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Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo is a voice activated personal assistant, and so much more.  Designed to deliver superb voice control and instant access to information, including music, it can make your life easier and more enjoyable!  Amazon has done a stand up job taking hold of the IOT and bringing the cloud right into your living room.  Her name is Alexa. She has quickly become everyone’s favorite person to talk to in our house.

Amazon Echo Box, details a lot of its functionality on the left

Amazon Echo Box, $179 on Amazon, also available at most other electronics stores.

As we are bombarded with everyday life and the IOT (internet of things) is trying to simplify it for us, there are many apps that are appearing on all our devices. Some of these apps you are already familiar with, like Siri, Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana.

Each of these apps delivers a bunch of useful features available at a push of a button and/or the sound of your voice.

You can search for restaurants, get directions on a map, add tasks to a to-do list, and even search the web.

The Amazon Echo takes this functionality to a new level. Becoming a gateway in your home to a whole cloud of functionality.  Available for use by the whole family, always standing by to be of service. Many believe the Amazon Echo is just a voice controlled Bluetooth speaker.  Which, it does do that, and so much more.

Amazon currently sells the Echo for $179.  (Refurbs when available have been $149.) You can find deals from time to time on Prime day and I would think other big shopping events would lead to discounts on one of their most successful products.  I have had my Amazon Echo for over a year, and I enjoy it and recommend it every day.

Keep in mind that the Echo is a one room device, in that Alexa may hear you address her from across the room, but that’s not going to work from rooms away.  To control your home from many places in your smart home, you’ll be adding accessories such as the Amazon Echo Dot 2, a $49 add on, that you can place in any room, where there’s Wifi.  You can then address Alexa from the rooms that have Dots, as well.  Art, our editor, has an Amazon Echo in his home theater, and currently uses two Dots in other parts of the house (living room/kitchen area, and master bedroom).

 

In this review I want to give you some insight into the features of the Amazon Echo. We will  go over the basics of the Echo, the hardware and setting it up. Then we will get into the features – and benefits, that will make you enjoy the Amazon Echo, and it’s range of capabilities.

The Amazon Echo

  • Amazon Echo Hardware
  • The basics of the Alexa app
    • Now playing and activity summary
    • Music and books
  • Getting access to an endless music library
    • Pandora
    • Spotify
    • Iheart radio
  • Adding new skills to Alexa to get the most out of your Echo
  • Bringing the power of voice to your smart home

Keep reading, as we consider some of  the great features of the Amazon Echo.  On the next page we will go through what exactly makes up the Amazon Echo.  I will provide a hardware overview including what makes it such a great Bluetooth speaker as well, as we make our way down the feature list.

 

 

 

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