Need Help With Your Finances Or Fitness? Just Ask Echo

top view amazson echoNew skills get added to the Amazon echo almost daily. Two of the newest include a 7-minute Workout, which is a third-party skill that includes exercises designed to increase your metabolism, improve your energy, lower stress and remove fat. Plus, there’s a new Ask Fidelity skill that provides securities information by symbol or company name. To get started all that’s required is enable the skills you want to try and then just ask: ” Alexa, start 7-Minute Workout” or “Alexa, ask Fidelity how the NASDAQ is doing today”?

In addition, Alexa is all tuned up for the presidential campaign. If you want to know when the next Democratic Republican debate will take place, just ask: “Alexa, when is the next Republican debate?” Or “Alexa when is the next democratic debate?”

If you haven’t yet learned all of Alexa’s skills you should get to echo. Starting last week Eco is featuring questions you can ask to get tricks and tips on how best to use this amazing device. Just ask:

• “Alexa, how do I connect my calendar?”
• “Alexa, how do I add music?”
• “Alexa, how do I connect to Bluetooth?”
• “Alexa, how do I use a skill?”

Get a workout playlist

If like most of us you kind of over indulged during the holiday season it might be time for you to start working on a new you. If you’re trying to work off those excess pounds at home, let Prime Music crank up the intensity with workout playlists. Start your workout, then just ask: “Alexa, play the Cardio Dance Workout playlist from from Prime Music. Prime music.” Or if you’ve got a hankerin’ for some country sounds say, ”Alexa, play the Modern Country Workout playlist from Prime Music.

2016 will be even better for Echo

The past year was a very exciting one echo and 2016 is going to be even better. Want to know what’s going to happen in 2016? Just ask: “Alexa, what is your new year’s resolution?”

Want to keep up with what happens to the the amazing Echo? just hit our subscribe button and we’ll keep you up-to-date with all of Echo’s latest and greatest.

If you don’t already own an echo, click on the little banner below and shop for one.

I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Where’s Amazon Going With The Echo?

If you’re not familiar with the Amazon Echo it’s this amazing black cylinder that stands about 9 inches high and is capable of playing just about any song you can think of. It’s capable of playing all of your Pandora radio stations and will happily give you a daily news flash briefing.  You can use the Echo to create to do lists and grocery lists and it will even do math.

Where the Echo is going is known only to those folks at Amazon but one thing is clear. It’s slated to be the hub for your home’s Internet of Things (IoT) The echo can already be used to turn the lights off and on, activates switches and will even operate your garage door.

Amazon’s foray into the world connected commerce meshes Amazon Echo and the Dash button to join the two markets. In addition, it’s known that Amazon has invested heavily in its Amazon Web services, which is slowly becoming one of the company’s most important sectors.

Adobe has data showing that customers have listed Amazon Echo as the “most admired” product of all the digital assistants now available on the marketplace. Its share as of this writing was 67% followed by Google Now  and Siri at 45%. The Windows Cortana was admired by 38% of those queried and Facebook M at 18%. While Echo has been available for many months online and at participating retailers, like Staples, this marks Amazon’’s largest in-store push to date for Echo since its launch in late 2014 (read complete article)

Amazon Echo Review Written By A First-time User

Couple sleeping next to EchoI ran across  a review of the Amazon Echo from a Dave Smith sharing his experiences with the Echo as a  first time user. One of the things he wrote was, “But the most appealing aspect of the Echo is that it feels futuristic. Thanks to its seven different microphones with far-field voice recognition, it can hear me from anywhere in my apartment, even when music’s playing. And with its 360º omni-directional audio grille, I can hear it, too, whenever it’s talking back.”

Dave had some other interesting thing to say about the Echo and Alexa like, “Activation was quick and easy. I just plugged the cylinder into a socket, connected it to WiFi, and I was ready to go.” You can read Dave’s entire article by clicking here. If you’re thinking about purchasing an Echo,you should definitely read it.

Get Yer Red Hot Amazon Echo Right Now For $30 Off!

Couple from video around EchoThat’s right. You can get the ever amazing Amazon Echo right now for just $149.  savings of forty bucks off its normal price. If you don’t want one for yourself it would make a great gift for that someone special in your life.

What can Amazon Echo Do? For one thing it includes all the music in Amazons 1,000,000 song  Library. You can get even more listening pleasure by telling Alexa (that’s the voice you communicate with) to play music from your Pandora stations. Speaking of stations, Alexa can play yours through Tunein.

Wait, wait, there’s more. Much more.

Alexa will give you a flash news briefing every day, read your audible books to you and help you find a good restaurant with Yelp. You can use the Echo to adjust your smart thermostat, turn lights on and off and raise and lower your garage door.

Alexa will solve math problems for you and convert stuff like meters into yards or feet or cups into ounces. Amazon recently introduced tigger phrases for IFTTT (If This Then That) so you could teach the Echo to do things like have your Philips Hue bulbs blink when a certain event occurs or, as Amazon states, have your phone ring when you can’t find it. (You can learn all about Echo, trigger phrases and IFTTT by clicking here.)

So what are your waiting for. Amazon is committed to adding  more and more features to the Echo so why not get it while it’s on sale? As CNET has said, “”The Echo may be the closest thing we’ll have to a Star Trek computer at home.

As for us we think you’ll end up believing it’s the best $149.99 you’ve ever spent.







Happy Birthday, Alexa

top view amazson echoTime does fly by. The Amazon Echo celebrated its first birthday on November 7. As a birthday present to Alexa from Amazon,  you can grab the Echo this Monda for just $149 or $40 off the regular price..

Just like toddlers the Echo is growing up but a lot faster. According to the website Venture Capital Post, “Currently, Amazon added more functionality to its Echo with a local search from Yelp, streaming music from Pandora, audiobooks from Audible and support for IFTTT automation service. According to ZD Net, IFTTT which is an acronym of “If This Then That,” is an API for dummies. It is because IFTTT works by connecting apps and cloud services in a way anyone can use it. In order to enable IFTTT to work with Amazon Echo, the owner can connect IFTTT account to their Amazon account. After the accounts are connected, users can either browse for existing Alexa recipes or create new recipes.”

Alexa still does all the things that’s made her one of the most popular devices ever. It will play music from your Prime library and from your Pandora radio stations. I particularly like this feature because when I ask Alexa to play, for example, my Chet Baker Pandora station I’ll get music by Chet and by a lot of other musicians soI often discover new music. And no day would be complete without getting my Flash Briefing.

Click on this link To read the complete article in  Venture Capital Post and learn more about the amazing Amazon Echo, click on this link.




Need To Find A Good Italian Restaurant? Just Ask Alexa

Couple from video around EchoAmazon has added answers straight from Yelp. Once it finds that good Italian restaurant it can even deliver information such as its address,  hours of operation and its phone number for delivery service. This means you can now ask Alexa for information about anything  from Thanksgiving dinner decorations to organic stuffing. (Read full article)

Want To Know More About The Amazon Echo? Just Read Some Of Its 26,000 Reviews

26,000 reviews?Echo in kitchen next to running faucet

Yep, You read that right. There have been 26,000 reviews of the Amazon Echo to date. And according to the website 2paragrphs 88% of Amazon reviewers give the Echo 4-stars or 5-stars. The commpn refrain of these reviews is that the Echo  just getting better with every update.

Scary but so much fun

That’s what one reviewer noted. The Echo plays music, answers math questions, plays podcasts, creates your shopping and to do lists and can even control your lights and garage door.

So for most people it’s utility outweighs its somewhat scary aspects like is ut listening to everything we say 24 hours a day? Plus the fact that  the role of technology is becoming increasingly dominant in every facet of our life.  Hence,  the Echo is “scary but so much fun”. (Read full article )

Is Echo listening to everything you say?

The rumor is that Echo is constantly listening to you and transmitting everything you say up into Amazon’s cloud to be ruthlessly exploited by Jeff Bezos.Echo with cartoon ears listeningExcept it doesn’t.

If  you believe that Echo is listening to your every word you can simply turn it off by pressing a small button on its top.

But that’s not necessary.

According to a report on the website TheRegisterUK,  “But then that would defeat the great usefulness of the Echo: the ability to talk out loud and have it respond.”

“So here’s what really happens. The machine is constantly listening out for a “wake word,” which can be one of two things: Alexa or Amazon. Default is Alexa because it makes it more personable.

“The machine constantly stores a fraction of a second of audio in a buffer and when it hears “Alexa” relays everything from that buffer until there is a pause in your speech of roughly half a second to Amazon’s servers. The servers then make sense of what you just said and respond accordingly.”

So there you go. The Echo isn’t some malevolent device created to help Amazon make more money. It’s just an amazing device that does a myriad of things already with more capability to come. (Read the complete article.)






What I like And Dislike About My Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo UnboxedLet me say offhand that I do like my Amazon Echo and am glad I made the $199 investment.

However, truth be told I’m not getting as much  use out of it as I had imagined.  I use it the most to listen to music and in that sense Amazon Echo can’t be beat  – unless you want to own your music. The biggest drawback of Echo as a jukebox is that you can listen to literally millions of different songs but you can’t download any of them for your private collection.

I also like my daily flash news briefing. And Echo’s weather reports are very helpful I no longer leave the house without first querying Echo for the temperature.

I could probably use Echo’s to do lists and shopping lists but I find it much easier to do them on my smart phone. With Echo you can dictate your lists  and then view them on your smart phone in the Echo app but for me that just adds a second and unnecessary step.

I am anxious to try out these new  sleep timer capability but haven’t yet gotten around to it.

Finally, I like the idea that I could use echo to control things within my house but again, I haven’t yet purchased the necessary products.  I would like to be able to control the light  above my porch and will probably install the necessary fixture sometime in the next week or two.

What I don’t like

I would like m Echo just for the music it provides alone But there is one thing that just annoys the hell out of me and that’s the fact that it’s not wireless Like it or not Echo insists on being plugged in. I  currently have it in my kitchen but there are times when I would like to have it in my office or in my bedroom. To move it means unplugging it, carrying it to its new location and then finding someplace to plug it in  – which isn’t easy in my old house. I guess that when this house was built in 1959 people just didn’t need a lot of electrical outlets.

But that’s it – my only complaint. Beyond this the Amazon Echo has definitely earned a warm spot in my heart.

A Review Of The Amazon Echo

Eco by booksI came across a review of the Amazon Echo the other day that I really liked because it started as follows:

“Alexa, what’s the weather today?”

“ALEXA! What’s the weather today?”



The review went on in this vein showcasing both Echo’s strengths and weaknesses.  For example, is an excerpt that really hit home with me

“The Echo is one of the most compelling cases I’ve ever seen for the power of voice control, of talking to our gadgets the way we talk to each other. It’s also a powerful and infuriating reminder of its limitations, of how long the road to our robotic future really is.”

This is really true. , too.

When I ask Alexa to play a certain type of music or  a specific song she almost always comes through like a champ. But when  I ask her to play one of my Pandora radio stations, goodness knows what I’ll get. If I ask her to play the Pandora radio station for BG Adair I might get songs by the Bee Gees And while Alexa is pretty good at answering question it’s fairly easy to stump her,

The review I found is pretty evenhanded so if you are considering laying out $199 for Amazon Echo, here’s a link to the review that could help yo make a buying decision



Alexa Will Now Lull You To Sleep

top view amazson echoHave you ever owned one of those clock radios with a sleep timer?

Then you pretty much know how sleep timers work. You would choose a radio station, pick an amount of time (maybe 20 or 30 minutes) and drift off to sleep listening to the station of your choice.

You can now do this with the Amazon Echo but with two substantial differences.

First, you can choose the exact music you want to lull you to sleep from literally thousands of different choices.

Here’s how it works with Echo:

Step one: Choose your music like. “Alexa play Ocean Waves from Prime Music”.

Step two: Set your timer – “Alexa set a timer for 30 minutes.”

Step three: say “Alexa.”Goodnight.”

Pretty simple,?

Of course, you don’t have to choose Ocean Waves. Depending on the type of music you prefer you could choose Relaxing Classical Music from Prime Music,” a favorite radio station from Pandora or even just white noise.

Second, you can choose any number of minutes that suits your fancy. If 20 minutes is too long just say, “Alexa set a timer for 10 minutes.” If you have a really hard time falling to sleep you could say “Alexa set a timer for 45 minutes.”

Did you try any of Alexa’s campaign jokes?

If you enjoyed Alexa’s campaign jokes you might be interested to know that Donald Trump is leading Hillary Clinton with 60% of the presidential Job requests being “Alexa, tell me a Donald Trump joke”. With the first Democratic debate coming up next week you can also say “Alexa tell me a Bernie Sanders joke.

Have you missed any of Echo’ previous updates? You can always learn what they are by asking “Alexa, do you have any new features?”.