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New Echo owner - dissapointed

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New Echo owner - dissapointed
« on: July 15, 2016, 12:12:13 am »
OK I just got an Echo today. Endless problems with the Alexa app crashing, lagging, hanging, not working, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I don't want a phone app. That's why I bought this thing. But it keeps needing the app. If I wanted to use my phone, I'd use Siri or Google.

Why can I add items to the todo or shopping list with voice, but I cannot remove them. For that I need to use the app?

Why can't I ask Alexa how to do something on the app, or for help? She knows literally NOTHING about the app, and cannot give any help. If you ask her anything about how to use Echo or Alexa or the app she says to go use the app. Useless.

The first thing I tried to do with this thing was, "Alexa, remind me to let the dog back in in 5 minutes." She adds it to a to-do list. But she doesn't remind me in 5 minutes. "Alexa, remind me to feed the dog at 6 PM." She adds it to a to-do list, but does not remind me at 6 PM. Really? How is this thing a digital assistant? (And then I cannot delete the items from the to-do list, without the app, which mostly just hangs and fails.) Yeah, I can set a timer or an alarm. But I can't give a voice command to do on the timer or alarm? Why? I guess I misread the marketing material.

And the whole time I've been writing this, alexa.amazon.com has been spinning, unresponsive, just like the app. I guess I have to keep those dog items in my to-do list forever.



Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2016, 01:58:05 am »
You know what, you are ranting here to the wrong people.  Most people who frequent this site LIKE their Echo (some even love it), they know how to use it and set it up, and have had it for a while (some have multiple devices like a second Echo, Dots and Taps).

Cool your jets, and take time to learn more about it. To help you do this, bookmark and go to this link at Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_bc_nav?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200127470
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 11:14:16 am by mike27oct »

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2016, 04:00:28 am »
Mike, I want to like it. That's why I'm here.

So is there a way to get it to do a search and read me the first result?

When it fails to answer a question, it just gives up. It sends the search to the app, but then I have to turn on my phone, run the app, click the link and read. Again, I didn't get this device just to use my phone.

Offline Yoda_One

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Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 07:11:12 am »
Mike, I want to like it. That's why I'm here.

So is there a way to get it to do a search and read me the first result?

When it fails to answer a question, it just gives up. It sends the search to the app, but then I have to turn on my phone, run the app, click the link and read. Again, I didn't get this device just to use my phone.

I agree with Mike. The individuals on this site are early adopters of this technology are taken time out of their busy schedule to help people who have legitimate questions.  Your first few post is really not a great way to introduce yourself. [emoji85]  If you want our assistance you should change your approach.
I am like a lot of forum members with Alexa speakers, Alexa TV units plus many smart devices. So there is a wealth of knowledge that you can tap😊 into but we are problem solvers not complainers.

So chill and read Mike's link and ask your questions.

Signed fanboy😆

ps....your first few post reminds me of a car forum which we usually post RTFM [emoji38]
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 08:51:35 am by Yoda_One »
Learning to laugh at oneself and with others is good for your soul.

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 08:28:15 am »
I don't think it will do much of what you desire at this time.  It can do timers and alarms but it will not announce a voice command after a certain time... not to say that it will never be able to do that.

I, as you, am a little disappointed in the echo's ability to google search something.... I find siri is able to find much more detailed information.  Then again, I didn't buy the echo for this feature anyway so I'm not too upset about it.

Mine mainly has 3 functions that I use daily: control for lights in my HA system, listening to music, and shopping list stuff.

Stick with it and read, read, read on everything the echo can do.  Also check out the skills people are making for it.... if at that point you are still disappointed, return it.

Offline Yoda_One

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Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2016, 08:39:48 am »
If people will do their due diligence and research before they purchased then they would have determined that Alexa  isn't capable of a Google searches at the present time. So being disappointed is ones own fault. But... I feel that in time and by the requests of the owners it will be able to do a Google or Alexa search. I personally would like the search ability especially icflorida event or one tank weekend. Just remember we are the beta tester and Alexa IA will become more useful in time.
But if a person puts the effort to learn the technology,  the usefulness is hard to put a dollar value.

For me I enjoy the learning curve and the challenges.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 03:01:33 pm by Yoda_One »
Learning to laugh at oneself and with others is good for your soul.

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2016, 08:55:09 am »
I've had two Echos for over a year now.  My sister-in-law has had hers for the same amount of time.  My son has had a Dot for four months.  We all make daily use of them (my wife and I most heavily) and none of us experience problems with the app "crashing, lagging, hanging, not working", nor do we need to use the app often at all other than to make configuration changes.  There are areas in which it could definitely use improvement, but in terms of execution stability it works fine for all of us.  My guess is that you have some issue with the phone you're running it on.

As for the Echo's and Alexas capabilities, as others have said you need to take the time to learn how they work and to use them accordingly rather than ranting because they don't work the way you want them to.  That's true of any device/service.

First and foremost you need to understand that although Alexa uses the internet in order to respond to you it is NOT a general-purpose voice-activated web browser, nor was it marketed or advertised as one.

As for remembering to let the dogs in, "Alexa, set a 5 minute timer" will work just fine.  If you can't remember what the alarm is for when it goes off 5 minutes from then...you have far more serious problems to deal with than the Alexa app.

Yes, the "to-do list" functionality is weak, and the only time I ever use it is for shopping list, for which it's just fine because you need to view the list...and therefore the app...when you go shopping anyway, and you just delete the items as you pick them up.

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2016, 12:32:04 pm »
The RTFM comments are not helpful. The fanboy attitude is annoying. Clearly I came to the wrong place.

I am also an early adopter, of most things Amazon. I use most of their products. I use AWS servers for my business. I have come to have high expectations for Amazon products, as usually they exceed my expectations. This product however, not so much. The physical design is good. The voice recognition is excellent. The software interface to the internet, and the search capabilities, are terrible. Absolutely terrible. It fails to do basic internet searches. It sends me to my phone constantly. Again, if I have to use my phone I can ask Siri or Google now and I actually get an answer.

For those that do not believe me that the app crashed / lagged (like Mike), that issue has been resolved. And Amazon CS admitted to me that their system was overloaded yesterday from all the Prime Day purchases. I don't need all the accusations from fanboys that I didn't experience what I did experience. Damn. It's like I am a heretic in a religious forum. Stone him!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 01:04:15 pm by mudcamper »

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2016, 01:07:13 pm »
I'm sorry you don't like it, I just got one and it works great, no issues with iPhone 6 using app.  Pretty cool technology and it linked right up to my Belkin and iDevices relays.

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2016, 01:16:03 pm »
The fanboy attitude is annoying.

Saying, "Learn how to use the thing the way it's intended to work instead of drawing a conclusion...after <= 24 hours of ownership...based on bogus expectations (like I said, it's not intended to be a web browser)" isn't a "fanboy attitude".  It's a level of common sense expected from most grownups.

Also, if most other people are using the device/service successfully and aren't experiencing the problems you say you are (most of us use the Echo every day..some of us quite extensively, and it doesn't send us to the app constantly, if even at all) then the rational, adult conclusion would be that maybe...just maybe...the problem isn't with the Echo/Alexa.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 02:18:21 pm by DParker »

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2016, 01:17:11 pm »
Elvisboy. just so you know, this guy is very much in the minority, we all like the gizmo in varying degrees of liking.

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2016, 01:48:17 pm »
Perhaps it's the questions I ask. I just noticed some interesting behavior. It has learned from my past queries.

Yesterday I asked, "Alexa, what is a soap box?"

Alexa, "Sorry. I didn't understand the question I heard."

Me, "Alexa, define soap box."

Alexa, "Hmm. I can't find the answer to the question I heard. I've added a Bing search to the Alexa app." (Why not offer to read the top result to me?)

Me, "Alexa, Wikipedia soap box"

And Alexa reads me the wiki page. Great. (But why doesn't she do this the first time, when she doesn't know the answer?)

Anyway, so today, I tried asking the same question, "Alexa, what is a soap box?" And she just answers. I tried this with a few other search terms and she's learned them as well. So she's expanding her database of answers. That's cool. But again, why doesn't she offer a wiki page or top search result when she doesn't know the answers?





Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2016, 02:17:16 pm »
Perhaps it's the questions I ask. I just noticed some interesting behavior. It has learned from my past queries.

Yesterday I asked, "Alexa, what is a soap box?"

Alexa, "Sorry. I didn't understand the question I heard."

In this case it's entirely possible that your question was simply not recognized correctly.  Alexa's speech recognition is extremely good, but not perfect.  Since you just acquired your Echo it helps if you invest some time helping it to understand you better by giving feedback on your queries, a log of which appears in the app.  For each one it will give you the opportunity to tell Amazon whether or not Alexa did what you expected.  Optionally, you can also add more detailed information (like suggestions for how you think it should behave).

Me, "Alexa, define soap box."

Alexa, "Hmm. I can't find the answer to the question I heard. I've added a Bing search to the Alexa app." (Why not offer to read the top result to me?)

Because, as I said, the Echo is not intended to be a web browser...for several reasons that I've covered elsewhere on this forum.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 03:10:19 pm by DParker »

Offline Yoda_One

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Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2016, 02:19:36 pm »
IT procedures especially programs have executable commands either verbal or written and has certain rules that must be followed.
There is an advantage with IA,  the more it's used it can make assumptions of what you need. Since you have just started with the device/ program it and you have a learning curve and in short amount of time you both will be on the same page.

Here is a start.


http://www.cnet.com/how-to/the-complete-list-of-alexa-commands/

https://www.thrillist.com/tech/nation/best-alexa-commands-easter-eggs-on-amazon-echo


https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_ss_v3_ds_t4?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200127470
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 08:05:08 pm by Yoda_One »
Learning to laugh at oneself and with others is good for your soul.

Re: New Echo owner - dissapointed
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2016, 06:26:22 pm »
Thanks for the info.