Alexa Cast | An Unofficial Journey of an Amazon Echo User Podcast Image

Alexa Cast | An Unofficial Journey of an Amazon Echo User

A Technology and Gadgets podcast featuring Dave Jackson
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Follow the journey of using the Amazon Echo and get power tips and get more out of your Amazon Echo

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44 episodes

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Make Your Own Alexa Skill With Blueprints
One of the great things about Alexa is she is cloud-based. This means she will update with more features on a regular basis. I just discovered blueprints (blueprints.amazon.com ) I just started playing with these, and I found the chore and "whose turn" to be very helpful. If you're creative, this will spark a giant brainstorm in your head.
Alex Now Remembers
Alexa Helps You Remember Anything You can now ask Alexa remember things for you. All you have to say is "Alexa remember ______" and she will make you confirm and that's it.  So this could be birthdays, shirt sizes, where the extra blankets are, what wiper blades to use on the volvo, etc.  I don't see where you can edit these, so I'm not sure if you accidentally say Grandma's birthday is March 17th when it's really April 17th. I don't see any place in the app to update these.  Alexa Follow Up Mode There is also now the ability to Alexa more questions without having to say her name.  You can turn this on by going into the app, clicking on your device and turning on "follow up mode." This appears to keep her "listening" for about five seconds after she answers you.  So you can say, "Alexa add eggs to the shopping list, and she would reply and you could then add, "Add Milk to the shopping list" without having to say, Alexa before each item. New Houses Will Come Equipped with Alexa Lennar (the largest homebuilder in the US) announced Wednesday that standard features in its new homes will include built-in Wi-Fi, smart locks, doorbells, thermostats, and lights — all controlled by Alexa, Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant. Each house will come with two Alexa-enabled smart speakers, an Echo Show and an Echo Dot. New homeowners will also get a free visit from an Amazon technician to help set everything up and teach them how to use it.
I Got an Amazon Dot Now What?
Today we play a bit with notifications in case you are wondering why your Amazon blinking green. I Got an Amazon Device - Now What Do I Do With It. After doing this show since November 0f 2016, I thought I would help those that are just joining us and share my experiences. I Started With An Echo My original device was the Amazon Echo (now version 2). The speaker sounds great, but if you are looking more for functionality (or you'll just plug in better speaker) you get started with a Dot (which didn't exist when I started) First Came Lists I love that I can say "Alexa add Eggs to the shopping list" and she does. Then when I go to the store, I pull up the Alexa app and there is my grocery list. You can also use this as a todo list, and even create custom lists. I integrated Alexa with my favorite todo list tool called todoist.com using ifttt.com I Set Up a Flash Briefing For me, it's the weather, a bible verse of the day, some podcast news, and a clip from the daily show. All I have to do is ask her "What's New?". These are done under settings. Hit The Lights I first bought Philips Hue White A19 60W Equivalent Smart Bulb Starter Kit which are two light bulbs and a hub for around $66. Later you can buy just a two-pack of just light bulbs without the hub for $26  If you buy bulbs that don't need a hub they are a little more expensive such as the Kasa Smart LED Light starting at $19. I Added Some Smart Plugs I added twin pack of smart outlets for $44 from TP-Link as I rarely dim the lights, I can plug a lamp into the lights and turn them on and off with Alexa. I late got a Kasa Smart Plug as a gift ($23). None of these require a hub. This was handy as I used one to turn the Christmas tree on and off. I Added an Amazon Fire TV Device I got a Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote (Pendant Design) | Streaming Media Player for $69. So I now can walk into a room and say "Alexa play South Park on Hulu" and she will do it and turn on my TV. I recently cut my cable and use Hulu for Live TV and for my DVR. I can stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go, Sling, and whole lot more. My First Alexa Enabled Device iHome was nice enough to provide me with an iHome iAVS16 Alexa Bedside Speaker System with Far Field Voice, Bluetooth, and USB Charging Alarm Clock.  This is very nice, but at the time this unit doesn't seen to have the intelligent listening of a dot. I often will say something to the dot sitting inches away from me (or in some cases, I can be in my living room) and this unit will answer. It's as if it listens with super hearing. I do like the sound of this device. Compared to the dot, it has very good sound. It doesn't do all the "drop-in" and other Amazon features, but I love that I can charge my phone while I sleep and say "Alexa set an Alarm for 7:30 AM" and see it show up on the display. New Amazon Dot Kids Edition The new Amazon Dot for kids is out with a price tag of $79. I know my great-nieces and nephew LOVE to play with Alexa and this comes with special packages to make it Kid friendly: Now Alexa is a kid-friendly DJ, comedian, and storyteller — and she’s always getting smarter. Just ask and Alexa will play music, answer questions, read stories, tell jokes, and more — all with younger ears in mind. Up to $109 in savings on Echo Dot (Black), 1 year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, and a kid-friendly case, plus a 2-year worry-free guarantee—if they break it, return it and we’ll replace it for free The included 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited gives your kids access to hundreds of hours of fun and educational content, including ad-free radio stations and playlists, Audible books, and a growing list of premium kids skills. After one year, your subscription will automatically renew every month starting at just $2.99/month plus applicable tax. You may cancel any time by visiting the Amazon Parent Dashboard or contacting Customer Service. 1 year of FreeTime Unlimited gives you access to over 300 Audible books for kids, like Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan, thousands of songs, and kid-favorite games and skills from Disney, National Geographic, Nickelodeon, and more Easy-to-use parental controls in the online Amazon Parent Dashboard let you set daily time limits, review activity, or pause Alexa on the device Automatically filter explicit songs from Amazon Music Call kids to dinner or tell them it’s bedtime from compatible Echo devices anywhere in the house—without having to raise your voice Check out the Amazon Dot for Kids Edition Here is the video of the commercial Comments? 888-563-3228    
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Podcast Details
Started
Nov 25th, 2016
Latest Episode
Oct 8th, 2018
Release Period
Weekly
No. of Episodes
44
Avg. Episode Length
9 minutes
Explicit
No

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