Introducing a new gadget to the Zabelle household in the form of the Amazon Echo Dot. In the run up to the release date for Google Home in the UK, we caved and decided to try the Dot after investing in some LIFX smart lightbulbs which I'll spill the beans on in a post coming soon. I have to admit that other than controlling the new lights (which is pretty cool) I couldn't really imagine using it that much in everyday life but it's amazing how quickly throwing questions at Alexa becomes the norm and how easily the novelty wears off so that it's as if you have an ever present, sometimes unintentionally funny personal assistant on hand.
Now that we've got over the novelty of asking silly things to amuse ourselves, I thought I'd share how we use this in our home. We have enabled just a few of the hundreds of 'skills' that are available including LIFX, Sky News, One Minute Mindfulness and Formula 1 headlines.
- Alexa, what's my flash briefing? - we use this in the morning for headlines from Sky News, weather etc
- Alexa, set alarm for 6am - love this function, so easy and has worked perfectly every time.
- Alexa, turn the lights on upstairs - this is one of our favourites, especially when asking Alexa to turn the lights off downstairs when we are already in bed!
- Alexa, play "name of book here" from Audible
- Alexa, play music - you can choose your default music service, works great with Spotify.
One of the things we have found a bit disappointing/frustrating is the voice recognition which is mostly good but not up to the standard we are used to from Google Assistant. We had a good laugh when asking Alexa for a salmon recipe earlier this week. I will include some real life examples at the end of this post.
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