Echo & Alexa User Discussions and Support Forums

General Category => Amazon Echo Discussion => Topic started by: migmog on April 21, 2015, 05:11:04 pm

Title: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: migmog on April 21, 2015, 05:11:04 pm
Hey Echo hackers!
I am really excited about this thing, and I'm really looking forward to playing with it.
When I first heard of it I just had to get one, and while I don't live in the USA I have a good friend who does, and has ordered one and will send it to me. He says ETA is end of June.

I would be horribly disappointed if it didn't work simply because of my location! Does anyone know for sure if that is going to be a problem (I'm in Scotland). Also, is the thing tied to my friend's amazon account? I have an amazon account, but I don't have prime. Is there going to be a problem for me setting it up?

Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: sarlen on April 21, 2015, 08:08:50 pm
It wont be tied to his Amazon account and it works with or without Prime, having Prime just makes it a bit more functional. As for working outside of the US, I have not seen any information one way or the other.

Good luck!
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: jwlv on April 21, 2015, 08:54:04 pm
When setting up the Echo for the first time, you will need to enter some basic information such as your ZIP code.  Because you are not in the USA, you can probably just use any ZIP code. But keep in mind that weather reports, local news, and other information will be based on the ZIP code you used.

Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: migmog on April 22, 2015, 08:37:00 am
Thanks, guys!
I will keep you updated on my progress once I get the machine.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: chrisdl on May 27, 2015, 05:34:35 am
I've just received mine (bought on Ebay). I live in Belgium.

Weather AND Time Zone are indeed connected to the ZIP code which you enter in the app. It's US-only for now. That means that the weather forecast is useless and that you cannot set an alarm, unless you subtract the correct number of hours depending on the ZIP code you entered.

The Amazon Echo app is only available on the US AppStore (I'm using an iPhone), so you'll need to create a US Apple Account to be able to download it. I had one already, so that was no issue for me.

I'll keep you posted if I figure out any workarounds.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: ldejongh on June 04, 2015, 07:31:51 am
Hi migmog

I live in Dubai and have an Amazon Prime membership. The Echo works just fine outside the US, however location is currently tied to a US postal code. I use Seattle (the default) since it's 12 hours difference and thus easier to do time conversions. Of course this means time-specific alarms are out by 12 hours.

Asking for time or weather in a specific city or country is easy. The default city is Seattle, however I simply ask for the time/weather in Dubai, or Cape Town or wherever I'm interested in. The news updates are US-specific, though I suspect at some point it will become more international.

I connected all my Bluetooth devices to the Echo. My Bose PC speakers (Companion 5) don't deliver great sound to the kitchen, however the centrally-placed Echo is clearly audible, so I stream music or YouTube or any other audio from my phone, laptop or PC (using an Inateck BT 4.0 USB adaper) to the Echo for playback. And the Echo can be moved to where you are.

If you have a good music collection or YouTube playlist, not having Amazon Prime may not be an issue when it comes to music playback via Echo. It also supports other music streaming services.

The Echo app is freely available on the Amazon Appstore here in Dubai. I had a Blackberry Z10 and recently purchased the Z30 to replace it - the Amazon Appstore is preinstalled with the OS and the Echo app is easily downloadable. I added it to my Android tablet quite easily too. You should have no problems with this.

I hope that helps you a little bit. Any other questions, please ask.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: gradyr1953 on June 04, 2015, 11:27:55 am
I've sent in a recommendation that the location parameter be accepted in lat/long as well as ZIP code. I'd suggest that all non-USA users do the same, to move that request up the priority list.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: threed on June 16, 2015, 10:00:03 pm
I can confirm that it does indeed work in Canada.  I am lucky as I live on the border and use the zip code from the U.S. side.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: Monty on June 22, 2015, 06:04:01 pm
Noob here! As my first post to this forum, I will chime in with "It works great in Mexico", but of course it works best with a VPN!

Have had my Echo for a couple months and have done quite a bit of experimenting with IFTTT, Smartthings light bulbs, and WeMo light bulbs. Of course Amazon does not yet have direct functionality for these like the Hue lights. And with WeMo, the Echo can control switches and outlets, but not their light bulbs for some reason!

Anyway, for time and location purposes, I use Tucson, AZ, as it matches my Mexico time zone all year around.

My VPN is full time, full house (Witopia customized Cloakbox; no device limits).

Monty

Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: ScarlettPhoenix on June 27, 2015, 09:39:28 am
Is Little Havana considered part of the USA? LOL!!  Yes, it does work there as well.   :)
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: someyankinrio on June 27, 2015, 06:16:38 pm
I've had mine in Rio de Janeiro for a few days. It works but..... for time, weather and other bits of current info I need to append my request with "in Rio de Janeiro". I spoke to Amazon support and was told it's high on their to-do list
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: migmog on July 05, 2015, 11:46:05 am
Got my echo and love it!
I have to tag on "in Edinburgh" to common requests, and oddly I have to say "Edinburgh, Scotland" to get the weather.
-->Alexa, What's the time?
It's 11.11
-->Alexa, What's the time in Edinburgh?
"The time in Edinburgh is 4.11pm"
-->Alexa, What's the weather?
"Currently, in Germantown, MD it is 24 degress..."
-->Alexa, What's the weather in Edinburgh?
"Currently, in Edinburgh, MD it is 24 degress..."
-->Alexa, What's the weather in Edinburgh, Scotland?
"Currently, in Edinburgh United Kingdom it's 17 degrees..."

Ha ha ha! I think Alexa is a No voter :-)
And I had no idea there was an Edinburgh in Maryland

TuneIn works just fine, and when you say it like this it sounds quite retro which I like
-->Alexa, Tune in to BBC Radio Scotland
"BBC Radio Scotland on TuneIn"  *plays radio station*

It doesn't recognise my Amazon music files. Not a big deal as I usually listen to the radio, and I can bluetooth my favourite music from my phone. Shame it doesn't stream using DLNA as that's what all my other gizmos can do.

I don't care about any of these localisation issues, it is an awesome thing :-)


Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: Monty on July 05, 2015, 01:45:46 pm
There is really no reason, IMO, that Amazon should restrict normal operation to the USA. After all, how long before they (Amazon) become global? We now have an official Amazon website here in Mexico. While much of the electronic gear is still "Importacion", much is stocked/shipped within Mexico as well.

And with the current US$/MX$ currency exchange rate, I found it very economical to order an imported item and pay the duty. My item is in transit, so will see how it all goes.

Monty



Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: roadbug on July 11, 2015, 06:32:50 am
Well I received my Echo today and it works great.  Used the app to put a  TuneIn station in and it started playing.  Asked it for the weather and it gave me the weather for where my VPN terminates in the states.  I then asked it for the weather for my location (Grodno) and she replied she did not know that location. I then asked for weather in Minsk and she gave me the full run down for today and tomorrow.  Minsk is just far enough away (3-4 hour drive)for the weather to be different, so will have to figure out some way to let her know where Grodno is located I guess.  As someone suggested it would be great if they would allow you to put in your location by latitude and longitude, as I know that information ffom a couple of other apps I use.
My wife loves it as she can control it as well.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: fnowling on July 13, 2015, 01:18:37 am
And I had no idea there was an Edinburgh in Maryland


There is one in Texas too.
They were High School football rivals.

Frank
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: Boris on July 17, 2015, 08:01:02 pm

I know that Echo is only sold in the US. I  live in Venezuela. I was given an Echo as a fathers day gift. Is there a workaround to download the app? Anyone help?
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: migmog on July 18, 2015, 08:33:01 am
Mine has no trouble working with the website echo.amazon.com
I have not used the app.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: chrisfuccione on July 18, 2015, 11:49:21 am
You could open an US Itunes account with a US email address.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: Talisman on July 20, 2015, 08:39:07 am
ITunes huh? :) :P
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: dmuzik on July 24, 2015, 12:35:39 pm
I live in Austria and just set up my Alexa. Here are some things we noticed:
1.) weather and timezone is based on zip code. It defaulted for us to NYC. We do as others on this forum have suggested and just append "in Vienna, Austria" to our requests. I also sent a suggestion to Amazon to add a global field of options.
2.) I have a US Amazon account and my husband has an Austrian one. We could not set-up profile switching until we changed his country to the US. This took some searching on the Amazon account settings, as it's not in the normal account profile location --> it was under the settings menu in "manage content and devices."
3.) We have a US VPN and a standard local network. The Echo works fine on both, and the location settings don't seem to change.

In part, we got the Echo to generate some enthusiasm with our German-speaking kids about speaking English. They haven't given it a try yet, but I do think it would be interesting if the language settings could be switched.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: xyzwhatever on August 03, 2015, 01:55:31 pm
Once the echo and the app will be released in Europe, do you think its possible to convert the US version (that I would buy on ebay), by changing the firmware or whatever....?
I can live with those drawbacks for a couple of months, but it would really suck if it then is not compatible to the european app or something.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: jwlv on August 06, 2015, 12:18:07 am
It's hard to say what Amazon will do. But from a software engineering point of view, it's much easier to create a universal version and have it localize based on the user's region. That way, they won't have to make separate versions of the firmware and app.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: mike27oct on August 09, 2015, 03:31:05 pm
>>>>>    I usually listen to the radio, and I can bluetooth my favourite music from my phone. Shame it doesn't stream using DLNA as that's what all my other gizmos can do.
--------------------
You can use DLNA -- indirectly by using a DLNA-capable app on a phone or tablet, access your music source and Bluetooth it to the Echo.  My favorite way to do this is to use the free Avia app on my Android tablet and access my NAS where all 17,000 music tracks are stored, select one of the many playlists I have, and send audio to Echo via Bluetooth.  Easy!
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: migmog on August 13, 2015, 11:11:53 am
Hey Mike - thanks for the DNLA tip.
However, I can already DNLA music to my hifi using a Roku soundbridge and of course this goes through a proper amp + speakers, so it has much better audio quality than the Echo. It's only the voice control aspect that I'm interested in for sending it to the echo, and I don't think your solution offers that. Ideally I would like a way to have the Echo output sound to the hifi so we can listen to music with better quality and still retain the voice control. I suspect we may be waiting a long time for this, though :-(
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: mike27oct on August 14, 2015, 12:43:14 am
Unfortunately, Amazon left a basic headphone jack off of the Echo; I might add that many quality table radios have this handy and inexpensive feature.  In that way you could have piped the audio into the stereo. Like you, I also can access DLNA devices on apps and connected to my stereo to play music, video, etc.  The last thing I would want to send to the stereo is the Echo's output. What is nice is the Echo can play TuneIn stations without needing a gadget like a Roku and TV; the Echo is a self-contained system. 

I find my Echo to be a nice and handy state of the art internet clock radio and weather/news reporter. I feel that out of the box, it came with bare minimum apps/channels very unlike, say, a Roku.  Since one of my most-used internet radio apps (other than TuneIn) is Slacker (app like Pandora), but I cannot call up Slacker like I can Pandora, so I have to resort to BT-beaming Slacker from mobile device to Echo.  The Echo needs a lot more channels than it has.  I hope they will be coming along soon.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: roadbug on September 21, 2015, 06:10:38 am
I tried a new one today to try and get at least the time correct for my location.  Since the app will only let you input a 5 digit ZIP code I thought what would happen if I used an APO/FPO code?  It is 5 digit and they are scattered around the world so maybe I could put one in that was close to me.  Unfortunately Alexa does not recognize those ZIP codes as valid.  Oh well, back to the drawing board!
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: Quentin on October 18, 2015, 07:13:31 am
Hi,

I made a small tutorial on how to download the alexa app (http://blog.anythings.co/how-to-download-amazon-alexa-application) when you are not from the USA.
Let me know if I can help!

Quentin
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: jwlv on October 18, 2015, 02:03:29 pm
That's great! I'm sure this will help a lot of people who are not in the US.

Quote
Hi,

I made a small tutorial on how to download the alexa app when you are not from the USA.
Let me know if I can help!

Quentin
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: BDN13 on November 03, 2015, 03:13:00 am
I bought one last week in the US and took it home to the Netherlands. Radio works fine, as do the jokes  :) and other questions you can ask Alexa.
Weather for Amsterdam (close enough to my home to be meaningful) works fine, but other music is a no-go. Can't use Amazon Digital Music and so far I have not found a way to have it access my local NAS with my music library.
Still, it is good fun and a good radio. Hopefully Amazon will soon allow music streaming in more countries (probably a rights and license issue).
Still figuring out what other use cases I could apply, switching on lights doesn't seem very useful!
I do most f my strong audio via 2 Bluesound devices - great sound - but lousy interface. I'll suggest to them that they open up an API so we can use Alexa to control those by voice, that would be neat
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: mike27oct on November 03, 2015, 01:32:13 pm
>>>  Can't use Amazon Digital Music and so far I have not found a way to have it
access my local NAS with my music library.

True, but my computer can access the Echo via Bluetooth, and play from my NAS to Echo; even playlists.  A small BT transmitter on an iPod can stream playlists to Echo forever!

Sound on Echo is mono "table-radio" quality, but streamed music sounds better than say, TuneIn streaming on it.
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: IsaacPBL on March 15, 2016, 04:28:36 pm
I was also trying to figure this out and these answers have been super helpful. I've collected all of the information I can find online and created a guide to setting up the Echo in Canada. While it's Canada focused it's all equally applicable for those of you in other countries. Hope this is helpful to someone! http://paleblueliving.com/blogs/saving-energy-in-style/114605123-making-the-amazon-echo-work-in-canada-the-complete-guide (http://paleblueliving.com/blogs/saving-energy-in-style/114605123-making-the-amazon-echo-work-in-canada-the-complete-guide)
Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: k1d77 on May 02, 2016, 11:54:26 am
Hi everyone, i've had my echo for a couple of hours and i used the following links to set the time to uk/London.
 the first link will show you your time zone
https://pitangui.amazon.com/api/available-time-zones?_=1445689862656

This link shows you how to change the time.

http://www.echotalk.org/index.php?topic=228.0

 you will also find that it sorts out your calender  also.

Title: Re: Does it work outside USA?
Post by: renegade600 on May 02, 2016, 04:32:43 pm
Well I received my Echo today and it works great.  Used the app to put a  TuneIn station in and it started playing.  Asked it for the weather and it gave me the weather for where my VPN terminates in the states.  I then asked it for the weather for my location (Grodno) and she replied she did not know that location. I then asked for weather in Minsk and she gave me the full run down for today and tomorrow.  Minsk is just far enough away (3-4 hour drive)for the weather to be different, so will have to figure out some way to let her know where Grodno is located I guess.  As someone suggested it would be great if they would allow you to put in your location by latitude and longitude, as I know that information ffom a couple of other apps I use.
My wife loves it as she can control it as well.

unless there is a weather reporting station for the service amazon echo uses, then you may not get one.  You may want to try other towns closer to you if your town does not have a reporting station.