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Alexa report card: could do better

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Offline xFlip

Alexa report card: could do better
« on: August 18, 2018, 09:14:45 am »
After a year with half a dozen Echo devices I have come to the conclusion that Amazon Echo is mostly a novelty.  Sometimes it works well but 10 or 20 percent of the time it gets mixed up and needs patient repetition of the command which may not ever get understood.

It still needs improvement to be a viable and reliable product.  Configuring Alexa using the Android app is still too messy.  Maybe the Apple Homepod has better ease of use.  I hope so because, after several years, Alexa is still not ready for prime time.

malliekm

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2018, 07:08:12 pm »
Homepod? :o  What?  Is this a joke?  Have you give any thought to Google Home?  I'm afraid you'll be seriously disappointed if you think Apple Homepod will be better than Alexa.  On the other hand, Google Home IS!

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2018, 02:02:51 am »
After a year with half a dozen Echo devices I have come to the conclusion that Amazon Echo is mostly a novelty.  Sometimes it works well but 10 or 20 percent of the time it gets mixed up and needs patient repetition of the command which may not ever get understood.

It still needs improvement to be a viable and reliable product.  Configuring Alexa using the Android app is still too messy.  Maybe the Apple Homepod has better ease of use.  I hope so because, after several years, Alexa is still not ready for prime time.

I have had alexa for over three years and IMO it is ready from prime time.   based on your past postings, it is you who are not ready for alexa. 

asianrocker

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2018, 08:52:37 am »
Agree OP. I have to tell her my command bajillion times. Everyday!! It has a hard time hearing or something.

Really kills it for me. And I mainly only use it for my lights, nest and timer. That's it!!

Everytime I use it for lights and especially nest. It just annoys me coz of hard of hearing scenario. What a joke.

I literally have to put my mouth in its mic for it to function.

Offline jwlv

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Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2018, 10:21:46 am »
I've noticed that Alexa devices tend to become deaf after a while. The fix is to unplug it and plug it back in. Then Alexa can hear a lot better after that.

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2018, 11:00:32 am »
What I have learned about my Echo Environment, is they seem to do better if you have more of them. They seem to work kind of like the Hue Lighting stuff works... the more you have, the less issues you have getting reaction or action...

I have 8 Devices in a 3 bedroom  house (none in bathrooms) and I NEVER have a missed command. However, I have noticed that my Father in Law has a ton if issues. He is a Bostonian grew up speaking Yankee... his words never sound like English to me either so I cannot fault Alexa for it. Anyone who drives a Car, and possessively states "That's Mayan"... is gonna have issues.

When we only had the 2 devices we had a lot of missed commands and partially understood ones. Since I have filled the house the commands are no longer missed.

None of this will avoid other interference such as a TV show that is loud obscuring what is being said by you, or another person talking or worse yet, Sneezing or Coughing! while you try to command Alexa. But I do have really great results all of the time. And while I'm typing this my wife gets out the vacuum cleaner and is all over the place making noises Alexa cannot negotiate. I hear this one factor is where the Apple Home Pod excels. Supposedly it hears the commands in almost a whisper over loud music even... Haven't experienced that particular part yet. but would be about the only single advantage I personally would see over the rest of the field. I hope the Siri stuff gets better over time. I am interested, just can't make the jump just yet.
2 Echo Dots 2nd gen
2 echo dots gen 3 (no clock) -2 Echo Dot 3rd gen with Clock
1 echo dot Gen 4 with clock
1 Echo Spot
4 10" Fire Tablets
1 15' Echo show
23 Hue Lights 1 Hue bridge - 1 Amazon Smart plug outlet
One Ring Doorbell Pro
4 cell phones with Alexa app installed!
You should see My Apple Device List!

Offline jwlv

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Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 10:52:16 am »
If you're ready to jump ship, Costco has a 3-pack of Google Minis for $74.99 currently. That works out to be $25 each.

Perhaps I'm just being paranoid, but I think both Amazon and Google are too invasive and infiltrating all our lives. Google owns almost everything on the Internet. If Google decided to de-list this forum from their search engine as well as other web services (namely the Google framework API, Ajax,  pull their ads, etc) this forum would virtually cease to exist as far as the world knows. Amazon can do almost as much since many connected services depend on Amazon's S3 Cloud. I mean things like Uber, Netflix, Pandora, IHeartRadio, all of your smart devices like Wemo, Hue, TPLink, IP cameras, and many other things would no longer work.

Both of these companies have way too much control and I think it's bad, very, very bad. The concept of the internet is distributed computing. Yea, it's still distributed, but under the control of one or two entities. BAD!!!

Maybe one day I'll disconnect from everything and wear a tin foil hat on my head. :) And move into a trailer in the desert and run everything on solar.

tomsmac

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2018, 03:29:48 pm »
If you're ready to jump ship, Costco has a 3-pack of Google Minis for $74.99 currently. That works out to be $25 each.

Perhaps I'm just being paranoid, but I think both Amazon and Google are too invasive and infiltrating all our lives. Google owns almost everything on the Internet. If Google decided to de-list this forum from their search engine as well as other web services (namely the Google framework API, Ajax,  pull their ads, etc) this forum would virtually cease to exist as far as the world knows. Amazon can do almost as much since many connected services depend on Amazon's S3 Cloud. I mean things like Uber, Netflix, Pandora, IHeartRadio, all of your smart devices like Wemo, Hue, TPLink, IP cameras, and many other things would no longer work.

Both of these companies have way too much control and I think it's bad, very, very bad. The concept of the internet is distributed computing. Yea, it's still distributed, but under the control of one or two entities. BAD!!!

Maybe one day I'll disconnect from everything and wear a tin foil hat on my head. :) And move into a trailer in the desert and run everything on solar.

LOL. I hear you. But that's why I use a VPN for everything embedded into my router. Even my guests get a tunnel.

asianrocker

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2018, 06:21:09 am »
Jwlv. Your scenario won't happen. Don't let those movies control your mind.

In real life. All those companies have back up. So if Google or Amazon pull something like that they still have all their system info to literally get them back up online. They are not the only ones running cloud services.

If any of those companies you mentioned will be affected by your scenario. Then they should fire their whole  IT CREW for not doing their jobs.

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2018, 07:19:56 am »
I wouldn't put it past any of them... Greed rules the world.

Anyone remember what happened with Photobucket last year?
2 Echo Dots 2nd gen
2 echo dots gen 3 (no clock) -2 Echo Dot 3rd gen with Clock
1 echo dot Gen 4 with clock
1 Echo Spot
4 10" Fire Tablets
1 15' Echo show
23 Hue Lights 1 Hue bridge - 1 Amazon Smart plug outlet
One Ring Doorbell Pro
4 cell phones with Alexa app installed!
You should see My Apple Device List!

ks111989

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2018, 03:22:00 am »
Homepod? :o  What?  Is this a joke?  Have you give any thought to Google Home?  I'm afraid you'll be seriously disappointed if you think Apple Homepod will be better than Alexa.  On the other hand, Google Home IS!

definitely agree! Google Home/Assistant has consistently served me well so much so that I've ventured into trying out the Lenovo Smart Display. Seems like smart displays are the new big thing and I must say I'm falling for them, especially when I'm in the kitchen.

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2018, 04:19:37 am »
I have 2 echoís, 2 homepods and a Google home mini. I think they are all good for different things.

The HomePod is the best for music playback and has tight integration with my iPhone and other Apple devices.

I use my HomePods in Stereo pair in my living room. For music playback and as a surround sound for my Apple TV.

My echos I mainly use for listening to audibooks, reading my kindle books aloud and podcasts in my kitchen or dinning room.  At the moment the echo is the only one that can call my iPhone if I want to locate it. Siri on the HomePod is still crap for shopping lists so my echos handle that. I also like the fact I can curate my flash briefings and have several different types of content in my briefing. On the HomePod itís just one source.

The google home mini I use the least but itís the only device I have at the moment that can make phone calls and I can use to control my chromecast.

They all suffer if there is noise going on like a loud TV, one of my kids shouting or crying etc.

Laurel

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2018, 10:56:11 am »
We have had Alexa devices since day one. We have Echo, Echo Show x 3, and Tap.  Love them all and think they make our lives easier for things like calendar, reminders to do things, ease of calling people and cheapness of calling people.  Perfect for us. They continue to improve month by month with features.  No reason to complain unless you have unreasonable expectations imo.

hhanover

Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2018, 10:19:16 am »
I think work needs be done on the naughty bits filter. Ask her who wrote the Dick Tracy comic strip and she says she'd "rather not answer". Ask her who Chester Gould is and she says "....creator of the Dick Tracy comic strip...". Maybe asking too much of the coders.

Offline jwlv

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Re: Alexa report card: could do better
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2018, 03:11:08 pm »
I'm certain that Amazon prefers to play it safe than to accidentally allow certain words get through their filter.