New features launched for the Amazon Echo

danDroid

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I just received the email from Amazon mentioning some updates for the Echo.

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Dear Amazon Customer,

We hope you're enjoying Echo. We're working hard to add many of the features you've asked for, and we would like to update you on two new features.

Voice control for Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora: You can now enjoy hands-free voice control for these popular music services. To get started, simply connect your phone or tablet to Echo by saying "Alexa, pair my device." After you start playing your music, you can easily control it by saying the wake word and: play, pause, stop, next, or previous.

Simon Says: You've likely heard some of Echo's jokes—now there's another way to have fun with Echo. You can get Echo to repeat whatever you have in mind by starting with "Alexa, Simon says…" Here's a fun tip: you can covertly use the remote control from another room to get Echo to repeat what you say and surprise your family.

In addition to these new features, we've made numerous improvements based on your feedback. We have increased response speed and accuracy for many of your questions, expanded coverage of facts from Wikipedia, and added new spelling words and definitions. The companion app is now available on iOS and Android 5.0+, and you can now use the app to bulk delete items from your to-do and shopping lists. And we are just getting started.

Thanks for your feedback so far, it’s been immensely helpful. Keep sharing your thoughts on what else we can do to make Echo even better—you can always provide feedback through the Echo app.

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I can say after having the Echo for almost a month, it's something that gets used nearly every day now by the family.
 

thunderbolt_nick

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Voice control for Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora: You can now enjoy hands-free voice control for these popular music services. To get started, simply connect your phone or tablet to Echo by saying "Alexa, pair my device." After you start playing your music, you can easily control it by saying the wake word and: play, pause, stop, next, or previous.

Well it's nice to see Echo is finally moving toward third party services! Now if only they support Google Play Music I'd be even more excited for it.

Simon Says: You've likely heard some of Echo's jokes—now there's another way to have fun with Echo. You can get Echo to repeat whatever you have in mind by starting with "Alexa, Simon says…" Here's a fun tip: you can covertly use the remote control from another room to get Echo to repeat what you say and surprise your family.

I don't get the use case for that aside from the fun factor of scaring some people in the room or politely telling them to leave without being in the room XD
 

cr6

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Hey Nick, (you may know this already), but you can use any music app you want on the Echo, you simply have to control it via your phone instead of your voice.
 
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The Bluetooth controls have always worked, I've been using them with Google Music since I got the Echo. Not sure what they are saying is new here.
 

thunderbolt_nick

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Hey Nick, (you may know this already), but you can use any music app you want on the Echo, you simply have to control it via your phone instead of your voice.

That's what I meant...voice control. One of my family members has one and I didn't delve too far into so I don't know all of its capabilities. Seems cool I just don't see a use case for me.
 

Jeffrey

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Glad to see Amazon adding features. Now all I need to see is a response to my long awaited invitation.
 

PereDroid

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I don't get the use case for that aside from the fun factor of scaring some people in the room or politely telling them to leave without being in the room XD

I could see a VRY occasional use for this. Like last night. If my Echo was in the kitchen...wife giving son a bath upstairs and she had to send me a text "Can you bring me a dry towel".... She could have spoke through Echo to me, I suppose.
Meh....

I'll be interest when it works with my Hue system to control my lighting (no, I don't really have a Hue.....yet....), works with my electronic thermostat. I'm sure this is all coming...eventually.
 

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My sister who lives here doesn't like the Echo. She thinks it's an Amazon spy device. She refuses to talk to Alexa and will actually tell me to turn it down or tell her to play something else. So when I heard about the Simon Says feature, I turned up the Exho's volume and went upstairs withe the remote. When she walked through the door, Alexa said, "Joyce, how come you never talk to me? Don't you like me?" She yelled to me, "I know you're making her say that!" I replied, "I didn't say a thing! In fact before you got home she was asking us what your social security and driver's license number was!"

I also found it useful as a one way intercom from upstairs with the remote instead of yelling downstairs.
 

Lindy Lee

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I realized yesterday that when you give the command, "Alexa, play that again" she will replay the last song, even if it was yesterday when you last played music. Love this feature!
 

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I'm surprised "echo" isn't one of the wake words. I would think echo is less used than Amazon.

Wish list, allow user to creat their own wake words.
Allow user to create macros or comands such as

"echo, who's at the front door". which would open a security app that shows the front door camera view.

I'd envision the echo app to record specific steps that a user does on a device and then allow the user to attach that recording to a command.

Example I'd open my security app, select front door view. Save this and then create a command who's at the front door and a close command, close view. When I say the command, echo would echo my steps it recorded.
 
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Lindy Lee

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Admiral70, she can access your Google calendar and tell you what is on it for specific days. But she can't add events yet. Hope that will come soon.

I bought a Philips Hue bridge and a few Hue bulbs a few weeks ago. I also bought a few (cheaper) GE Link bulbs that work with it. Now I can tell Alexa to turn on and off lights all over the house and to dim them to any level. I've set up groups of lights too, like Upstairs Lights that she can control as a group or separately. Very cool! This is one of my favorite Echo features. The bulbs have the dimmers built in, so no need to install dimmer switches, just screw them into a lamp or fixture.
 

cr6

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Yeah, I find it's not reading all events either. I can't figure out why it reads some and not others. I've tried deleting and readding them but no dice. Hopefully they'll work out the bugs soon.

S5 tap'n
 
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