Amazon Echo. Is there substance behind the hype?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by ozaz, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Amazon Echo will soon be available outside the US for the first time (UK and Germany).
    I'm in the UK and am wondering whether to get one.

    If you have one, what have you found yourself routinely using it for after the initial period of discovering its potential?

    Or have you bought one and then got rid of it because it just wasn't useful?
     
  2. Blackforge macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    #2
    I primarily use mine for home automation. It can control my lights (Wink Hub) & thermostat (Ecobee3). Occasionally I'll use it to play music in my bedroom. I use a Dot in my living room to extend this. Occasionally I'll do the "Siri" things of asking about the whether, etc. Right now I find this more useful than HomeKit.
     
  3. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #3
    I'm finding my Echo highly useful. Now several months old, it's far exceeded my initial expectations. The convenience factor alone makes it well worth the modest price.

    Most remarkably is how it distinguishes my voice even with a house full of guests plus music in the background. Without even raising my voice, it'll hear my command from thirty feet away.

    Simply amazing... :D
     
  4. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    When you're buying home automation products, how do you determine if they will be compatible with Echo?
    Is there a database of compatible products?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 17, 2016 ---
    Can you give some examples of what you actually use it for?
    Thanks.
     
  5. tbayrgs macrumors 603

    tbayrgs

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #5
    I've had an Echo Tap for a few months and almost never use it. Even though I am a very active user of Amazon Prime for shopping, I don't live in the Amazon ecosystem or use Spotify for music and don't have any home automation set up yet so other than being used for a kitchen timer, it just sits there. My issue is that it intuitively don't do that much and you have to teach it any skills you want it to do.

    I'm quite looking forward to the Google Home equivalent since I use so many Google services and look forward to it integrating with my Chromecasts (3 regular and 4 audio).
     
  6. maxsix Suspended

    maxsix

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    Location:
    Western Hemisphere
    #6
    Yes there's a comprehensive list of compatible devices growing weekly. Google keeps you up to date.

    Uses:

    Always on, ready to answer any question accurately the great majority of the time.

    More accurate than Siri, about the same as Google Now.

    Plays music

    Gives me sports scores.

    F1 Race results and more.

    Calls Uber for a ride.

    Updates traffic report.

    Controls my smart home
    - lighting
    - thermostat
    - sets my alarm
    - controls surveillance cameras
    - monitors contents of refrigerator

    Great for fast info like weather, commute times to work or anywhere. Stock prices, market activity, news.

    Listens and takes my shopping list, sending it to my phone, tablet, laptop etc.

    Sends notifications and reminders I speak, to my phone.

    Great for math calculations, conversations.

    Reads quick cooking instructions. Reads audio books, other instructions, Kindle books and more.

    Works with IFTTT

    AND so much more... :D
     
  7. eyeseeyou macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    #7
    Love my echo dot. I use it for home automation and I'm the type of person who needs background noise or music on.

    Being able to turn on on demand music and turning on lights in different parts of my home with my voice is AWESOME.

    There's a sale on echo compatible plugs on amazon for around $20+ each. AMAZING
     
  8. ozaz thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Thanks for replies

    I'm starting to wonder about multiple users where different individuals in the house probably have different commutes, different reminder lists, different calendars, maybe different shopping lists. Can multiple users connect to Echo? Does Echo recognise different peoples voices and act with the appropriate personalised responses/actions?

    Also, do reminder lists, calendars, and shopping lists have to be hosted by Amazon or can they reside with 3rd party services?
     

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