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Echo/Alexa OT

BigWeather

Member
Nov 4, 2017
701
Hoping we see the $30 for the Dot / $80 for the normal soon again. Got my first Dot over Christmas and immediately wanted to order another but was going out of town and didn't want it sitting in the frigid temperatures for days. Once I got back, however, the sale was over. Thinking I'll go with a normal in bedroom, move that Dot into the kitchen (useful for timers and conversions), and put a Dot downstairs to drive my entertainment system.
 

exodus

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,694
Just got my SO an Echo for Christmas. $100 Canadian was really reasonable. Really regret not getting a second one now that I've had a chance to play with it.

Of course, the Canadian version is a bit neutered at the moment, but I have hopes that it will improve over time.

What has really surprised me so far is the sound quality of the speaker. That should teach me not to listen to reviews when it comes to audio gear. The midrange is absolutely fantastic, it's not overly sibilant, and the bass comes through very nice and clear. Honestly, tonally, I find it even more pleasing than my UE Boom 2. I feel like it's much more suited to audiophile ears than many of the more popular speaker brands out there that tend to overemphasize bass and treble.
 
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Somnid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,708
Amazon announced their new Alexa mobile accessory SDK: https://developer.amazon.com/blogs/alexa/post/564685cf-0b1b-4fe4-824e-2ce1e88e3e78/amazon-alexa-mobile-accessories-a-new-alexa-enabled-product-category-with-dev-tools-coming-soon

It's being piloted with a few partners right (Bose, Jabra, iHome, etc) now but it's to get Alexa integration into headphones, watches, smartglasses and other bluetooth accessories.

Also on that note, it was soft announced that Vuzix will be making the first set of smartglasses with Alexa built-in: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-05/first-amazon-alexa-enabled-digital-glasses-to-be-shown-at-ces
 
Oct 29, 2017
669
Set up my Echo Spot a couple days ago. It is a neat addition to my nightstand. At night, the light sensor makes it so that the face gives off the faintest of glow, still making it easy to read in the dark but not glowing like a flashlight. Then during the day it is bright. The alarm will start off at a low volume and then gradually get louder so that is cool. And when I wake up I have it show me the CNN Flash Briefing which is about 2 minutes of video (you can have it zoomed in to fill the circle, or letterboxed). I think it's neat that it cycles between the clock, Alexa tips, trending topics, and the weather. And also neat that when you ask Alexa a question, it also shows up in text. Now I have an Echo in every room (OG in the family room, Dot in the computer room, Dot in the guest room, and Spot in the master bedroom). it is fun to be able to ask out loud any question you have no matter what room you're in.















 
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raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,960
Quick question, since I skimmed a few pages back but didn't see anything.

Anyone successfully have the routines working? Or are they just screwed up? Lighting, dimming etc functions work fine when I set a routine, but she never does anything but that. For example, right now I have a morning routine set to go:

"Alexa, good morning".

..and she's supposed to say whatever greeting I had set, turn on my bedroom lamps, turn on the kitchen lights, then tell me weather, calendar, traffic and news briefings. At the moment, the lighting works but the greeting, weather etc doesn't activate. Currently, I still have to do those individually.
 

GAMEPROFF

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,907
Germany
Works for me just fine, but the only turns one group of lights off, tells me the current weather and how the traffic is. Maybe your routine has to many tasks?
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,960
Works for me just fine, but the only turns one group of lights off, tells me the current weather and how the traffic is. Maybe your routine has to many tasks?
Interesting solution. I'll try a bit later and edit them down to two different routines. I'll try setting it up like..

"Good morning":
Greeting > bedroom lamps > weather.

"Start my day":
Kitchen lights > traffic > news briefing.

Worst case scenario, I'll have to call or set up a chat with Amazon. I already emailed them, but they replied saying it's better to determine via one of those options.
 

GAMEPROFF

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,907
Germany
Routines are pretty amazing. I would love some more flexibility with them, like the option to add one single Newssource to the routine, not the whole Newsflash. I have rougly 15 minutes of content on my briefing, but I would like to have one single of these added to my "Good morning" routine.
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,960
Figured out the issue with my morning routines. Turns out it doesn't matter how many things you give her to do per command. Unlike any other command you give her, the routines only work for that specific time you set it to. So you actually have to start the command at, lets say, 9am instead of just initiating it like everything else. Pretty damn stupid on their part.

They should at least give you a time window you can set. Like if I say "good morning" at any point between 6am to 11:59am or whatever I set it to, it would start the routine.
 

Guppeth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,550
Sheffield, UK
Figured out the issue with my morning routines. Turns out it doesn't matter how many things you give her to do per command. Unlike any other command you give her, the routines only work for that specific time you set it to. So you actually have to start the command at, lets say, 9am instead of just initiating it like everything else. Pretty damn stupid on their part.

They should at least give you a time window you can set. Like if I say "good morning" at any point between 6am to 11:59am or whatever I set it to, it would start the routine.
Can't you make a routine without setting a time? None of my routines are time sensitive.
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,960
I cant decide between the echo and google home or the HomePod from apple when its released
Can't comment on Apple stuff, but the advantage Home has over Echo is that it's better for stuff you would do via a google search. More facts, results etc. It's also a better for follow up questions. Lets say you ask "who is person X?", then your next statement is "when was he/she born?" Home would remember who you're talking about and give the answer, while with Echo you would need to ask "when was person X born?" instead.

Can't you make a routine without setting a time? None of my routines are time sensitive.
That's how I had it set initially. I figured if I didn't set a time it'd just activate like anything else, but like I said, with that in place it'd do the lighting but nothing else.

When I set the time, and say it at said time, everything goes through as set.
 
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Somnid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,708
Isn't it either/or? That is, you give a command or time, not both.

Alexa can also do follow up questions. It is more limited but raYne_07's examples will work.
 
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Guppeth

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,550
Sheffield, UK
That's how I had it set initially. I figured if I didn't set a time it'd just activate like anything else, but like I said, with that in place it'd do the lighting but nothing else.

When I set the time, and say it at said time, everything goes through as set.
I just made a new routine called 'good morning' that turns on a light and reads a weather report. It all works, and the time doesn't matter. It sounds like you've run into a bug.
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,960
Fixed it! I have an Echo Show and an Echo in close-ish proximity to each other. So I had to go back into Routines and set the interaction feedback to one or the other. I previously had it set to whatever device I talking to. So now, regardless of which device I use, the routine command comes through "Echo" (Echo) all the time even if I initiate it with "Alexa" (the Echo Show).

Loving the personal greetings, goodbyes, wake and sleep responses you can set via routines too. Gives her a lot more personality.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
15,300
I am super impressed by pairing two shows with my elderly in-laws. Great emergency tool with drop in and I had no idea the calling functionality was so integrated and smooth. Imagine my surprise when my daughter started randomly calling people from my iPhone contacts, and how seamless the video calls to the app were?
I never deliberately merged my contacts either so whatever I pressed in setup was super easy.
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,960
I am super impressed by pairing two shows with my elderly in-laws. Great emergency tool with drop in and I had no idea the calling functionality was so integrated and smooth. Imagine my surprise when my daughter started randomly calling people from my iPhone contacts, and how seamless the video calls to the app were?
I never deliberately merged my contacts either so whatever I pressed in setup was super easy.
Drop in, phone calls and video calling were the first things I tried when I got mine. Very easy to use. Don't use them as often as other features but I'm glad that they're there. Same with texting.
 

Darknight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,684
Does anyone know if the Echo Show is supposed to work with the Echo Spatial Perception? That's the functionality that determines which Echo is the closest to you and only uses that one when you're talking to it. I've noticed the Echo Show is getting triggered all the time regardless if it's the closest or not, or when it is, other Echos will still get triggered in the distance. It's like it has no concept that the Echo Show is one of my Echo devices.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
15,300
Does anyone know if the Echo Show is supposed to work with the Echo Spatial Perception? That's the functionality that determines which Echo is the closest to you and only uses that one when you're talking to it. I've noticed the Echo Show is getting triggered all the time regardless if it's the closest or not, or when it is, other Echos will still get triggered in the distance. It's like it has no concept that the Echo Show is one of my Echo devices.
It definitely uses the same system. I have the reverse issue though. I'll talk to the Show and my OG Echo responds. Remember that reflected sound can be more direct than directed sound. That is, a wall might be pinging audio "glare" at the other Echo.
 

Darknight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,684
It definitely uses the same system. I have the reverse issue though. I'll talk to the Show and my OG Echo responds. Remember that reflected sound can be more direct than directed sound. That is, a wall might be pinging audio "glare" at the other Echo.
It's not that the wrong one is responding; it's that the Show is responding on top of another Echo responding. So it ends up that two are doing things and sometimes as a result they're doing two different things. I've never had this problem with any of the other Echos in the house. I would think if the ESP was working with the Show, only one device would be responding and not two. I wonder how this can be fixed.
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,960
You guys could always just change the wake word for one or more of the units.

I have my Echo set to wake with "echo" and my Show set to wake with "Alexa". That way there's no confusion. Added bonus, since you're in there you could always change one of the units audio language. One of mine is set to American English, while the other has a UK/English accent.

Still waiting on my "Jarvis" wake word with Paul Bettany voiceover. Make it so, Amazon.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
15,300
You guys could always just change the wake word for one or more of the units.

I have my Echo set to wake with "echo" and my Show set to wake with "Alexa". That way there's no confusion. Added bonus, since you're in there you could always change one of the units audio language. One of mine is set to American English, while the other has a UK/English accent.

Still waiting on my "Jarvis" wake word with Paul Bettany voiceover. Make it so, Amazon.
But then how could I do this?

 

ManaByte

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
11,087
Southern California
You guys could always just change the wake word for one or more of the units.

I have my Echo set to wake with "echo" and my Show set to wake with "Alexa". That way there's no confusion. Added bonus, since you're in there you could always change one of the units audio language. One of mine is set to American English, while the other has a UK/English accent.

Still waiting on my "Jarvis" wake word with Paul Bettany voiceover. Make it so, Amazon.
I want them to use the Star Trek computer voice.

Before Majel died, Rod Roddenberry said they recorded her entire voice phonetically and offered it to Apple as an alternate Siri voice. Since Apple isn't using it, Amazon should.
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,960
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Darknight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,684
Figured out my problem with the Echo Show. I hope Amazon fixes this in the future because it's not totally intuitive. Here's what went wrong.

So I have 4 Echo Dots, and 1 Echo and they're all registered to me. My wife and I are registered as a family on Amazon so you can switch profiles on the Echos. My wife bought me the Echo Show so it automatically registered it on her account but I could see it under the list of my devices in the Alexa app and on alexa.amazon.com in the browser. It also worked perfect with all our services and everything and just worked out of the box once you input the WiFi info at the setup. That said, ESP only works on devices on the same account so because hers was registered on her account, despite her being a family member in their accounts, it didn't work with the rest of the Echos when it came to ESP.

So the solution was to factory reset it and register it under my Amazon account and now everything works fine. That seems like a pretty big oversight by Amazon. It makes me wonder what other functionality wouldn't work because of that.
 

ManaByte

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
11,087
Southern California
Figured out my problem with the Echo Show. I hope Amazon fixes this in the future because it's not totally intuitive. Here's what went wrong.

So I have 4 Echo Dots, and 1 Echo and they're all registered to me. My wife and I are registered as a family on Amazon so you can switch profiles on the Echos. My wife bought me the Echo Show so it automatically registered it on her account but I could see it under the list of my devices in the Alexa app and on alexa.amazon.com in the browser. It also worked perfect with all our services and everything and just worked out of the box once you input the WiFi info at the setup. That said, ESP only works on devices on the same account so because hers was registered on her account, despite her being a family member in their accounts, it didn't work with the rest of the Echos when it came to ESP.

So the solution was to factory reset it and register it under my Amazon account and now everything works fine. That seems like a pretty big oversight by Amazon. It makes me wonder what other functionality wouldn't work because of that.
Kindles work the same. If you order a Kindle and they ship it registered to your account you need to reset it to assign it to a different account.
 

Darknight

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,684
Kindles work the same. If you order a Kindle and they ship it registered to your account you need to reset it to assign it to a different account.
Oh I'm fully aware that they do that and it was tied to her account during setup. That wasn't really the issue. The issue is the fact that just about everything worked when I set it up except ESP. The fact that it was showing up in the list of devices under my account when looking up the Alexa settings which was because she's a family member also made it seem like everything was good. So it seems like a weird issue that ESP only works on devices registered to the same account despite the device showing up in the list of Echo devices on Alexa. Like how would one know that they all need to be on the same account when everything else is working?
 
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Somnid

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,708
Since someone mentioned it, there's another $80 sale on the 2nd gen Echo for Prime members. Runs through the 18th.
 

BigWeather

Member
Nov 4, 2017
701
Since someone mentioned it, there's another $80 sale on the 2nd gen Echo for Prime members. Runs through the 18th.
Additionally, the Dot is on sale for $40 (from a normal $50) for Prime. While not as good as the $30 over the holidays it isn't bad. Very tempted to pick up an additional Dot and either the 2nd gen Echo or the Plus (which isn't discounted at the moment). Eventually I'd like to do some smart home stuff (mainly turning on and off lights), should I jump on the Plus or better just to get the 2nd gen Echo and buy a hub that is external at a later date?
 
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ry-dog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,031
Is there much point in getting one if I live outside the US? Everything minus buying things off amazon through it should work, right?
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
15,300
Prime Video and YouTube if you have an echo show which in my opinion is the best kitchen gadget ever made for serious or hobbyist cooks but Spotify is a decent substitute for Amazon music and all the home automation and skills should work if you aren't worried about region locked services.
 

hamarr

Self-requested ban
Banned
Oct 26, 2017
139
Additionally, the Dot is on sale for $40 (from a normal $50) for Prime. While not as good as the $30 over the holidays it isn't bad. Very tempted to pick up an additional Dot and either the 2nd gen Echo or the Plus (which isn't discounted at the moment). Eventually I'd like to do some smart home stuff (mainly turning on and off lights), should I jump on the Plus or better just to get the 2nd gen Echo and buy a hub that is external at a later date?
Have the original Echo at home. I'm tempted to pick up a Dot for use on the go, but I'm not sure how feasible it is. I've been using my Echo a lot for reading my Kindle books while doing other things. Alexa is much easier to listen to than the other Push to talk I have tried. I want to be able to listen to books at work using a dot, but I'm not sure how much of a pain that would be or if I could maybe do the same thing with a Kindle fire with Alexa as long as it is hooked up to a wifi network. I have a 5th gen 7" Fire tablet.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
15,300
Rab C. Nesbitt please.

"Gonnae git up ye lazy radge?"

Also Emperor Palpatine.

"Oh I'm afraid your alarm will be quite operational when 7am arrives."