Amazon Echo

What home assistant should I use?

Episode 1474

Bogdan from Rosamond, CA
Amazon Echo

Bogdan wants to know what home assistant should he buy. Leo says it depends on what he wants to use it for. Google Assistant is better for answering questions, and Amazon Echo is better for shopping and consuming music. Both now support making phone calls. Both will work with home automation devices, so he can tell Echo to turn on the lights. In the long run, Google will probably be the best, though.

Why doesn't my Echo work in the garage?

Episode 1470

Stan from Victorville, CA
Amazon Echo

Stan has a bunch of Amazon Echo devices all over his house, but he's having issues with the one in his garage. Leo says that the garage may be too far from his router. He should try bringing it into the house and using it. If it works there, then that means he just doesn't have a good signal in the garage. If it doesn't, then the software may be damaged, and he can just reset it back to defaults to reload the software.

Why doesn't my Echo work in Canada?

Episode 1467

Ken from Vancouver, Canada
Amazon Echo

Ken is in Canada and bought a US Amazon Echo through his sister, but most of the functions won't work with Canada's Amazon website. Leo says that features like Audible have different rights according to each country and it may be that they don't support those features due to copyright restrictions. Ken tried using a US Amazon account and everything worked. But even then, he may not be able to stream music or videos depending on the rights. Using the US site is a good workaround, though.

Why is the audio from my Echo cutting in and out?

Episode 1465

Kevin from Malibu
Amazon Echo

Kevin is having trouble with his two Alexa devices. They are intermittently going in and out. Leo says that if it comes back where it left off, that's just buffering of the internet and is a sign that his bandwidth isn't keeping up. If it's dropping out and coming back at a different time, then he's losing packets. Either way, it's an internet issue. It could also be iHeartRadio. It could also be congestion with wireless traffic. Kevin could use a Wi-Fi analyzer to see if someone's Wi-Fi hotspot is getting in the way.

How can I wire an Echo into my mother's nurse call system?

Episode 1463

Judy from Virginia
Amazon Echo Dot

Judy wants to know if her mother, who is in a nursing home, can be wired in to call the nurse outdoors. She can't pull the string to call the nurse. The chatroom says that Amazon has the "Add a motor drapery motor" that could maybe do it. But Leo says that the easiest thing to do would probably be to buy an Echo Dot for the nurse's station. That way her mother can do a "drop-in" with the Echo to call them.

Can a home assistant device make phone calls?

Episode 1463

Stephen from Riverside, CA
Amazon Echo Connect

Stephen wants to get a voice operated home device to make phone calls for his mother in law. Leo says that the Amazon Echo only works with other Echo devices. Google Home Assistant, however, can be linked to his phone and can make phone calls by voice. The chatroom says that Echo Connect will work to make phone calls, especially emergency ones. Leo says that these in-home voice assistants are a game changer, especially for older folks. They're also cheap enough now that he can put them in every room.