amazon alexa

How Can I Turn Off Echo Making Phone Calls?

Alexa

Episode 1729

Steve from Redondo Beach, CA

Steve wants to turn off in his Amazon Alexa. He can't stop his 4-year-olds from making calls. Leo says that he may have to call Amazon Support at 1 (888) 280-4331 and ask them to disable it. Presumably, it's a safety feature in case of emergencies. He could turn off the option in the Amazon app, turning it off device by device. Go to preferences - then communications. There's a disable option by device. Steve said that he looked and the option isn't on in the app. But it still works. So only a call to Amazon will prevent that from happening.

How Do I Set Up Security Cameras with Alexa?

Arlo

Episode 1675

Stan from Victorville, CA

Stan has Arlo security cameras around his home and several IOT devices around his home. But all his devices go off and warn him if there's movement on one camera, but not the rest. Leo suspects that your other cameras haven't had the notification enabled. ScooterX in the chatroom says that the Arlo cameras linked to his Echo need the skill to do it. Check this technote. He will need to go into his Alexa app and discover all the cameras.

Doctor Mom ... Erased

Amazon Echo Show 5

Episode 1596

This week, Amazon has announced users have the option to delete any recordings Alexa has made. It's in Settings-Alexa Account-Alexa Privacy-Review Voice History. 

Amazon has also announced the new Echo Show 5. But Doctor Mom says it's way too small to watch video on it. Leo says it's a direct competitor to the Google Home Hub.

Is Alexa Listening in on our Drop-ins and Phone Calls?

Alexa

Episode 1582

Sheldon from Sherman Oaks, California

Sheldon hears about Amazon's listening in on commands with Alexa, but are they recording when users do a drop-in, or a phone call? Rich says that no, the system is designed to stop listening once the command is executed. Besides, if they were, that could kill the entire service if word got out that Amazon was recording the entire call/drop-in. 

But an easy way to test it is to make a call, and then give Alexa a command, If it reacts, then it's not recording. If it doesn't ... well, there would be an interesting answer from Amazon about that.

How can I use an Echo while traveling?

Echo

Episode 1569

Joe from North Carolina

Caller has a generation 1 Echo and a gen 2 Echo Dot for his dad. But he can't get it to log in when they bring it travelling. Leo says that it can largely depend on joining the WiFi of a captive portal network. Leo says a Travel router like the Tiny Hardware firewall would be ideal. They have one called the Trek Travel Router. He can then log into the phone. Just plug the router into the wall, the router will then give you a website to log into.

What's a good home hub alternative to IRIS?

IRIS

Episode 1568

Steve from Rancho CucaMonga, CA

Steve just found out his IRIS home hub service is being discontinued at the end of March. So what should he get to replace it? Leo says that the wide variety of competing standards has created a kind of house of cards where one platform goes out of business, leaving users to look elsewhere. If there was a standard protocol, that wouldn't happen. Leo says that Samsung SmartThings may work with his existing products because they use Zigbee and Z-Wave protocols. Google is a big player but can tire and kill off services. Leo recommends going with Samsung SmartThings.

Can I use Echo to turn on my lights?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1565

Henry from Prescott Valley, AZ

Henry has a few Amazon Echos and wants to know if he can turn his lights on/off with them. Leo says absolutely, but he'll need smart home lights that support the Echo. Philips Hue is one brand. But there are plenty of others out there. He can also get smart switches that enable him to turn things off with his voice. He should search Amazon for "works with Alexa" devices.

Is there a secure way to remotely lock or unlock my door?

Episode 1560

Sam from Torrance, CA

Sam is thinking of getting an Alexa or Google Assistant to control his door locks and is worried about security and privacy. Leo says that all assistants are roughly the same. They listen for a keyword. And there's no evidence that either Amazon or Google are spying on you. Schlage makes one that is dedicated and doesn't need the assistant, so it has a directly line which can be more secure. But any iOT device can get hacked. Bottom line is, that no door lock is perfect. It's a deterrent, a suggestion. But if the bad guy wants to get in, he can.

What's new with Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo Input

Episode 1550

Doctor Mom from New York

Doctor Mom is calling in to talk about all the latest Echo products put out by Amazon. The Amazon Echo Input, is a speakerless Echo that you can attach to a speaker you already have. Echo can read your email if you ask, too. There's also a feature called Alexa Guard, which willl listen for things like glass breaking and smoke detection, and will turn on all the stereos really loud and then contact the authorities.