« Say NO to Pie (Charts) | Main | Microsoft Photos: Zoom with mouse wheel »

Alexa, friend or waste of time?

Alexa

I was gifted an Amazon Echo this Christmas.  When I opened it, I wasn’t that excited.  My first thought was another device I have to learn how to use and maintain.  New devices can become time consuming when you’re learning to use them and can prove to be more trouble then they’re worth.  I was skeptical I would find Alexa useful, but here are my honest first impressions. 

Madison has been nearly shut down this week thanks to the polar vortex weather.  With cabin fever in full effect, my daughter and I decided to spend some time learning about our new friend, Alexa.  The first feature we seemed to gravitate toward is getting the morning weather report simply by asking “Alexa, what is the weather forecast?”  All you have to do is set up your location in the Alexa App.  You can ask for a current forecast or a 7 day forecast.

As an amazon prime member and an avid online shopper, I was happy to learn it will automatically connect to my amazon account, allow me to verbally create lists of what I need, order it, update me on the tracking of the packages and notify me when they are delivered.  These are definitely features I will use regularly.

The main feature we had to try out in our boredom was the music feature.  At first, I was disappointed that they seem to push you to purchase Amazon Music by offering a 3 month free trial.  After a little research online, I learned that it does work with Spotify.  In December, there was an update to include Apple Music, which I currently subscribe to and is my preferred choice.  The best way to play your iTunes music is by connecting your device via Bluetooth. You can turn on your Bluetooth settings and ask Alexa to pair your device.  So far, I am able to play music I have downloaded to my phone with ease.  Searching Apple Music for new music does not appear to work.      

I am excited to see what else Alexa has to offer me in terms of to do lists and other organizational tools.  As a working mom, I’m always looking for help in that area.  There are so many features to discover and so many articles on how to best use them.  I am now much more excited to explore Alexa further.  Are there any features you have found useful?  Please share them in the comments.    

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

For people with low vision or for the blind, this device is a life-changer. It allows people to verbally check information, change their thermostat when paired with a smart thermostat, and many more things that I wouldn't think of as a sighted person.

Post a comment