Well despite my child comment, I’ve had problems with her too. I find Alexa deals to be pretty hellish especially. It just won’t give them to me if i don’t ask properly, and when I do get her to order something I always have to check to see if she did it right because I don’t feel she did. As a prime member, I better review that order quick too before she ships it. I guess the Alexa with a screen they’re talking about can help with that.
On the other hand, I am always impressed how she can hear me in a noisy room. It does better when the music is coming from the Echo itself, as compared to another sound device playing music, but it’s pretty damn good at hearing you.
I also think she is better than Siri at understanding my voice (I know the bar isn’t very high).
Is there a way to see Alexa-only deals online before ordering via my Dot? I think I want a second Dot and I’d love to get the $40 price again. Maybe it’s available via voice-ordering with Alexa?
I cant post the link as this forum seems to mangle the URL of that page but if you go to Amazon’s cyber Monday page, on the left hand navigation, you’ll see quick links and Alexa Deals is at the bottom. No Dots on there at the moment though.
For those of you having issues with Alexa understanding you, there is an area in the Alexa app that asks you if Alexa responded to your request correctly. From what I understand, this helps train Alexa to respond better to your requests. I think it works as I had issues with a particular Pandora station where Alexa would not respond properly. After several tries, followed up by letting the app know she was not responding correctly, Alexa started getting it right. So it looks like you can train your echo.
I just added a Dot to my Echo collection ( I have the Echo and the Tap as well ). I wanted voice command in my bedroom and Dots were on sale last week. I bought a 2 pack from staples for around $70 so they were roughly $35 each. Im gifting one of them. Thats a fantastic price for what these things are capable of.
A simple solution for sound output is computer speakers, if you have an old pair lying around. I had some Bose computer speakers that I hooked up to the Dot and I get pretty good sound from them. I use the Echo stuff for home automation as well through my Smartthings hub and have voice control for most of the lighting in my home as well as my thermostat and several outlets. I also have my garage door opener on voice command. Its very convenient. Since I have Amazon Prime, I have access to a huge music library and if that gets old, I fall back on Pandora. I am totally sold on the echo system. When you use its many abilities, it really does make life easier.
Yeah you can find most the Alexa Deals under Today’s deals along with what phrase to use to order it. It just seems… pointless. You can ask her for Today’s deals too but I think she only read me one when I found a dozen online.
Speaking of external speakers for the Dot, I found these for JBL speakers $17.99 They cost $60 at amazon. The reviews are hot and miss but most of the bad reviews are there due to the $60 price tag. For $18 I think they are worth a shot.
Still using it for music and alarms/timers, couldn’t be happier. I ended up picking up a second Echo for the bedroom instead of buying a Dot. No need to put another speaker in there and hassle with cords and bluetooth. One device, one cable, no problems. Needless to say, I’m totally fine with the Echo’s built-in speaker, but then I’m not really much of an audiophile.
Man, the luxury of being able to groggily tell Alexa to shut off the alarm, start some music and ease on the lights in the morning is incredibly liberating.
Trying my damned best to add those to a cart and purchase. I think their site is hosed right now.
Amazon AI (new platform) was announced this morning (GeekWire, TechCrunch). First three services are Lex (Alexa’s AI), Polly (Alexa’s text-to-speech engine) and Rekognition (general image recognition). Really looking forward to seeing what people start coming up with.
I received an Echo for.h.birthfay in October from my partner, but I thought it was an expensive piece of junk, so I sent it back! We now have a dot. Whilst it’s still a piece of junk, at least it was inexpensive.
One thing that really bothers me is I can’t label timers. If I have more than one timer, how am I meant to know what it’s for?
Has that actually been a problem? I set a couple timers yesterday evening, one is either longer than the other or set before the other. It was pretty obvious what timer was what. How many timers are you setting where it’s getting confusing?
Is there a way to set up a to-do list and have it tell you what’s on the list?
I like it but it’s limited. Still, for $50 (or the $40 I paid on Black Friday) it’s very nice for what it can do. It’s great as an alarm, as a kitchen timer, and for music. It’s also pretty handy for a shopping list coupled with the phone app. I haven’t found any other use for it so far.
Speaking of shopping lists, is there a way to talk to it and get it to delete the list? The charm of it is using the voice commands. When I have to fall back to interacting with it via the app it’s just like any other software utility.
You can say, “Add [item] to my Shopping List.” or “Put [task] on my To-do List.” and it does a decent job. Works better with simpler lists (i.e. single hierarchies). Reviewing is as simple as asking what’s on them. And I haven’t tried this out, but there are varying degrees of integration with third-party services such as Any.do and Todoist.
You can’t actually delete anything via voice commands, probably because of the potentially catastrophic consequences of accidental misinterpretation. You can remove individual items from a list and mark a list as complete, though.
We have a dumb timer in the kitchen, but it has 4 different timer channels built in. It is really common that we have one timer for something in the oven and another for something on the stove, but it isn’t unheard of that we have the 3rd or even 4th timers going for anything from more cooking to turning off the lawn sprinkler or taking that emergency diet coke out of the freezer before it explodes. It is also very common that the one who set a timer is not the one in the kitchen when it goes off, so there’s a lot of yelling across the house “what is that timer for?”.
If I were to have paid $150 for a cloud-based computer timer with voice recognition, why can’t it let you name a timer? Could it be that hard for them to program it so you can say “Alexa set timer to 15 minutes timer name equals biscuits”, and then have the Echo tell you that the ‘biscuits’ timer is the one going off?
This is a great idea. You can send feedback to the Alexa team via the app’s feedback section. I just sent that very suggestion to them, you should, too.
I suppose I would, but I returned our Echo last year after trying it out for a week or two.
It’s been a problem multiple times! Like @ron_debry says, the main problem is with overlapping timers from multiple people. A timer’s just gone off, and another one has 15 minutes left. Which one was “take the chicken out of the oven” and which one was “the tumble dryer in the garage has finished” ? Not disastrous, but my google phone can put a label on timers and reminders, so why can’t this? (Infact I don’t think you can even set a reminder, only a timer?)
That makes sense! Seems like it would be pretty trivial to add something like that, from a tech perspective. Hopefully they get something like that in place, I can see how it’d be needed in the situations you describe.
Alex’s “Open the Magic Door” skill is interesting. I am not sure I like her talking that long though. I want voice actors, like real ones.