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
- 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