Smart Tech

Amazon Echo Blog – Questions & Answers

Amazon Echo Blog

Amazon Echo Blog

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The Amazon Echo, the original and best?

Amazon wants to take over your home and with the Echo, they might just achieve it. To find out more check out the top questions, videos and review below.

The Top Questions for the Amazon Echo?

Why buy an Amazon Echo?

If you have ever wanted to walk into your living room and just tell your technology what to do, the Echo is for you. It’s not just “Alexa, play music”, it’s the information you want to be delivered in an instant. There is no rummaging for your smart device, remote or laptop. The information you want is almost always just a voice command away and that lack of a button press or digital screen makes the Echo feel different rather than just another characterless piece of technology.

What can the echo do that Siri cannot?

Nothing in terms of functionality, but the difference of a button press keeps Siri on your smart device and Alexa relevant 24/7. It’s pure convenience. That might sound laughable but technology is all about the user experience and interaction is key, without that button press Alexa becomes present and social – part of the conversation rather than a distraction. Plus Amazon are aggressively adding new commands, features and apps to extend what the Echo and Alexa can do like IFTT technology (If This Then That) which automates connected devices so they seamlessly react to a single command.

How accessible is the Echo for the visually impaired?

The Echo can make technology accessible for those who have a host of visual impairments once the initial setup is complete. For example, if you know someone who is blind, the Echo, via Alexa gives them access to information normally unavailable without visual navigation. With a single verbal command music, audiobooks, news and facts are accessible. They could even order from Amazon via voice, create shopping lists for loved ones or even control smart home technology like thermostats and lights.

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Where can I find an official Amazon Echo video?

How does Amazon Echo compare with Amazon Tap?

The Tap is smaller, includes a rechargeable battery and a nice charging stand. However, the Tap has one major problem in that you have to press to activate Alexa. In our opinion, this interaction takes away everything that makes the Echo more useful than a smart device. There is no denying the portability of the Tap is nice, but using voice commands in public has never felt, nor will it ever feel comfortable.

Does the Echo need to remain plugged in?

Yes, it does. The Amazon Echo has to be plugged into the mains. The Echo is only one cable, so it can go anywhere, easily. Just not as easily as the Amazon Tap.

Can the Amazon Echo read a book to me?

Yes, it can. The only limitation is that your book will need to be purchased from Audible, or be a compatible Kindle text-to-voice book.

Can it stream music from my smart devices?

Yes, you can stream music from a smart device to the Amazon Echo speaker. You can use either Apple or Android devices or even a laptop if it has Bluetooth connectivity.

Can it connect and control a smart TV?

No, sadly the Alexa cannot control a smart TV – not even Amazon Fire TV. You can, however, connect the Amazon Echo to a TV that is Bluetooth enabled, thus turning your Echo into an additional TV speaker.

Can everyone in the house use the Echo?

Anyone who says “Alexa” will wake the Echo and be able to give it commands. The Echo does use an Amazon account, and if you’re using other services you’ll need to connect to those via the Alexa app. So even though anyone wakes, you’ll need to share the device and the linked accounts.

Can you link multiple Echos together?

You can definitely have more than one Echo, Tap or Dot device in your home. They don’t, however, work together in synchronicity even if they all connect to the same accounts. This is one of the few weak points of the Echo, saying “Alexa play music” in between all those Amazon products won’t result in them cross playing from speaker to speaker – nor will they play at the same time, so you’ll end up with a mixed mess. If you want synchronicity to check out the Sonos.

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Where can I find an Amazon Echo unboxing video?

 With the Echo do I have to buy the voice remote?

No, it’s not essential. The voice remote is only useful if you plan to be far from the Echo but still want to give voice commands. The only other use it has is if you’ve upped the volume far too much and am unable to get the microphones to pick up your request to turn it down.

Is Alexa only good at answering basic questions?

Not at all. You can pretty much ask anything and get a valid response. There are exceptions, but these are very few and far between, and often result in questions where you’re deliberately trying to confuse or ask for information Amazon couldn’t say. Alexa is best with facts and helpful information like recipes or news.

What does Amazon say about their Echo Bluetooth speaker?

  • Plays all your music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice
  • Fills the room with immersive, 360º omnidirectional audio
  • Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing
  • Answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service
  • Controls lights, switches, and thermostats with compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Nest, and Ecobee smart home devices

Get the Amazon Echo here

Where can I find a video review for the Amazon Echo?

What are the Pros and Cons of the Amazon Echo?

  • Amazon is expanding the app ecosystem all the time.  
  • Connect your smart home devices and control them all via voice.  
  • Ask it about news, sports, weather, traffic or even order items from Amazon.  
  • The sound is good, loud and the microphones pick up commands from the distance, even if the music is being played loud.  
  • Alexa is fantastic, ever evolving and surprising when responding to random questions.  
  • With the variety of apps and information available via a simple voice command, the Amazon Echo becomes an assistant and not just a Bluetooth speaker.  
  • Saying Alexa (or Amazon) all the time gets repetitive, especially when creating lengthy shopping lists.  
  • The audio doesn’t synchronize across multiple Echo speakers.