Amazon Echo

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.

Why Haven't Home Assistants Gotten Smarter?

Assistant

Episode 1713

Old Chef Guy from Aqua Caliente

OCG wants to know if Google can make the Home Assistant voice hardware become smarter. Leo says that the entire IoT space has kinda hit a limit of what it can do, and there's been very little innovation of late. Even for Amazon Alexa and SIRI. At some point, it should increase in power and intelligence. But it has plateaued right now and voice-activated devices are a disappointment. AI isn't very smart, and it turns out it's very hard to do.

How Can I Get My Amazon Echo to Hear Better?

Echo

Episode 1713

Brian from Indio, California

Brian is having issues with his Amazon Alexa Echo Gen 2 and it's starting to have "hearing" problems. Leo says that it's probably an indication that the unit is dying. Brian could reset it. See if that helps. Also, he could plug in an external microphone.

But the good news is, that the new generation Amazon Echo is cheaper and better. He can also get the Echo Dot for under $50 that can connect to his own speakers. 

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.

How Can I Play Music To All My Rooms?

Echo

Episode 1652

David from Anaheim, CA

David wants to stream music to multiple rooms in his house. MultiRoom music is a challenge because it has to sync from room to room with no latency. But it is doable with Amazon Echo. He can get a dot in each room and add some speakers and it'll work. The Echo is smart enough that he can even command it to play in different rooms as well. The Amazon Echo Input connects to one's own speakers, and right now it's only $10.

Is a Hotspot Better than a Local SIM when Traveling Internationally?

Prague

Episode 1638

John from Indianapolis, IN

John is going to Prague soon for a vacation. He's looking for his data options while there and how to translate the language he will see. Leo says that prepaidwithdata.wikia.com is a great place to find what local sims are available. Is there a pro/con of using a SIM vs. a hotspot? Leo says absolutely. Go for the hotspot. A local SIM will change his phone number while in the country, and as such, nobody can reach him unless they have his new number.

How can I listen to my favorite radio station on Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo

Episode 1637

Stacy from Commerce Township, MI

Stacy's mom likes a radio station in Pittsburgh, but it will only work on radio.com. Is there a way to get it directly on from her Amazon Echo? Leo says that if it's on TuneIn, then you can get it directly. If not, check IHeartRadio. You may be able to set it up using the Echo App, but it's not an easy process. 

How Can I Remotely Control Devices?

Fire TV Cube

Episode 1618

Brock from Bellingham, WA

Brock wants to be able to turn off appliances and lights remotely for his elderly mother. He wants to be able to see her with a Wyze cam and then remotely control devices from where he lives. Leo says that's a great idea. One thing is, that if she has a Fire TV Cube, it's voice-activated, so if she can speak, she can tell the TV to turn on/off and change channels. But if that's an issue, he can change the channel remotely using the Infinity X1.