It has now been a few years of using the Alexa devices and Amazon services. At first, I was a bit “unsure” and saw it as a gimmick, but over the years I have grown very fond of the Alexa and now use Alexa in my day-to-day life.
So, how did this start, that my friend is the wife’s fault. She discovered shopping on Amazon after using QVC and she ordered the first version. She wanted to listen to radio and saw that the device used Wi-Fi and the internet to play radio stations. The parcel arrived the next day and I had to connect the Alexa to the internet via the app on my phone. This took nearly all afternoon, but once it was connected the fun began.
The app and the service has much improved and now installing the Alexa has become much easier to use. We have now set up mains plugs and LED light bulbs with Alexa and we can turn lights and heaters on and off with just a few words. Very handy when you are in bed and forgot to turn the front room light on. With the magic words “Alexa, turn off front room light” I do not even have to get up. Linking these into the Alexa service is also extremely easy, if the device has “Alexa Compatible” on the box you can just install the manufactures app, setup and then Alexa will detect the new devices and allow you to use them on just one system.
While Alexa on her on and just turned on the table will not do a lot, using the app to set her up and connect all the services does create a particularly useful virtual assistant. I can set reminders, alarms and to do lists, even shopping lists which I can use when we go shopping. Alexa can link with many apps and has her own Skills which can link and add many useful functions. We also have the Alexa Show which has a built-in touch screen so you can read news and see videos, this makes Alexa very use full for reading and following websites.
In the Amazon range of tablets the Kindle Fire beings the main ones, Alexa comes as standard and with an optional stand, you can covert the Kindle Fire 8 and 10 into a show device, this is very handy in the kitchen or workplace where you can read and scroll the book or webpage with just you voice, if your hands are dirty or holding parts, it means no dirty hands on the screen.
At first, I thought the Amazon Alexa would be a fad or fancy gimmick, but I will say I was proven wrong and use many features of the Alexa around the home. While Google also has a similar system, the Alexa seems much more polished and seems to get things more right then wrong. Also, the Alexa products seem much better priced for the mass market, the Google seems much more expensive.
Alexa is also now on many third-party products, as well as on their own product range and this can expand the system for Video as well as Audio uses. You can change the channel on your TV from anywhere in the house and use each device as a speaker to improve sound, my favorite Alexa device for decent audio is the Alexa Studio Pro which is now used as a soundbar for the TV.
Thankyou for reading and I will have more very soon.
Gareth Witty © January 2021