AMAZON ECHO SET-UP AND APP
You have your Amazon Echo home and are ready to get started-What’s next?
The Set-up is very easy and nothing compared to putting together a piece of IKEA furniture. The instructions Amazon provides are very straightforward and friendly to even the most tech challenged folks out there.
You simply plug in the Amazon Echo, download the Echo app on either your Android smartphone, iOS device, or Amazon Fire phone or tablet. Then just follow the easy to use app instructions from there. If you would prefer to use your laptop for set up rather than your smartphone, you can access the Amazon Echo app from the web on a supported browser.
One of the great features of the Echo set-up is once you have completed the steps from the app, you no longer need your external device used for set-up. If you used your smartphone to connect the Echo to the internet, once the Echo is connected to your Wi-Fi, you are automatically ready to go and enjoy your new “home assistant”
The menu on the Amazon Echo app is very basic initially as it allows for multiple levels of customization for hundreds of incredibly cool functions using the Alexa Voice Commands.
Once you are used to using the Echo, you can individually determine how the device can enhance your life on a personal basis.
Whether that be playing music, listening to your audio books, getting updated traffic reports for your morning commute, getting reminders of upcoming appointments in your calendar—the options are virtually endless.
You initially have formatted “To-do Lists” and “Shopping Lists” that you can begin to populate as well as setting alarms etc. But we were really interested in the music compatibility and performance offered by this Bluetooth enabled speaker.
As the speaker has built-in Bluetooth, you can play content from your Smartphone and just use the Amazon Echo as a normal external speaker.
But the real fun begins when you realize you have access to a multitude of music streaming services. That is one of the best features of the Amazon Echo is not only do you have immediate access to Amazon’s own Prime Music platform.
The Echo is also compatible with a wide range of third party music streaming services. Many devices are tied to one particular proprietary system such as iTunes etc., but with the Amazon Echo you have choices that include:
- Amazon Prime Music
For those of you that are tied to subscriptions with iTunes or Spotify, this requires a bit more set-up due to the restrictions Apple puts on everything, well Apple. The Amazon Echo doesn’t automatically connect unless you have your smartphone hooked up via Bluetooth. Once that is done then the Echo allows you to control iTunes and Spotify playback via Alexa’s normal voice controls.
We don’t fault the Amazon Echo for this extra step in incorporating iTunes and Spotify, as these are issues that Apple and Spotify need to come to the table and resolve. It is also worth noting that you are unable to search for specific artists, songs, etc. on Spotify through Echo’s Alexa voice controls as she is only able to perform the basic functions of play, pause, and skipping tracks.
If you are an avid Spotify user, then we recommend you weigh the benefits of Amazon Echo’s other functionalities against the limitation of Spotify functionality when making a purchasing decision. Or check to see if the compatible systems mentioned above have your favorite artists and save $11 bucks a month by switching to a compatible service.