Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Tech House: Amazon Smart Devices

I love New Technology things. Gadgets for the Kitchen and Readers, computers, Surface to tablets. I seem to acquire several things. My Husband started me on  computers in the early 90's. He had been working with them awhile before then at work. However they started to appear more and more in the households. My parents had one. So I learned the DOS system and started on my Journey. Today there are over 100 smart items in our home. A Smart Home? Not yet! However my  Holiday gifts included some smart Switches and a couple more Echos.( one for each floor).

This review is on the Amazon Echo's. First one received one year ago it was a Alexa Echo. There was a learning curve to it. Did not appear to be a plug it, turn on and go, as sold. We had to log into the Amazon account and add it to an account. Dad didn't have an account so we had to create one. Next thing was to set up a list of things though the Alexa App. You have to have a  Amazon Kindle or IPhone/Pad product to load it. the App does not work on the Microsoft Operations or Androids Phones. The Alexa App is downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple Store.

Once we downloaded the app to his Kindle fire, we were able to set up his desires. From News groups to Music. We also were able to activate  Fire TV  control. Now For an aging adult ( 83) this was a good thing. He could just tell it what he wanted to see. Dad had a Stroke over a year ago and suffers from Aphasia. So it is hard for him to remember sequences to work a remote. Speaking is much better. So as you can see these items are a good thing.

Over the Summer I found out I could link the Alexa Echo Device to my account. We could change accounts on the device by a simple phrase " Change accounts" This a great cause there is a lot more one can do  with a Prime account.  This allowed me to play more with the device. I enjoyed asking for drink recipes and stay up with the News. Also listening to music. Although I really did not like the Amazon Music in the early stages.

So, I purchased anTap and Echo Dot . Love them both! This time they were Purchased through my Amazon and they both came set up to my account! I did not have to link them. Just turn on and play. A lot better than before. I also purchased Amazon Music for the Tap/Echo/Dot. Just to try it out. I have to say I liked it! I was able to make my a stations and listen to music choices of my choosing. We have Sirius XM, Pandora Plus, and Spotify. Listened to Pandora more than the others. With that said, now in the home the Amazon has become the music of choice. just might upgrade soon.

The Tap is a 360° Speaker, Blue tooth. It does not require a Name Shout Out first and works with a tap  button on the device. You can ask it anything like the Alexa Echo and Echo Dots. It responds in the same voice. I have a Bose mini speaker, which I love. However the Taps speaker is great also. You can link any Blue Tooth speaker to the Alexa or Dot. I use the Bose upstairs link to the dot there. Use the Tap on the main floor. Found that the sound is better if the Tap is use directly not through the Echo dot. Just something about the linked sound quality. Might have to experiment more with that.

The Echo Dot is a small device. Sets nicely out of the way. Not in your face. Folks do not even see it. So, I like that! Just wake it up with a Name and she is ready to go. The sound on her for music is not great. Talking is okay. So Getting the New is great on her. I like that.

I have not set up the light Switches  yet. I will post later on that service.

Overall I like the Tap, Alexa Echo and Echo Dot. I think they have done a great job in updated the devices programs. Look forward to more things added in the future.