Echo Dot 3 with Alexa in the test: My experiences
As I Amazons Echo Dot 3* I’ve wanted to try it out for a long time, especially since friends were pretty enthusiastic about the small part, so I got one without further ado ordered (for Black Friday 2019). I’ll have it the next evening tested – and was very surprised. Here is my Experience report.
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Setting up the Echo Dot 3
I have the Echo Dot 3* Of course I tried it out right away and was pretty enthusiastic. But first things first: The facility via Alexa-App* walked quickly and easily, the Echo Dot takes you by the hand, so to speak, and guides you step by step through the process.
First experiences with the Echo Dot 3 and Alexa
Then it started right away: Ask Alexa about the weather, suggested the Alexa app, and I did that too. “How is the weather in Bamberg?” I asked, expecting an answer in the style of “24 degrees, sunny”. But Alexa caught up and gave me much more detailed information than expected about the current weather situation – great!
Streaming music and listening to the radio with the Echo Dot 3
Then of course I wanted to try out music streaming right away. Alexa works with Spotify, TuneIn and of course Amazon Music*. I said, “Alexa, play music from my Amazon music library,” which Alexa promptly confirmed and played the first song. The sound quality of the Echo Dot 3* war surprisingly good for such a small device, with a lot of depth and distortion-free even at high volume, comparable to my UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker. Incidentally, Alexa turned the volume down when I said: “Alexa, quieter!”.
Since you can also listen to the radio, I wanted to test immediately whether Alexa knew my favorite indie radio station. So I ordered, hoping little: “Alexa, play penguin radio”. To my surprise, Alexa said “play penguin radio” and started playing. I have to say, I already had a big grin on my face.
Update from November 24th, 2020: I keep listening to the radio on my Echo Dot 3, including Deutschlandfunk and other German stations. Alexa knows them all, the radio streaming is via the TuneIn service (free of charge, of course). Sometimes I listen to nursery rhymes with the children. Alexa picks a radio station on TuneIn that plays children’s songs all day. The little ones love it.
Set reminders, alarm clocks and appointments with Alexa
Then I tried the “reminder” function. You can instruct Alexa to set an alarm clock, appointment or simply a reminder in the calendar. So I said a little hesitantly because I didn’t know whether Alexa could relate to the term “today”: “Alexa, set me a reminder for 3.7.2019”.
Alexa replied, “What time should I set the reminder today?” I was amazed. “6 pm,” I said. “What should I remind you of?” I thought for a moment. “Cooking,” I said then. Alexa confirmed this and at 6 p.m. on the dot she reminded me that I wanted to cook now. I also got a message on my cell phone.
At that point, I was pretty excited. Everything worked so smoothly, so easily, it felt completely intuitive. And Alexa apparently understood my cuddling without any problems.
Have news, stories and fairy tales read aloud
To the Echo Dot 3* was a small leaflet with tips on what Alexa can do. Reading out the news, telling a story or a fairy tale, cracking jokes. Cool, I thought, with the kids in mind. “Alexa, tell me a fairy tale”, of course, we tried right away. The children were enthusiastic, not to say: perplexed. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to read a fairy tale to the children myself; it’s just an exciting change for everyone involved.
Besides that, I also want to carefully introduce the children to such a revolutionary piece of technology. You can make friends with it, because if you ask me, Alexa has come to stay. The Echo Dot 3, at first glance just a small roaring cube with annoying voice control that nobody uses who is in their right mind anyway, looks on closer inspection as if the future has been brought into your home.
I know very well that I have only scratched the surface so far. Friends have told me that they control their lighting and, for example, the electric blinds with their Echo Dot. With the countless “skills” that are now available to Alexa, the possibilities seem almost unlimited.
Total surveillance by the Echo Dot 3?
Until recently, I had a vague fear of surveillance hanging over the concept. As an attentive smartphone user, however, I noticed years ago that my cell phone was constantly eavesdropping on me anyway and that topics that I discuss with friends, acquaintances or colleagues soon found themselves in the form of advertisements, for example on Facebook.
In this respect, I can only understand the Echo Dot loudspeakers and Alexa as part of a large eavesdropping attack that has been going on for a long time, even without the Echo Dot and Alexa. The difference is that here for the first time I have the feeling that I am receiving real value.
First impression: this is the future
For me, the purchase of the Echo Dot 3 has already paid off. I don’t know when an electronic device last conjured a big grin, coupled with childlike amazement, on my face (correct: I can remember. The last time I was with the PlayStation VR). The tiny one Echo Dot 3 mit Alexa* feels like a giant step towards the future.
When I had to go down to the kitchen, Alexa had kindly reminded me to cook, I just said about the spa. “Alexa, I’m going now.” And she said, “See you then.”
A report from Rupert Mattgey
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