Amazon Echo Is Here….
— Bepper (@Beppergadgets) 13 March 2017
After one of the longest release delays in history, the Amazon Echo is finally here in the UK – some two years after the device was launched in the US.
The Amazon Echo works by always being connected to your home Wi-Fi – and listening to you, thanks to its seven mics – acting like a fairly normal Bluetooth connected speaker with one big difference: it’s voice activated and will act as your own personal voice assistant.
This is all thanks to Alexa – Amazon’s Siri rival. Alexa ‘learns’ the more you speak to it. It will adapt to your preference and even the cadence in your voice once you have used it for a while.
If you need an alarm setting, or a question answering, mutter the magic word – Alexa – and the speaker will wake and fulfil your needs.
Using Amazon Echo As A Speaker
It has a 2.5-inch woofer inside, alongside a 2-inch tweeter, and the sound emanates 360 degrees from the device.
Using Alexa, you can also ask the device to play a song, album or just tell you if it’s going to rain tomorrow. As we are in the UK, the answer will pretty much always be: ‘probably’.
It is also UK centric, too. In the UK, we have proper sized pints, in the US they have smaller ones. Ask Alexa the size of a pint in litres and it gives the UK version. Ask it to spell colour and it spells it with a U. Ask it how tall is the Gherkin is and it comes up with the London tower’s height, not the vegetable.
It also knows all about Blackadder and Monty Python.
Given the Amazon Echo could well be the starting point for your connected home, there is a companion app where you can manage your music, help with setup etc. While you shouldn’t really need to use the app – as the Alexa AI should mean you can do most things with your voice – it’s good that it’s there for you if you need it.
To make sure that Alexa is in the best voice possible, Amazon has been rapidly expanding the ‘skills’ section of the Alexa app in the US.