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New Amazon UK users

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New Amazon UK users
« on: September 29, 2016, 07:27:47 am »
Hi

Any other users of the newly launched UK version of the Echo here?

I pre-ordered mine and received it on launch yesterday. There have been a few teething problems. Firstly, I have a dual-band router and couldn't get it to connect on my stronger 2.4 GHz channel. It did however connect to my 5 GHz channel at the first attempt.

Next, it disconnected during the night and I had to run setup again (happily it had saved my password). I suspect this may have been due to a firmware update, because last night it was giving me the temperature in Fahrenheit but in the morning it had correctly switched to Celsius and I found a metric option in my app that I don't think was there before.
Lastly, TuneIn seems a bit hit and miss.

One thing I can't do is to get Roger to work. Roger is recognised as a device in the Alexa app, but no matter how many times I run "connect" in the Roger app, Alexa doesn't show as a contact. I suspect that's because I'm connected to the US Roger site. Has anyone managed to make Roger work in the UK?

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 12:29:06 pm »
Hi - new UK user here.

As you can probably see from my other post I wouldn't worry about not getting on 2.4ghz. Some people will argue that 5ghz is actually better.

My TuneIn has been fine for me. It just got a bit confused on which station name I asked for. Kool got mistaken for call. So instead of drum and bass I got an American audio book!!

My app had Celsius and Fahrenheit out of the box. It was a metric button.

Happy so far.. feels a bit weird using it :) Shame IFTTT isn't available in the UK yet but hoepfully soon

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 01:22:38 pm »
Another thing - most of the Skills, even "local" ones, are US based. Hopefully there will be more UK ones eventually. I'm also not impressed by the choices for Flash Briefing; the Radio 4 one, which should be a UK news summary, is a Today podcast on a random subject. Sky News is irritating; BBC Minute is even worse.

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2016, 03:19:12 pm »
Really enjoying the new echo and the sound quality is excellent. Can't wait for more UK based skills.  Lots of the 'skills' I have tried either don't work or are US based. The Spotify connectivity is brilliant but would love to see the BBC get on board with 'flash briefings' too.  Also, would be great for virgin media to allow it to connect to the TV.  So much potential and will be interesting to see how it develops.

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2016, 06:39:21 am »
Hi, I picked up an Echo from John Lewis on Thursday (28th)....It's potential is obvious, but right now my impression is that it was poorly prepared for a UK launch!  Alexa's ability to respond is fragmented and there's yet more expenditure required to get it to interface with other so called smart kit.  Like many others, my motivation to buy was predicated by a wish to voice control the TV, lighting heating system etc....ok, yes it can but this aspect of the market is still fragmented, confusing and expensive.   It also requires a degree of technical skill to achieve success.  Ok, its early days, or is it?  It's been out in the US for 2 years or more and there are 3000+ skills available!  So where are they in the UK version?

I spent some years with computers and networking but I'm not up to speed on this area's control software, something I intend to remedy if I'm to customise the system for my needs.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 06:41:22 am by tecmic »

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2016, 02:50:13 pm »
Hi, I picked up an Echo from John Lewis on Thursday (28th)....It's potential is obvious, but right now my impression is that it was poorly prepared for a UK launch!

That impression appears to be at least partially based on some misunderstandings on your part.

Alexa's ability to respond is fragmented

That area has nothing to with the UK version.  It's a general weakness (that's improving).

and there's yet more expenditure required to get it to interface with other so called smart kit.  Like many others, my motivation to buy was predicated by a wish to voice control the TV, lighting heating system etc....ok, yes it can but this aspect of the market is still fragmented, confusing and expensive.

Again, that has nothing to do with the UK launch.  That said...of course there's extra expense involved in using Alexa as a smart home interface.  Were you expecting it to be able to control your existing ordinary lights, TV, et al by some sort of magic?

It also requires a degree of technical skill to achieve success.

Not really, unless you're trying to hobble together some custom or extra sophisticated solutions using some of the more challenging features of things like the SmartThings hub.

Ok, its early days, or is it?  It's been out in the US for 2 years or more and there are 3000+ skills available!  So where are they in the UK version?

The "skills" you refer to are extensions to the Alexa service that are created by 3rd  party developers (individuals and businesses), not Amazon.  Now that the UK is supported by Echo/Alexa I'm sure that some of your tchnically savvy countrymen will be developing skills geared toward your locale.

I spent some years with computers and networking but I'm not up to speed on this area's control software, something I intend to remedy if I'm to customise the system for my needs.

I don't know exactly what you're referring to as "this area's control software", so I can't comment on that.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 08:51:48 am by DParker »

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2016, 02:15:30 am »
I pre-ordered as a Prime member and am relatively happy.

Very easy to set up and does a good job of understanding my mumble.

Annoyed that Kindle and IFTT don't work yet - I think that the advertising could be construed as somewhat misleading there.

Still unable to leave a review on the Amazon website - as the product is still "not for sale".

All said and done though, a very impressive piece of kit. Simply coming down in the morning and saying "Alexa. Get my commute from National Rail" has saved me two trips to the station so far this week. Any folks visiting have reactions from amazed to "that's really scary".

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2016, 04:18:36 am »
Have you tried saying good morning to it? Mine gives me a good morning back plus a fact about the day which sounds a bit dry but yesterday I was reminded it was world vegetarian day and I should 'put down the steak knife, pick up a fork and give peas a chance'; today is apparently the 'birthday of Richard the III, [historical fact historical fact] king-under-the-carpark'. It didn't miss a beat, I swear it's enjoying this!

Like everyone else, I'm still feeling my way and getting used to what it can do but there's already a Dot on the way - the breeding programme has begun!

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2016, 07:51:18 pm »
Took delivery of my Echo on 28th (Wednesday) being a Prime pre-order customer.  I have to say I really like the concept, but I'm a little disappointed in what's available for UK users at the moment.   I bought a Wemo switch which refused to connect to either the Echo or the Wemo App, so have sent it back to Amazon.  A replacement arrived today (Sunday) and connected immediately, so it must have been a dodgy unit.  Nice to be able to switch a standard lamp on from my wheelchair now with Alexas voice.

Annoying that you cannot get the smart wall light switches in the UK, something to do with the way we wire them in European countries apparently.   Was expecting to get voice training in the Alexa app, but again not available in the UK version.   I think it's something that is needed as sometimes Alexa does have problems understanding some things I say, and I don't mumble ;)    I really hope that people get behind this concept in a big way and we get a lot more UK based skills for it.   It's certainly brightened up my life a bit, although felt a little self conscious talking to a tube at first.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2016, 07:54:31 pm by E-Warrior »
To find your mind, you have to lose it first!

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2016, 02:55:38 am »
I got mine on Friday September 30th  and the family have all been furiously playing with it, funny thing Alexa says... when I said block Harry from Alexa, it replied "Adding Turkey mans to your shopping list"
Is there any way in the Weight Watch skill to use stones and pounds instead of just pounds?
Any news on when we will be able to read our Kindle books in the UK Echo's?
When I ask for distance from here to Newcastle it always replies " as the crow files" can we get a road mileage?

Steve

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2016, 03:55:57 am »
   It's certainly brightened up my life a bit, although felt a little self conscious talking to a tube at first.

I'm still talking to mine like an actor in a 1940s public information film. For some reason, speaking via the remote feels less ridiculous and I don't feel I need to write a script first!

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2016, 05:46:17 am »
Took delivery of my Echo on 28th (Wednesday) being a Prime pre-order customer.  I have to say I really like the concept, but I'm a little disappointed in what's available for UK users at the moment.   I bought a Wemo switch which refused to connect to either the Echo or the Wemo App, so have sent it back to Amazon.  A replacement arrived today (Sunday) and connected immediately, so it must have been a dodgy unit.  Nice to be able to switch a standard lamp on from my wheelchair now with Alexas voice.

Annoying that you cannot get the smart wall light switches in the UK, something to do with the way we wire them in European countries apparently.   Was expecting to get voice training in the Alexa app, but again not available in the UK version.   I think it's something that is needed as sometimes Alexa does have problems understanding some things I say, and I don't mumble ;)    I really hope that people get behind this concept in a big way and we get a lot more UK based skills for it.   It's certainly brightened up my life a bit, although felt a little self conscious talking to a tube at first.

at least you have a whole lot more available than what was available when it was originally released in the US. 

Re: New Amazon UK users
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2016, 02:14:35 pm »
New UK users, be sure to see this post I entered to help you out with your new Echo:
http://www.echotalk.org/index.php/topic,839.0.html