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Amazon Echo (no invite questions)


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Showing 1-25 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 21, 2014, 7:50:28 PM PST
Whorn32 says:
This is a new thread on Echo that doesn't include people asking how people got invites. This is preferably for Echo owners.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014, 8:42:26 PM PST
insideoutmom says:
I would love to know what other echo owners think of it.

I am amazed at how quickly Alexa responds to questions, and pleasantly surprised with the range of questions she can answer. She seems to have a sense of humor that makes it fun to ask random questions to. The speaker is very good for listening to music. (I now take advantage of prime music because of it.) Alexa`s ability to find music inquiries through prime music, my music, and iheartradio is amazingly quick and accurate. I love that I can listen to audio books thanks to the Bluetooth connectivity. My kids have also discovered it is great for helping with homework. Alexa can define words and do basic math. I think the price I paid is extremely reasonable for everything the echo does.

Things I wish it could do: I wish it could read back my shopping and to do list. It would also be great if it could record a memo. I'm also a bit hesitant about the app. You need the app to get the most out of the echo, but it stores everything you ask...this has its pros and cons.

Overall this is a product I didn't realize I needed until I got it. Now I don't want to be without it. Amazon has something amazing here!! The wonderful thing is the echo can only get better as Alexa learns.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014, 9:19:36 PM PST
How did you get it to play your audible books? Is there a specific command

Posted on Nov 21, 2014, 9:39:21 PM PST
Jerri says:
I just set mine up and I love it. Set up is very easy. Alexa's understanding has been about 90-95%. She might not be able to answer every question, but if you phrase the question carefully and it is fact based she usually comes up with an answer. If she does not know the answer she tells you. I loved it when she told me she was best with factual questions when I asked her about her favorite holiday. A couple of times when she did not know the answer I rephrased the question and then I got the answer. I had to repeat olive tapenade as an "add to my shopping list" 3 times before she got it, but she did get it. If she can't tell you the answer she will trigger a note for a Bing search in the app.

I have been playing my Amazon music and she is dead on accurate with finding songs and artists. The speaker is very good with plenty of volume. I was able to play a song (not a freebie Prime song) that I was able to buy. She quoted the price and confirmed that I wanted to buy. Love the timer since Echo is currently living in our kitchen. My husband loves that he can instantly turn on sports radio by just asking.

Echo is a work in progress. For example, while she can add items to my shopping list, she cannot delete them. You need to go into the app and manually delete them. The app keeps a transcript of every question. It allows you to provide feedback as to whether Alexa understood your question. You then can delete the question or keep it if you want to follow up on something.

I have not tried the Bluetooth connection yet since I have only been playing with this for a couple of hours. I will save that for tomorrow.

I agree with insideoutmom - this is just an amazing device and it will only get better. So cool and so fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2014, 10:24:14 PM PST
Thanks Whorn32 for starting this thread. I follow the other thread as well because it's kind of like playing a detective in figuring why people were invited and why people have not yet received an invitation.
But I think starting a new thread for Echo owners to discuss what Alexa can and cannot do is a great idea.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2014, 11:32:21 PM PST
Baddog 70 says:
To play audio books on Echo, you need to pair your tablet or smartphone with the device. Ask Alexa to pair Bluetooth and she will give you short directions on what to look for to set it up. Then you can open your Audible app or any other audiobook app you have and just press play on your app. It will then stream to the Echo. You can even stream your iTunes library from your phone or iPad in this manner. Hope this helps!

Posted on Nov 22, 2014, 12:12:22 AM PST
thanks

Posted on Nov 22, 2014, 1:00:43 AM PST
Deep Thought says:
Echo could not tell me how to make a cocktail, so I sent in a suggestion for that (provide cocktail mixing recipes and instructions) through the app and got an immediate response thanking me for it. I feel like I am part of a truly great product in the making. Apple, eat your heart out.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2014, 6:51:59 AM PST
Charlie Fox says:
Baddog- I get my tablet to connect with Echo, but when I press play on the app, it doesn't stream to the Echo...is there another command needed?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2014, 7:01:14 AM PST
monilee says:
On your device... Go to settings- wireless and vpn_ turn on Bluetooth then ask Alexa to pair with Bluetooth and she will tell you how.

Posted on Nov 22, 2014, 7:06:07 AM PST
insideoutmom says:
Charlie, I have to turn my kindle to highest volume level to barely hear it. Then I have to turn the echo volume way up. I'm not having trouble with volume with other devices, just fire hdx. You may want to try that and see if it works.

Posted on Nov 22, 2014, 7:11:22 AM PST
Charlie Fox says:
I am paired, I can see I'm connected, but when I go to audiobooks on the Fire and hit play, the sound still comes out of the tablet, not the Echo

Posted on Nov 22, 2014, 7:14:08 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2014, 7:18:46 AM PST
Baddog 70 says:
Yeah, volume is soft while streaming via Bluetooth to echo, insideoutmom is right, you have to turn the volume up to max then adjust echo accordingly. I also had a problem with my Bluetooth on the HDX starting connected tip the echo. It says it was paired, but the Bluetooth icon at top of tablet would go dim and I would hear the echo chime when it would disconnect. Used mayday on the tablet where they forwarded me to echo support ( sounds like a military operation, no?) And they suggested I turn my Fire HDX off, then back on, then pair it again. It worked, but you still need to make sure volume is up.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2014, 7:20:46 AM PST
monilee says:
It works on mine under audio and under books. Do you have os update 4.5.1 on your kindle yet? That's all I can think of. Send feedback through your echo app they email back quickly.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2014, 10:26:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2014, 10:44:35 AM PST
Jerri says:
I just paired my 2014 8.9 HDX. Wow - it paired immediately. I do have the volume all the way up on the HDX but volume on the Echo is now at about 50% and it is reasonably loud. If I crank it up on the Echo to 100% it is super loud. It works exactly the same with music and audiobooks.

Posted on Nov 22, 2014, 3:44:01 PM PST
Charlie Fox says:
the reboot totally worked!

Posted on Nov 25, 2014, 11:15:50 AM PST
SunnyinWI says:
Alexa seems to excel at very factual straight forward requests (will it snow today, will it snow Thursday, what time will the sun set? what time will the sun rise, how many days until Christmas). She knows the name of the President, VP, Secretary of State but not the Attorney General. Knows names of US Senators and Governors.

Alexa defines words well. Needs work when it comes to pronouncing names upon request, but she even says this when repeating the name requested. If you want Alexa to play a specific song clarify the song title and artist (e.g., Little Drummer Boy by Tori Amos), as often there is more than one artist. We asked her to play a Christmas carol and instead she played something from the prime library that was more of a Christmas story--reading. If you ask her when she was born she says she was released on Nov 6 2014. I asked her what the Big Bang Theory was and she told me a television series. Ask her how to say hello in Spanish and she said couldn't say it but could provide me with the written translation in the app (which she did & correctly). Alarms and timers work fine, just wish you could set more than one at a time. Bluetooth connects easily, but only one device can be connected at a time. You can add things to shopping list and to-do list but don't seem to be able to delete them via voice request (have to manually delete them in app).

Heads up for families with younger children: Alexa knows how babies are made and will tell you what sex is. If you ask if there is a Santa she says she has never met him but heard lots of good things about him and if she ever meets him she will tell you. She doesn't understand the same question about the Easter Bunny. While she doesn't swear she will define swear words, as well as words describing private parts (yes my husband & his friends can be immature & had fun trying to get Alexa to swear). She will play songs with explicit lyrics, but does warn before playing that they are explicit. The latter is not much help if you are not home. If you ask Alexa if there is a god she tells you that you can look for books on religion on Amazon.com.

Posted on Nov 25, 2014, 8:38:39 PM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2014, 4:32:18 AM PST
That's like a toddler refusing to eat dinner unless and until he gets a cookie.

Posted on Nov 26, 2014, 5:31:34 AM PST
Does anyone who has an Echo know how well it responds to requests from people who stutter?
My Dad has a pronounced stutter so it takes a while for him to get a question out.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2014, 6:04:16 AM PST
PeepDittie says:
"If everyone just refuses to use them . . . "

Like you have a choice when you can't buy one? SMH

Posted on Nov 26, 2014, 6:25:51 AM PST
Remember, the people that get the invitations are beta testing the Echo. Amazon is seeking feedback not only on how it performs, but future enhancements that can be made. While the selection process is unknown, the invitation system allows Amazon to control the sample size to allow them to analyze the feedback. Until they are satisfied that the Echo is performing as expected and the suggestions are just redundant, the Echo will not be released to the public. Perhaps if they had used this system with the Fire Phone, it would have been more successful.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2014, 6:36:25 AM PST
"I don't CARE if the cookies are ready! I want one NOW!"

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2014, 6:59:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2014, 7:00:25 AM PST
Karen says:
<<GadgetGeek in nerdvana asked: "Does anyone who has an Echo know how well it responds to requests from people who stutter? My Dad has a pronounced stutter so it takes a while for him to get a question out.">>

My Echo should arrive today (or if we get hit with significant snowfall today, Friday). I'll test this out and report back.

Posted on Nov 26, 2014, 7:00:19 AM PST
JG says:
Echo is the future....
http://www.computerworld.com/article/2844509/why-amazon-echo-is-the-future-of-every-home.html
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