work like a news article - oh well

Anyone tried the “Dash Wand”? (which I read as “Dish Wand” the first couple of times. I admit I was intrigued by the idea of an Alexa appliance with a soapy scrub brush on the end…)

I don’t need/want a little streaming music speaker - went the Chromecast audio route for that and am quite happy (waiting to see where/how Google Home gets developed before jumping in that direction, also). I probably wouldn’t use it a whole lot for Amazon’s intended purpose of ordering groceries. That leaves me to wonder what I would do with a Dash Wand. On the other hand, it is basically free.


Me too, but I’m a sucker for interesting new things like this, so I ordered one.


They should make it vibrate.

“Alexa, fuck me harder!”


I have a Dash hanging in my laundry cupboard from when they gave it to me free for trialling Amazon Fresh. I’ve never used it. I just can’t see a use for it. The stuff that I regularly reorder which it could be used for in principle, I already have set up on Subscribe & Save.


I was never tempted by the Dash button (though I was a bit intrigued by the fact that can (could?) be hacked to order nothing but instead count anything you wanted to keep track of over time).

The Wand has full Alexa functionality built into it.


You know what else can be “hacked” to do that? A notepad. [quote=“ron_debry, post:300, topic:75838”]
The Wand has full Alexa functionality built into it.

Great, but I have a Dot. Two, in fact.