Amazon's Alexa App Climbed to #1 on the iOS App Store's Top Free Chart After Christmas

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 27, 2017.

  1. Gaspode67, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017

    Gaspode67 macrumors regular

    Gaspode67

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Oxon, UK
    #76
    I think people sometimes get confused by how Google Home links in to other devices. It typically doesn't require "skills" to be added, just add in the device within the Google Home app on the phone, and the control is there. Plus, you can easily use IFTTT to add in lots of other things, like triggering multiple actions from a single phrase. If you have, say, smart locks on your doors, smart lights in all the rooms, and a smart thermostat, you can use IFTTT very easily to create sequence so that when you say "Hey Google, I'm going up to bed", it locks the doors, turns off the lights in the living room, turn on the bedroom lights, and lowers the thermostat to your preferred night time setting.

    Whilst Google Home might not be able to launch Amazon Prime video, I've used it to watch & control Netflix on my TVs easily enough, with the addition of a Chromecast. Just saying "Hey Google, play Daredevil on the Living Room TV" makes the TV turn on, the Surround sound system automatically turns on when it sees the TV is on, and the Chromecast starts playing the next unwatched episode of Daredevil (or picks up where I left off if I was part way through watching it). This without *any* need to set up controls, etc.

    It's also very handy if I want to add something to my grocery order with Tesco, as they've released an IFTTT that links to my Tesco account. So, wherever I am in the house if I realise I need to add something to my order, I just say "Hey google, add ******** to my basket" and it will add it to the latest order. The system's even smart enough to pick my usual, say, brand of toothpaste if I say toothpaste, or that I usually buy chicken breasts with skin-on, rather than skinless, and picks those, etc.

    In my and my family's eco system, Apple are losing ground in pretty much every area. Two years ago, I had 2 iMacs & a MacBook Pro, my Brother-in-law had an iMac & a Macbook, my niece was fully Mac, and my B-in-L's partner & her son were Mac owners too. Phone wise, they all had iPhones, but I was the outlier with a Google Nexus 5 (it fitted into my use-case a lot better than an iPhone, and I liked being able to make it work the way I wanted to work, rather than adapting my expectations to the way Apple decided things *should* work). Last year, he got an Echo as a present for Christmas, & I let them play with my Pixel. Since then, in the last 12 months, I've switched one of the iMacs so that it boots Windows 10. I plan on my next machine on being a Windows 10 one. I've now got all my iTunes library on a Drobo 5N2 & find myself using Plex for streaming direct to my TV, instead of using iTunes & my Apple TV. I also have all my music on Google Play Music & stream from there instead of from iTunes. They've all switched to Pixels (luckily we all have different cases so it was easy to work out which was which on the coffee table at Christmas!), and they are all considering moving to Windows 10 machines when they next upgrade.

    I have a Google Home in the living room, & minis on the stairs, bedroom, & kitchen, with Hue lights in the living room, stairs & bedrooms. I have a Chromecast ultra on the main TV, a Chromecast on the bedroom TV, Chromecast Audios hooked to the main surround system downstairs, and a pair of old powered PC gaming speakers upstairs. The total spend on Google Homes/Casts etc without any discounts is £430. For that I have full smart control in four rooms, with very good audio in the two most important rooms and reasonable audio on the stairs & in the kitchen. I also have full streaming control on the two TVs, including in 4K HDR on the living room TV, all for what will most likely be less than £100 more than the cost of a *single* smart speaker from Apple. That's why at the moment, Amazon & Google are *way* in front of Apple in this space. Their product ranges allow people to dip a toe in the Smart Home waters at a reasonable price, and add in functionality easily at very little cost. They have options suitable for all different sorts of setups. Do you really need a £349 smart speaker in the kitchen when what you're going to be using it for is setting timers, playing background music while you cook, etc?

    I've seen the usual suspects here saying "I'm going out to buy 10 Homepods as soon as they're on sale!" Fine. waste your money if you like (although I still suspect there's some of those accounts are actually satires on the typical Apple fanatic!). The rest of us will gladly save money, & install systems that allow us more choice in functionality, streaming music services, control in how *we* want to do things instead of being told "you have to do it the way that Jonny Ive has decided is the best way".
     
  2. rizzo41999 macrumors 6502

    rizzo41999

    Joined:
    May 27, 2009
    Location:
    MA
    #77
    I got the G Home Mini and I actually love it! I've hooked up all of my TP-Link smart bulbs and it's good to go. I will say, the Google Home is much better at info lookup than Echo. But needless to say, for $30.00, this is worth every penny!
     
  3. Wilburx3 macrumors newbie

    Wilburx3

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2017
    Location:
    DTLA
    #78
    More importantly, these people are now in a different ecosystem than iOS. This is a huge loss of revenue to iTunes and the App store. I think once someone has kitted their house out in one brand it will be very difficult to get them to switch.
     
  4. GadgetBen macrumors 6502a

    GadgetBen

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2015
    Location:
    London
    #79
    The HomePod will never be as good as Alexa unless Apple improve Siri
     
  5. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #80
    I purchased my first dot over the black friday/cyber monday. Loved it from the first time I opened it. I have since added a dot in all of the main rooms. No complaints and I am still finding things I can do with it. Having work with my Sonos speakers is also a big plus! No need for an intercom system, "Alexa drop in..." works like a charm!
     
  6. convergent macrumors 68030

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
  7. GoldenJoe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    #82
    The "always on" functionality you control with the app is just whether or not it accepts a command when you say "alexa". It is still capable of recording everything you do, and definitely records all activity that goes through it (music, shopping, etc). A smug attitude does not hide your ignorance about how this device works.
     
  8. npmacuser5, Dec 28, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017

    npmacuser5 macrumors 6502a

    npmacuser5

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #83
    FYI There is this button on the top, turns off the microphones. Thus, the speakers only work with the app. About that smug attitude.:D
     
  9. robjulo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    #84
    Hasn’t been true in years, yet some keep parroting this mantra.

     
  10. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #85
    It has been true many times, look at the AirPods for example.
     
  11. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #86
    For some reason my AirPods don’t always connect. Replaced phone and AirPods themselves. Is this a BT bug?
     
  12. Dave245 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2013
    #87
    I'm not sure with that one as my AirPods work great and have done since i first had them, another example is the Apple Watch! both great products that Apple took their time with.
     
  13. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #88
    I have an echo dot. I think its pretty decent as I got it on sale. I was gifted a fire TV for Christmas. Not sure what I’m going to do with it as I have 2 apple TVs and the Apple TV now has the amazon TV app. I’ll just play around with the dot I think and get it to control the fire TV. I Also have 2 chromecasts at home but they aren’t connected up.

    I also bought a 2nd generation echo for my mum for Christmas. My aunt has just got one so you know how it goes with them wanting to have the same things!
     
  14. Swampthing macrumors 6502a

    Swampthing

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2004
    #89
    Yes, you even log in with your Amazon credentials.
     
  15. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #90
    Seems like it's from a third party, Rain Labs.
     
  16. PsyOpWarlord macrumors 6502

    PsyOpWarlord

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2010
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #91
    I had three Dots but wound up giving them to my parents and I went and got Google Home and Home Minis for my house.

    Google has the leg up on routing music and audio through the house which I use a lot (have chromecast audios hooked to different receivers). Had issues with Alexa discounting from the receivers bluetooth audio when playing music in home groups.

    I do have to admit the Dots were better at picking the closest dot and shutting the others down when more than one picked up your voice, and the blue ring on the dot is a better visual than the lights on the top of the minis.
     
  17. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #92
    My Apple Watch works great, my AirPods I wish I can say the same.
     
  18. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #93
    Anyone know if its possible to control my fire TV from my echo dot. I’m in the U.K.
     
  19. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #94
  20. convergent macrumors 68030

    convergent

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #95
    Not sure about the UK, but technically you can because it works in the US. I tried it out over the holidays, but ended up returning the FireTV in favor of a Roku. FireTV is too biased to fee based programming from Amazon when free offerings are available on other channels. The Roku unified search comes closer to what Apple TV does... although Apple still has the best experience on that front. Roku seems to be the best opportunity for a similar experience.
     
  21. Shanghaichica macrumors 603

    Shanghaichica

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    #96
    FireTv was a chrismas gift. I wouldn’t have bought one myself. I don’t think it works in the UK yet.
     
  22. GoldenJoe, Jan 3, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018

    GoldenJoe macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    #97
    I think you should buy one of those new ones Google came out with that has a camera. You can just press the button and it’ll turn off - promise! :D
     
  23. npmacuser5, Jan 3, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018

    npmacuser5 macrumors 6502a

    npmacuser5

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #98
    Well I was not talking about Google. Howerver, do you own an iPhone or a Samsung phone? So turningi off Hey Siri in your mind "Really Does Not Happen "all a conspiracy" of the Big Bad Brother listening in on you. Bet there is tape over your camera on the phone and PC/Mac. I hear that if you put cotton on the micophone the Big Brother will not be able to hear you. OFF grid probably the best option for you. :)
     
  24. Gaspode67, Jan 4, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2018

    Gaspode67 macrumors regular

    Gaspode67

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Oxon, UK
    #99
    Which Google Home Speaker device has a camera? None. Stop spreading FUD. The Google Home and Home mini's have physical switches on the device that disable the microphones. Plus you have the ability to review all the activity line by line to see (and indeed play) every single command that it has actioned.
     

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