Amazon Echo - Siri thing from Amazon because their phone bombed


Ours will interrupt us once in awhile because it thinks we have summoned it, but we’ve never had a 5 am wakeup. The crazy laugh is just the cherry on top. At least you got a good story out of it!

I even tried to get my Dot to give me a crazy laugh after I read the Qt3 post. It wouldn’t do it. I think it finally tried to play some song called “Crazy Laugh” or something.


Question for those of you who have Hue lights that you use with your Echos: is the Hue Alexa skill necessary if you’re using the Hue hub? I can’t remember if I have that skill enabled because I briefly flirted with making my Echo Plus the hub, which ultimately failed. Maybe I forgot to remove the skill after making the switch back to the normal Hue hub.

I ask mainly because Alexa has trouble sometimes recognizing new lights by the correct names/group names without troubleshooting, especially when their names are changed and they’re moved to different groups, etc. Also happened to notice multiple instances of certain lights in the Alexa app, which pop up again sometimes even after I clean things up.


The skill is not necessary when you are using the Hue hub. That said, if you have color lights it will not recognize them as color lights without the skill installed. I didn’t have it installed and couldn’t figure out why my Echo was saying they were not color bulbs. Installed the skill and it recognized them as having colors.

Over the last 6 months or so it seems like my Echos are much less reliable with my Hue bulbs and Wemo stuff (especially the latter). It will say a light isn’t available when it is in every other app and I am getting a lot of misunderstood commands. I will say turn off one light and it will turn off all of them. My Wemo stuff sometimes take multiple tries before it will work.

On the other hand, Siri is much more solid with both devices, so it isn’t Hue or Wemo that is causing problems, its something with the Echos.


Yup, seeing this as well, but figured it was another symptom of having the Hue skill when I didn’t need it. Although I guess I do need it, because I have a couple of color bulbs and several color strips.


The reason I bought the Echo Plus was because I thought the hub will work with the Hue lights without needing the Hue hubs. That’s just too many hubs in my setup currently (I have two Blinks hub), so I really don’t want to add a Hue hub if I can help it. My hopes are dashed. So, Echo Plus hub is totally useless then??


You might be able to have the Echo Plus do basic things with your lights, if you’re luckier than I was and manage to get it working. But the Hue Bridge has several features the Plus lacks that you might want.

When I was wrestling with it some time back, I gave up during the setup process when the website refused to recognize the hub functionality in the Echo Plus and wanted me to use my Hue Bridge’s hub instead.


This was mentioned earlier. The Echo Plus doesn’t really function as a true hub replacement, like it is but you can’t do everything which makes it not really a replacement hub. I have no idea if Amazon intends to address that or not. It’s hard to say. When I got my Echo gen 1 and the Fire TV Cube, they barely did anything at all. Years for the Echo and several months later for the Cube, it’s a lot better.

Amazon has a habit of improving their smart devices, drastically but as I said earlier, they are completely misrepresenting this as a replacement hub.


Couldn’t agree more. Their product changes and enhancements tend to be all over the place. I feel like I learned my lesson from the Hue hub functionality misfire and the Fire TV Cube, and will be proceeding with more caution with their new products in the future. Although I’m still optimistic that some of the upcoming products might fit my needs well. Currently still eyeing the Echo Input and the Echo Wall Clock.


This actually works pretty well now. I was harsh against it at release, criticized the complete fallacy that was behind the marketing of not needing a remote to use it. It’s closer to that reality, to the point where they’re at least addressing third party apps with that function but the reality is… Amazon isn’t the new kid on the block pitching some funky devices only to Prime members and geeks anymore. They need to stop selling products in Alpha state and hoping all the buyers will help them iron it out. And they need to do that because their competitors have caught on and are right behind them. Since I think most are still behind them… they are still kind of getting away with it but you can already see with the reviews that the “gift” the Echo got, of just happily surprised reviews is largely gone.

the Fire TV Cube is still not able to handle the fact that TVs will actually go to sleep due to lack of use which is… kind of crazy.


My parents got one and they got ridiculously angry and frustrated with it. So it works well now? Too bad Amazon blew their first impression.


It works a lot better now, like light and day compared to the first day I got it and set it up. It was incredibly frustrating out of the box. I even had the RMA to return it when I changed my mind and kept it.


Because Amazon doesn’t have enough of my information, now I should give it access to my email? Of course, I use GMail so I have no privacy anyway.


About 50% of the time Alexa can’t understand me saying Master Bedroom. I feel like this would be an exercise in frustration to try and do e-mail with her.


I have a very good impression with Alexa. I don’t live in US and so I speak English with a “foreign” accent and Alexa understand me and my two children very well - I dare say 90% accuracy. You can tell from the Alexa app how well it translate speech to text. The problem usually lies with Spotify. For instance, the kids will say “play two thousand and twelve by Ann Marie”. Alexa app got it write because it shows the exact words utter but Spotify always fail to find the songs. I blame Spotify for this.


The problem with Alex is she is literal. So when I say Master Bedroom Light and she says I can’t find Bastard Bedroom light it’s frustrating… especially since she only really controls one light to begin with. Google has some sort of interpretation going on… like it might hear one thing but can assume another. It’s just noticeably better. I think Google knows there is not a Bastard Bedroom, like logically, and Alex just hears a B.


Check the status of some Ring, ADT, Honeywell, Abode, and Scout security systems just by asking Alexa to do so:

  • Alexa, arm Ring
  • Alexa, set Ring to Home / Away
  • Alexa, is Ring armed?
  • Alexa, disarm Ring (optional so burglars don’t just… yell since there’s zero voice recognition in Alexa unlike Google home.)


She does have difficulty understanding some words. So just rename them. Change it to “bed light” and it’ll work 100% of the time.


If I have to rename my stuff for it to work, they failed. Anyway, I can just use Siri who gets them right, or at the very least doesn’t turn everything off when it misunderstands me. I have a “bed reading light” that Alexa thinks I said “bedroom” 50% of the time and turns on/off the bedroom lights. I have a “floor lamp” that it often thinks I said “all lamps”, or something, and turns on/off everything.

Alexa has continued to get worse over the past year for my uses. Siri keeps getting better, so I just use my Apple stuff for voice controls now.


Yeah seriously. The light is in the Master Bedroom, so it’s called Master Bedroom light. I can start giving my lights and electronics Avatar names and personalities or Amazon can actually focus in on this area. It’s not learning, and it can’t interpret. The point is, the others seem to be able to do that just fine. This is a weakness for Alexa that they can actually address.

There is no way I am going to use her to make e-mails when she can’t figure out three words and, to top it off, I only have one smart light at the moment. She should be able to figure out which one it is.


You can use the Group functionality to solve all these problems. If you create a Group that is all the items in the room (assuming at least one light and one Alexa enabled device, let’s say an Echo Dot for this example), then when you are in the room, you just need to say “Alexa, turn off the lights,” and it will turn off all the lights in the same room grouping as the Dot. So it gets rid of all the need to say the specific room unless you want to command a light in a different room than the one in which you are located when speaking to an Echo.

I hope I explained this properly, but it’s awesome.

You can also do something similar with music playback if you have a mixed Sonos / Echo environment, so I no longer need to say “Alexa, play songs by Grimes from Spotify on the Kitchen Sonos”. My “Kitchen” group includes a Sonos speaker, and I’ve chosen it for the “Preferred Speaker” of the group. Now I can say, “Alexa, play songs by Grimes” and because Spotify is my default music services, and the Sonos:1 my preferred speaker, and I’m nearest the Echo Dot in the Kitchen… boom.