Amazon Echo - Siri thing from Amazon because their phone bombed


Honestly, the thing I use the most is the timer. Being able to set alarms/timers and check their status without using your hands is pretty awesome. For my reef aquarium, I have to do a fair amount of chemistry tests that require steps to last a certain amount of time. This has worked out awesome for that purpose.

Otherwise, the things I use the most are weather and “flash news report” which gives a nice summary of headlines in my chosen topics. The kids can’t get enough of asking Alexa to play songs or “tell me a joke.”

For $99, I feel like I got a pretty good deal. $180 I’m not so sure about.


Is it the exact same hardware they were selling for $99?

A lot of people say they love it for quick ordering of random things they notice they need while the kitchen. Amazon should subsidize the heck of it.


$180? Nope.


Enter Wakko, Yakko and Dot. Oops: Tap and Dot.

Tap = Smaller and portable (Echo has no battery). Apparently doesn’t listen - you push a button to activate voice controls. I don’t see anywhere that you must also have an Echo for it to function.

Dot = huh? Voice recognition without any speakers. Maybe a Chromecast audio with voice recognition?

Tap = $130, Dot = $90. Nope. and Nope.


The Tap seems vaguely interesting (but not at that price point), but I don’t get the Dot.

I love my Echo, but I haven’t felt a huge need to move it and losing the always listening is a big deal.


The dot is something that is sorely needed for the echo, which is great but would be much better if you could activate it from more than just one room.

But $90 is far too expensive.


I can see the Dot being the bedroom unit and the Echo still being our living room/kitchen one.


Unless you can hear the Echo from the bedroom, you still need a speaker to plug the dot into. If you do have a speaker, can it play the same thing in both places and do they let you play with the synch to account for any latency (like the Chromecast audio does)?


The dot does actually have speakers, they’re just tiny. It’s meant to be plugged into larger speakers (or play there via bluetooth).


My main use for a dot would be to add code control to my home automation system around the house.

But again, not at that price.


Timex, what does code control mean in the context of home automation?


It means that the autocorrect on my tablet screwed up the word.

That post should read:
My main use for a dot would be to add voice control to my home automation system around the house.

I have a Wink system (which, by the way, is really awesome and the best automation system I’ve found to date), and it has the potential to integrate with an Amazon echo.

I have a bunch of crap setup to do stuff like turn on/off lights, dim them, etc.

It’d be really nice to have the Amazon area mics all over the place, allowing me to just control everything with my voice. But if I were to get an Echo, it’d only work in one room, which is less than ideal… and I’m not gonna pay $90 per room for it.

But eventually, I think it’s gonna get there.


Still love my echo. It’s certainly located in the house… does everything I want it to do. These other items don’t seem that useful for me, yet.


Curious for those of you with Echos - what is it you like about them? What’s your common use case that makes you glad you have the thing?


I don’t have an Echo, but I got one for my parents… I’m almost at the point of getting one.

They are, in absolutely nothing else, a really awesome voice activated wireless, internet-connected speaker. I was amazed at how good the sound was, and how well the microphone worked.

There’s a lot more potential there that I feel is yet untapped… But I don’t think anyone’s written a really solid killer app for it.


Timers, music, weather/news, general questions, but without using my phone for Google Now.

Yea, it sounds stupid, but when I’m washing the dishes and want to change the playlist, or cooking something and need to set a timer, or at the door and now sure if I need an umbrella, I just ask.

Now with Nest integration, I can just yell at it to change my thermostat rather than interrupt whatever game I was playing.


In addition to the stuff Thierry mentioned (particularly the timer), we use it for the shopping list feature, a lot. Ours is in our open kitchen/living room area, and we’re constantly using it to update or family shopping list. Also, the kids use it define words when they’re doing homework.


Hehe, doncha hate that?

I am intrigued by home automation, but also a little scared that a system like that would need a lot of my attention in a house where I’m the only tech. I’m already maintaining three Macs, two PCs, and a few phones, routers, and a printer. Sheesh, enough! Open a ticket and I’ll send you an automated response!


The wink system is pretty low maintenance, at least for me. I just use it for lighting. It can do lots of other stuff but I haven’t had a need yet.


Well I am a Prime member so streaming music on it is very easy. I use it as a timer. I have a pre-recorded track for one of the games I play that I used it for. It’s like having a voice controlled Wikipedia in the living room. During Christmas my dad started talking about some old group of his he enjoyed, so I asked Alexa to play the group… and it was right there on Prime. I ask about the forecast. It’s also a useful clock for a variety of times, just tell it the city. My nephew loves to ask it questions although she does have a hard time understanding the way children ask questions.

It generally a nice device to have that you and your guests can use easily. For people that are really, really into music though, it’s probably lacking.

My family members use Spotify and I hear Audibles works well on it now too if you are into those two services.