Amazon Echo

Add Skills to Your Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is a black cylinder that you can actually talk to. It can tell you the news, weather, can help with math, find information, and more. It's abilities can be expanded on even further with the use of Alexa Skills.

You can search skills that others have created at the Alexa Skills Store. You can add games like Jeopardy and math games for kids, a workout routine, and connect your internet-of-things devices like Nest and Honeywell.

Google Announces Amazon Echo Competitor: "Google Home"

Episode 1290

Google Home

At Google's I/O developer conference this week, Google announced a new product called Google Home. This is essentially an Amazon Echo competitor. It's a small device that kind of looks like an air freshener, and you talk to it to get information and perform tasks. It won't have the Amazon services, though. We don't know yet when that will be available or what the price will be.

Find out more at home.google.com

Is the Amazon Echo a good device for a senior?

Episode 1284

Peter from Brooklyn, NY
Amazon Echo

Peter wants to get his mother an Amazon Echo. Will she like it? Leo says he recently gave his in laws an Echo and they love it. But he'll want to set it up right and teach them how to use it with the right verbiage, etc. It's great for reading books to them, playing music, the works. It also has a bunch of skills that he can install to do custom features.

How can I get Amazon Echo to play my music?

Episode 1251

Greg from Conifer, CO
Amazon Echo

Greg wants to access his music from Amazon with his Echo. Leo says the Echo does support Amazon Prime Music, but that's a limited subset. His sense is that it wont, but it says that it will support Amazon music. He would have to upload his music to his Amazon Music library and then he'll need to have the right syntax to ask to play it. "Hey Echo, Play [Name of the Song]" and it should just play it. If he has them organized in folders, it could be problematic.

The Amazon Echo Is Selling Great...But Why?

Episode 1233

Sales of the Amazon Echo home automation box are brisk, and Leo says the reason why is that it seems to be instinctual in our generation to have a "Hal," in our house that we can talk to. Even though Echo doesn't do a heck of a lot, we can talk to it and it talks back, just like the psychotic spaceship computer in 2001. And Leo's convinced that's all that matters to our generation.

Should I buy an Amazon Echo?

Episode 1230

Paul from LaHoya, CA
Amazon Echo

Paul wants to know if the Amazon Echo has to connect to his computer. Leo says that the Echo (named Alexa) would require an app on his smartphone, tablet or computer to configure it. After that, he won't need to connect it to anything but the internet. It works alone via Wi-Fi. Leo loves it. He uses it in his kitchen and has it read his audiobooks to him. He also uses it as a timer. And they are adding features all the time. It's a tad pricey, and it's hard for Leo to recommend it for everyone, but Leo thinks it's a taste of the future.