Randomness – Echo

“I just want to be clear that I did not receive any products for review for this post. I’m just a product owner who’s very happy with their purchase and wanted to share with you. **Note: Most pictures in this post where taken off Amazon & links to products will lead to Amazon.”

 

Randomness!!
I love books and blogging, but I do other things in my life. I want to share some of those other things, products, purchases, and gifts I get with you. How do you know if a product is worth getting? How do you know if something is worth doing? Word Of Mouth. A friend, family member, or acquaintance talks to you about something they did or a product they got and loved.
Here I’m sharing with you my experiences. 


 

One item on my Christmas Wish List besides books was an Echo Spot. I’ve seen it around. I’ve seen Authors giving away an Echo Dot, so I checked it out and said Ya, I’d like to have one. Well, my hubby is wonderful and got me the Echo Spot (the one I wanted) for Christmas.

Why I wanted an Echo: I put the Echo on my wish list; because I wanted a product / speakers for my audiobooks and I wanted it to be small enough to move from room to room. Having earbuds is nice and great for on the go, but my ears start to hurt and using the Samsung Sound Bar we have for our TV is great too, but I can’t move it into a bedroom when I need some quit time to deal with a migraine or some space from family. 

Their are 6 different Echo’s to choose from.

My Reason for getting the Echo Spot: I went with the Echo Spot which has a little touch screen. This screen made setting up the device easy. Yes, you do still need the downloadable app, Amazon Alexa, on your Mobile, iPad, or Kindle device(s) to do the set up. Other reason for picking the screen is that I’m an Amazon Prime Member and have several videos and free prime videos that I can watch on my Echo Spot. I can also watch CNN Briefing for the day.

**Note: I set up my Echo Spot in the kitchen. Love it their. I can cook and clean while listening to books or have a movie going or music. 

**Added Note: Two weeks after getting the Echo Spot I bought the Echo Dot for our guest bed room. 

I’ve also had experience setting up the Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) which my mother got for Christmas. The set up isn’t bad. You use the Amazon Alexa app to do it all. You just fallow the directions as they come along. Once the Echo (2nd Gen) is set up it will do everything, except play Videos from your Amazon Video. 

Their is just so much you can do with your Echo. Let me tell what I’ve discovered with my Echo Devices and what I LOVE about my Echo Spot & Echo Dot.

Listen to a Book or Article

THE MAIN REASON I WANTED AN ECHO: BOOKS! YES! I can ask Alexa to read my Audible or Kindle books to me. I didn’t know until after I got my Echo that it would read my Kindle books to me, even the ones that I don’t have an audiobook purchase for. Now the reading for the Kindle books is in Alexa’s voice, so it’s not as vibrant as an audiobook would be, but the book is being read too you. So, if you started reading and now want the device to read it to you, you can pick up where you left off. For a book lover like myself, having this option is great. Especially since I get migraines more then I use too. When they pop up, reading a book is out.

Then we have Audible. I can ask Alexa to read those books I’ve got in my Audible app wither they are the ones I bought or are getting with the Romance Package.

Besides asking Alexa to read my Kindle and Audiobooks. I can set up Bluetooth and have Alexa read my audiobooks from the LIBRARY on my OverDrive, Libby or Hoopla apps. This is fabulous! So many options, so many books, so many ways to enjoy!

 To see all of what Alexa can do with Books, check out Books on Alexa.

 

Play Virtually Any Song Just By Asking

Also, with the bluetooth hooked up I can play my iTunes music through the Echo; besides all the Music I get with being a Prime Membership. Now I’m not big on music like I was as a teen, so I listen to what my Prime Membership gives me and my iTunes music I own, but if I want all the music on Amazon they have a nice deal for just the one Echo – Amazon Music Unlimited Echo Plan which is $3.99 a month with the first 30 day’s being a free trial. They also have other plans to fit your needs.

 

Use Alexa as a Kitchen Assistant

Now I’ve currently got my Echo Spot in my kitchen and have used it to set a timer. You can set multiple timers to go off. Some dishes I’ve needed more then one timer going at a time, so having this feature is great. Alexa can also convert measurements and units for you. Which is another great feature for me. She can also read to you Dump Dinners: The Absolute Best Dump Dinners Cookbook with 75 Amazingly Easy Recipes. Don’t have time or the energy to cook then have Alexa give you a quick easy recipe to do.

  • Alexa, how many cups are in a quart?
  • Alexa, how many tablespoons are in a stick of butter?
  • Alexa, set a timer for 15 minutes.

 

Discover New Features

Just ask: 

  • Alexa, what new features do you have? 

 

Whenever Amazon adds something new, they program an explanation into Alexa and she’ll give you all the details by just asking that question.

Get the Weather (and Other Useful Information)

I have my Echo’s set to do the Flash Briefing feature. The items I put on my flash briefing are Today’s Forecast, a Motivational Quote for the day, Word of the Day, This Day in History, and CNN Flash Briefing. I like having my morning start off with some interesting facts and extending my vocabulary.

Order Anything – Voice Shopping

I turned off the Alexa Voice Shopping and haven’t used it for ordering items. (Why? I turned it off is because I have a kid and he can ask Alexa to play his favorite songs, so I didn’t want to take the change of him ordering an item without me know. I had it happen once with my one-click on Amazon and as soon as it did, I turned off the one-click purchase on all my devices.) You can ask Alexa to restore your home essentials, buy something new, and more. I have and do use the feature:

  • Alexa, where’s my stuff?
  • Alexa, what product has shipped? 
  • Alexa, when will my order arrive?

 

Sports and Exercising 

The Echo will give you updates on any team and sport or tell you the time they are playing a game.

Health and Fitness Skills for Alexa – Check out this fabulous article I found on Popsugar.com on how to use your Echo for sleeping, night noise, alarms, work out, and more.

 

Sleep Aid & Alarms

I’ve been using my Echo Dot to play white noise – sleep noise, “Alexa, open heavy rain”, so I can sleep at night.

I’ve also been using the alarm feature to set a timer for wake up in the AM. My phone has been missing the alarm now and then, so it’s nice to have a backup. 

 

Smart Products

Now I don’t have any smart products, so that feature is not being used. 

 

 

Now I know their is more I can do with my Echo, but what I do use it for I enjoy and have been very happy with both my Echo Dot and Echo Spot. 

 

Did you like this post? Do you have an Echo? What do you do with yours?

 

I was born and raised in Northern Indiana. I’m an outdoor sun loving reader living near San Fransisco. I’m a mother, wife, dog owner, animal, and book lover. I’m the owner, reviewer, and mind behind Angel’s Guilty Pleasures. My favorite animals are horses & dogs. As for reading I love all things paranormal & urban fantasy. My favorite shifters are dragons!

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16 comments on “Randomness – Echo

  1. I love our Echoes (we have one in the family room and one in each of the bedrooms). I’ll have to try Kindle narration—I haven’t tried that before.

    • I only stumbled on the kindle narration when checking out the Alex app on my phone. I hit play and Alex started reading the book to me. I haven’t done it for real. Only used the bluetooth feature to do Audible or Library books. I’ve got the two Echoes and we really enjoy them. Thank’s for visiting and I’m glad you guys like your Echoes so much ^_^.
      Angela @ Angel’s Guilty Pleasures recently posted…It’s Release Day! Nobody Does It Better by Lexi Blake ~ ExcerptMy Profile

  2. I really have no desire to have one of these. I guess I don’t want anything that will listen to me constantly. Maybe I’m paranoid. I don’t know. I use earbuds because DH doesn’t want to listen to my books. I will sometimes just play through the phone speaker when he isn’t around. I’m glad this is working for you.

    • I can understand not wanting something to listen to you all the time. You can unplug the device and it does have a mute button to turn that feature off. We really like our Echo devices. I enjoy my morning briefings I set up and I like being able to ask “Alex” a question and have it answered. Siri can do this too, but she hasn’t been getting this correct or she’s doesn’t understand me, but that could be because my phone is an older model. My son really likes to be able to ask “Alexa” to play his favorite song. ^_^ Thank’s Melanie for stopping in and commenting.

  3. Wow, I didn’t know that Echo can do all that! My son has asked for Alexa (is it the same as Echo?) but I wasn’t sure what he would need one for. I know he’d use it for the audio book features and definitely for white noise at night.

    • Yes, the echo is Alexa. You say “Alexa open heavy rain” and then you have your night noise. Our you can ask Alexa can I substitute oil for olive oil?. Alexa is also on the Kindle Fire and maybe another Kindle device. But, I really love the Echo. Their is just so much you can do with the devices. The main thing I use it for is books, sleep alarm, and night noise, but I have also used it for cooking, asking questions, and playing music. You should check out the Echo device. The Echo Dot is nice, but doesn’t have good speakers. The Echo 2nd generation, which is the next one up, has new dual speakers. If you think you might watch a movie or tv show from Prime then one of the Echo’s with a screen is good. I like the Echo Spot but the screen is small for movies and TV, but it does show the words to the song that is playing, which I like that feature. I can sing along. Learn the words. If I want. The Echo Show has a 7in screen which is probably better for watching my prime videos on, but I don’t watch my shows on my Spot. So, ya you should check out the devices. See what you guys might like to have.

  4. I haven’t used my Alexa for audiobooks yet because I really don’t want the rest of the house listening to what I’m listening too. I mainly use her for weather and traffic reports. We used to have our living room lights connected to her, but our new house lights do not fit the bulbs, so we haven’t been using that feature anymore. My husband uses his echo in his workout room to play his Spotify playlist while working out. My mom and I also use the drop-in feature sometimes instead of calling. We don’t have one with a screen yet, so we can’t do face to face, but we do talk over it. I am thinking about getting a dot for the bedroom though, using it as an alarm and sleep noises. That is a good idea. I should have got one when they were on sale. I’ll have to check out the price again. I do have a spot at work. Our work phones when you make an office to office call start beeping after awhile, and it drives us nuts, so some of us have spots in our offices and drop in so we can talk without using the phone. So many uses! These things are great!

    • Yep, the Echo has many uses. That’s great you and your family use your Echo’s. I haven’t done the phone feature, yet, but I did find that option cool. No in home smart stuff in our house, but if we did I most defiantly would have my Echo hooked up. ^_^

  5. I don’t like wearing headphones for long periods of time either. I have a great bluetooth Bose speaker that I can move from place to place. However, the sleep and exercise/fitness stuff sounds like it would be cool!

    • I was looking into portable Bose Speakers too, but I’m glad I got the Echo. It’s got so many options and the ask Alexa anything feature is great. I have a noise maker on my phone, but my phones been having issues, so I like to have the secondary option for noise and alarm.

  6. We’ve had an Echo for over a year now and still haven’t set it up. Now I’m tempted to 😀

    • I love me Echo devices. I’ve been devouring audiobooks with the device. It’s so much fun and you can ask Alexa anything. Hope you enjoy your Echo.

  7. Very cool Angela! Thanks for sharing

    • You are welcome!

  8. Sounds like a great device! Shared on all my socials!!

    • I’m very much loving this product. My son has a favorite song (he’s 6) and he keeps asking Alex to play it over and over again… My hubby does the same thing with another song…. ^_^ It’s a fun product and everyone in the family can use it.