Brian wants to know if he can connect the Amazon Echo to anything and control it by voice. Leo says not everything. It requires a "skill" to be downloaded to attach to a device and control it. But there are more skills being added every day.
Tamar has an Amazon Echo Dot. She'll be listening to streaming radio and then it will just stop working. Leo says that he's had the same problem and it could be that it hears the word stop and stops. But it could also be that the stream stalls and the Echo gives up. Leo discovered that when he used the Echo Show and could see the error message. When a stream stops, it could be a random stop of the stream to force it to restart. This is largely due to having to pay royalties for music that they play. But if it's stopping suddenly and after just a few minutes, then that's not normal.
Keith is a fan of the Amazon Echo because he is vision impaired. Leo says that the Echo is great for accessibility because he can talk to it and get the necessary replies. It's not perfect, though, of course. It doesn't make phone calls yet. Right now, he could "drop in" and make phones calls to other Echo users. Some day someone may make a skill for that, but Google Home, by contrast, will be able to make a call to any phone number via Google Voice. So for that option, Google Home is the better option.
Amazon has launched a social purchasing network called Spark, where you buy something and it posts your purchase to your social network so that others can buy it too. They've also launched a clothes app, where the app will make suggestions of what you should wear.
Ron has a bunch of Echos all around his house but he can't use the intercom feature. Leo says he'll need to use the command "Drop in." He'll have to be sure they're enabled on each Echo and choose who can drop in as well. That's done in the Echo app. Leo says he'll need to sign up for Echo's calling and messaging as well, which is also in the app. His contact list will not sync with Echo, either. Leo says he'll have to sync his contacts to Google and then log into Google through the app.
Brian is having issues typing because of nerve damage. Can he use the Amazon Echo to dictate what he types? The Echo has over 15,000 skills, so there's bound to be something that it can do for him, and he can always write his own skills as well.
Keith isn't thrilled that Amazon has lowered the manufacturer's warranty on the Amazon Echo to 90 days. Leo says it doesn't bother him. He's had several of them and none have failed. But Keith has had two Dots fail so far. He's frustrated because it tends to be very promiscuous in connecting to his wireless speakers, knocking his other devices off. Leo says that's likely more a problem of Bluetooth, and not the Dot itself. He's also having issues with Drop In. Leo says he hasn't heard of any problems with Drop In and it could just be a bad model or software glitch on his Dot.
Jim is blind and he's been building up the capability of his Amazon Echo with more skills. He wants to be able to dictate and send email. Leo says that Amazon Echo can work with If This, Then That, and he can find out how to send email with it here. There's also this article by the Verge on how to do it.