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Old 11-21-2016, 10:11 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by jhowell View Post
I press and hold the home button, the "O" in the center of the bottom menu. After about a second it beeps and a blue line with a green center appears near the bottom of the screen. Release the button. Alexa is then listening and responds to spoken requests.
Thank you for explaining. In the U.K. It doesn't work like that (or at all actually)
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:18 AM   #32
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So what on Earth is it actually for, then? How does having a Fire tablet help people who have an Echo or Dot?
You can use the Alexa app as a remote control for an Echo device.

If you have Alexa Voice on your Fire tablet, then it functions like an Amazon Tap. Press the home button and give a voice command.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:25 AM   #33
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So what on Earth is it actually for, then? How does having a Fire tablet help people who have an Echo or Dot?
The Alexa app, not Alexa feature, on a Fire or iPhone/iPad gives you visual feedback much like the Apple Music app where you can see album art, control playback, change volume, browse the lists of played songs, etc. You also get control over books, shopping, timers, alarms, skills, smart home thingies, settings, etc. All of this you can do by telling Alexa to do them with your Echo, Dot, Tap, or you can opt to use the Alexa app on another device to control the Echo, Dot, Taps, etc. The attached screenshots are showing me what song is playing on my Echo. I mostly use the app for seeing what is playing and for quickly changing settings.

Again, that was the Alexa app. I do not have a Fire tablet capable of installing the Alexa feature.
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Last edited by jswinden; 11-21-2016 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:29 AM   #34
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You can use the Alexa app as a remote control for an Echo device.

If you have Alexa Voice on your Fire tablet, then it functions like an Amazon Tap. Press the home button and give a voice command.
This is also how the FireTV functions. You have to press the microphone button on the FireTV then ask Alexa to do something. The FireTV is more like a tablet though in that you get the visual interface on your TV, so it is like a Tap and tablet running Alexa combined.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:32 AM   #35
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OK, I can see the benefit of that. Thanks.
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:35 AM   #36
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Oh, and have I mentioned lately that the Alexa app is rather flaky? It is! It tends to leave the What's Playing screen very often. Not sure why it doesn't want to stay on that screen like it is supposed to. It is also rather slow to open up on my Fire HD 6. It is a bit less flaky on my iPhone 6 Plus, and faster of course, but that is because the iPhone 6 Plus has much better specs than the Fire tablets.

Alexa on my FireTV seems really stable though. I've not had any issues with it, but I don't use it much. It does not require an Echo, Tap, or Dot. I assume the Alexa feature on newer Fire tablets is supposed to be more like the FireTV and operate stand alone, but apparently that does not work in the UK.

Last edited by jswinden; 11-21-2016 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:06 AM   #37
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I assume the Alexa feature on newer Fire tablets is supposed to be more like the FireTV and operate stand alone, but apparently that does not work in the UK.
I have a 5th gen Fire 7 with Alexa Voice on it and it operates as a standalone Alexa device. I won't use it on my Fire because the tablet is too large and the speaker too weak.

If Amazon ever ports the feature to smartphones, then I'd use it.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:08 AM   #38
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The attached screenshots are showing me what song is playing on my Echo. I mostly use the app for seeing what is playing and for quickly changing settings.
...egads! what's wrong with your taste in music?
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:19 AM   #39
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...egads! what's wrong with your taste in music?
LOL! I was playing around and asked Alexa to play 80's Rock. She chose the music, not me! I quickly changed back to 70's Rock and Classic Rock. Being the youngest sibling of four, all of us born in the 1950's, I grew up hearing my older siblings rocking out to 1950's and 1960's rock. So I like a lot of that, though much of it was mono from back when we only had mono AM radio stations. We old farts remember those days! But since I was a teenager during the 1970's (1971-78), that is my fallback rock period, the stuff I listened too in high school and college. I'm a late Baby Boomer from a dad who fought in WWII and a mom who was one of the Rosie the Riveters (she installed instruments in B-17 Flying Fortresses), so I also grew up listening to a lot of old swing music from the 1940's played on my parents record player at 78 RPM.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:33 AM   #40
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Given that both Alexa and Siri involve pressing the "Home" button on the phone and then speaking, how does it work having both Alexa and Siri on the iPhone? Do you have to disable the speech input for one of them?
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:42 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
The Alexa app, not Alexa feature, on a Fire or iPhone/iPad gives you visual feedback much like the Apple Music app where you can see album art, control playback, change volume, browse the lists of played songs, etc. You also get control over books, shopping, timers, alarms, skills, smart home thingies, settings, etc. All of this you can do by telling Alexa to do them with your Echo, Dot, Tap, or you can opt to use the Alexa app on another device to control the Echo, Dot, Taps, etc. The attached screenshots are showing me what song is playing on my Echo. I mostly use the app for seeing what is playing and for quickly changing settings.

Again, that was the Alexa app. I do not have a Fire tablet capable of installing the Alexa feature.
I would say that is 80's pop not rock.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:57 AM   #42
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Given that both Alexa and Siri involve pressing the "Home" button on the phone and then speaking, how does it work having both Alexa and Siri on the iPhone? Do you have to disable the speech input for one of them?
Alexa Voice doesn't work on the iPhone. It only works on the Echo, Tap, Dot, Fire TV, and 5th & 6th generation Fire Tabs.

Keep in mind that the Alexa App and Alexa Voice are different animals.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:58 AM   #43
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Alexa Voice doesn't work on the iPhone. It only works on the Echo, Tap, Dot, Fire TV, and 5th & 6th generation Fire Tabs.

Keep in mind that the Alexa App and Alexa Voice are different animals.
Thanks, tm.
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Old 11-21-2016, 11:59 AM   #44
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LOL! I was playing around and asked Alexa to play 80's Rock. She chose the music, not me! I quickly changed back to 70's Rock and Classic Rock. Being the youngest sibling of four, all of us born in the 1950's, I grew up hearing my older siblings rocking out to 1950's and 1960's rock. So I like a lot of that, though much of it was mono from back when we only had mono AM radio stations. We old farts remember those days! But since I was a teenager during the 1970's (1971-78), that is my fallback rock period, the stuff I listened too in high school and college. I'm a late Baby Boomer from a dad who fought in WWII and a mom who was one of the Rosie the Riveters (she installed instruments in B-17 Flying Fortresses), so I also grew up listening to a lot of old swing music from the 1940's played on my parents record player at 78 RPM.
Whew, that's better
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Old 11-21-2016, 12:06 PM   #45
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Given that both Alexa and Siri involve pressing the "Home" button on the phone and then speaking, how does it work having both Alexa and Siri on the iPhone? Do you have to disable the speech input for one of them?
Like TM said, the Alexa app won't do voice commands on the iOS devices or the Fire tablets. The app seems rather useful, though flaky. I have no clue about the Alexa voice feature as I don't have a Fire tablet that is eligible to install it. The voice command feature on the Echo, Tap, Dot, and FireTV is very well done though. I rarely have to repeat commands, and when I do it is usually because I phrased the command awkwardly. I do have my Dot next to my TV and here lately there have been a lot of Alexa ads on TV so she sometimes gets confused when a TV ad blurts out "Alex, do [such and such]". I have to then say "Alexa, stop"!
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