Brian is trying to play Leo's Tech Guy podcast using the Amazon Echo, but it keeps playing an old episode from TuneIn. Leo tried it, and it does indeed pull up an old episode. Leo suspects it's the fault of TWiT that may not have uploaded the most recent episodes. Or there's an issue on TuneIn. Another option could be to ask Echo to play it via YouTube or straight from TWIT.tv.
Dave got an Amazon Echo Show for his mother in law and he wants to know how to call her with his. How can he make calls from one Show to another? Leo says she has to allow it. He also has to be sure both of them are on each other's Show contact list. Dave will need to know the name of her Show. Amazon has a good setup tutorial on how to do Drop Ins here.
Robert wants a voice assistant that has the best artificial intelligence. He wants to be able to ask it a variety of different questions about the news. Leo says the Google Home is the winner in that category, but the Amazon Echo is the only device that lets you shop on Amazon. Amazon is also very good with music, and simple commands like setting a timer, and home automation tasks. There's also more than 50,000 third party skills on the Echo. The problem is that it's hard to find skills, and then he'd have to learn the specific syntax to use that skill.
Ron likes to listen to Leo's show on Sunday, but it gets preempted often for football. Leo says he can use iHeartRadio and listen to the live stream there. Leo says he can also use a Bluetooth speaker so he doesn't have to wear headphones. Or, he can replace his regular radio with an internet radio. They work just like a normal radio but they tune in stations over the internet. He can also program them with Reciva. CCrane makes a good one.
Nancy has an Android phone, her kids have iPhone. Which assistant should she get, Amazon Echo or Google Home? Leo says it doesn't really matter, but for Nancy, using the Google Home would be similar to Android's voice assistant. The Echo has been out for a few years now and it's a mature system, whereas Google Home just came out not long ago. Google Home is better for facts because of its search knowledge. Amazon Echo is better for home automation. It works well with a variety of Internet of Things devices. Google Home isn't quite there yet with Internet of Things.
Doctor Mom has managed to add her Sonos to the Amazon Echo by installing the Sonos Skill and letting it discover them in the devices section. It does have limitations, though. It can't play Spotify or Audible. The Echo will also immediately turn off all the speakers when it wakes up. The Sonos skill isn't really ready for prime time just yet. That's why she recommends getting the Vaux External Speaker for the Echo Dot, because you can drop the Dot right into it.
Alan's wife works for a non profit for helping the disabled and wants to know what technology should be in the houses they build. Leo says that Wi-Fi internet is a given, as is cable television. Cutting the cable is attractive, but Leo says that connected TV is still the best option to date. He should run conduit in the walls and just switch out the cables as technology evolves. YouTube TV would be good if they can get it. Also, voice activated devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home would be a lot of help.
Mike B says that Google Voice can call 800 numbers, and he used it to call the Tech Guy show. That's something that the Amazon Echo cannot do.
Doctor Mom says that Amazon turned on calling land lines with the Echo, much like Google Home can. She's tried it out and it's much like the Echo to Echo feature. You wake it up and then say "dial, [phone number]." But it will not call Google Voice numbers or 800 numbers. You can't hook up a Bluetooth headset, either.
Steve is visually impaired and he wants to know if he can use the Amazon Echo to control his Sonos stereo system. Leo says yes! You can set it to the auxiliary input and then you can use the Echo to control it. That's the way to do it. The Apple Home Pod will also be able to do it in December. Go for the DOT though. Leo has his DOT connected to his and it works great.