Six Months with Alexa: Why I love her and hate her.

Echo

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.

Pros

  1. Hands-free operation. Perfect for a kitchen
  2. Sounds great and can fill one room
  3. New features are constantly being added. IFTTT, Pandora, and traffic updates were recently added.

Cons

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Better connected to other services. For example, I would love to listen to some baseball games through Echo using my MLB account.
  4. 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).