She is always on, always listening, and ready to respond with something. Now, is this something you want? Sometimes and sometimes not.
Six months ago I got Amazon’s Echo device. It’s Amazon’s version of Apple’s Siri freed from a smartphone and housed in a black Pringles-like can. Powered with 2 speakers and 7 microphones, Echo is always listening for the command word; “Alexa”. Alexa has found a home in our kitchen. We use her for getting weather updates, playing music, listening to the radio, and setting the timer for cooking.
- Hands-free operation. Perfect for a kitchen
- Sounds great and can fill one room
- New features are constantly being added. IFTTT, Pandora, and traffic updates were recently added.
- Music is through Amazon’s ecosystem. Most of my online library is on iTunes. While the Prime Music selection is good, I have had to import some of my songs from iTunes to Amazon in the last few months. They have recently added Pandora.
- Alexa is not smarter. For example, I have a playlist called toilet and if I don’t add word playlist after toilet, Alexa plays the sound of a toilet from Amazon’s Prime Music library. Come on, Alexa.
- Better connected to other services. For example, I would love to listen to some baseball games through Echo using my MLB account.
- You really can’t change the command name to anything you want. How cool would it be to change it to Ironman’s Jarvis.
So, was it worth a $100? Absolutely. Even though I wish she was smarter and more connected, I have no regrets. Check it out here (non-affiliate link).