110 Reasons to Buy the Amazon Echo Virtual Personal Assistant
2It Actually Looks Nice in a Room
3It’s a Hardware-Based Virtual Personal Assistant
Amazon Echo is a virtual personal assistant first. Users can ask it questions and get answers, learn about traffic along a busy route and find out what’s on their schedule for the day. Alexa, the virtual assistant baked into Echo, will even perform a local search, so users can find information about nearby businesses and restaurants.
4Application Support Is Growing
Since Amazon released the Echo in November 2014, the company has done a fine job of adding more apps to its platform. Users can listen to songs from Pandora, audio books from Audible and their music playlists on Spotify. The Echo even supports a wide array of smart home apps. Best of all, Amazon plans to add even more apps as time goes on.
5The Core Virtual Assistant App Is Improving
Amazon Echo has been criticized for having a less-than-stellar companion app. That app, which is a free download to iOS and Android, is required to use Echo. It helps users set up the device and includes all of the features one would need, including controlling volume and launching apps. It’s essentially the software-based way to interact with Echo for those who don’t want to use their voices. In recent months, Amazon has improved it considerably, worked out some of the bugs that caused it to crash too often and made it easier to interact with the assistant. It’s still not perfect, but it’s become a nice alternative to voice for interacting with Echo. In fact, I often use it to boot up Pandora or find a playlist I want to hear.
6The Alarm Clock Function Is Effective
For folks looking for a different kind of alarm clock, the Amazon Echo is a great option. With a simple voice command, users can tell Alexa to set an alarm, eliminating the usual fumbling with settings on a smartphone, or regular old alarm clock or clock radio. In addition to alarms, the Echo can be used as a timer and will sound alerts for important events.
7Audio Quality Is Solid
8Let’s Talk About the Smart Home
Over the past several months, Amazon has considerably improved the Echo’s smart home support. By giving Alexa some commands, users can turn down the lights, turn on connected devices and more. The best feature, though, is that all of those smart home commands can be delivered without ever lifting a finger. Just speak a simple voice command,and your lights will flash on.
9New ‘Skills’ Are Being Added All the Time
10Alexa’s Audible Range Is Remarkable
One of the more surprising things about the Echo is just how far away a user can stand from the device and still communicate with Alexa. Even while standing across a room, the 360-degree listening feature built into the Echo will pick up the “Alexa” command and respond accordingly. It’s nice to know users don’t need to stand next to the Echo just to get it to work.
11There Are Options to Pay
The Amazon Echo is available on the company’s Website for $180. With Amazon Prime, the e-commerce giant promises to get it to a customer’s home within two days. Those who don’t want to come up with all the cash at once can also pay for the device with five monthly installments of $36.