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  • Echo dot or google mini
  • Premier Icon voodoo_chile
    Free Member

    Anyone use these things, any advice whats what etc

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Don’t bother?

    There’s a recent “Smart things” thread here which unless you are a ferrile tech geek highlighted to me the fastidious pointless use of the things with the exception of some extreme circumstance such as “I forgot to turn off the garage light but at least now I can do that by speaking and not moving from the sofa”

    In all honesty, I use mine to ask the odd fact to which 50% of the responses is “I don’t know”, a news flash update and as a glorified hands free radio.

    I have a Spot as the bedroom clock, and you’d be surprised how much of a irritant having to raise your voice to turn the alarm off is, vs pressing a button.

    I’m sure some will be along in a minute to tell me I’m using it all wrong…

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    I have a Dot, not used a Mini but from what I’ve read the Amazon stuff is still ahead in terms of responding to general queries etc but Google isn’t as closed for streaming music etc. That said I presume you aren’t really looking at them for music (otherwise you’d want the versions with half-decent speakers in them). If just controlling smart home stuff then I find the Echo Dot works well but you’ll need a Hue bridge (if controlling Hue lights), or go for the Echo gen 2 which has a bridge built-in.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    I have a Spot as the bedroom clock, and you’d be surprised how much of a irritant having to raise your voice to turn the alarm off is, vs pressing a button.

    Interesting, I was planning on getting a Spot soon (mostly as a glorified alarm clock but also meaning I can replace my Alexa remote to switch off lights etc.). I was hoping you could actually just touch it’s screen to switch the alarm off though (as I agree having to talk to it to silence it early morning would be a pain).

    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Free Member

    Google has better AI than Echo, and will only get better and further ahead of echo as time goes on.

    Echo is good if you shop a lot with Amazon.

    I use android phones, and am tied into the google echosystem. This should be your major deciding factor. I use gmail, google calendar, android phones, google music etc etc so it would be stupid for me to choose an echo over a Google home.

    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Free Member

    Interesting, I was planning on getting a Spot soon (mostly as a glorified alarm clock but also meaning I can replace my Alexa remote to switch off lights etc.). I was hoping you could actually just touch it’s screen to switch the alarm off though (as I agree having to talk to it to silence it early morning would be a pain).

    Google devices can be silenced via a little tap with the finger on the top of the device

    Premier Icon petec
    Free Member

    i use a mini as a radio in the kitchen. When up to your elbows in chicken, or washing up it’s dead easy to say ‘hey google play radio 4’ or ‘play my spotify play list x’ etc.

    Sound is good enough for that sort of thing.

    Don’t really use it for calendar/weather/home automation etc. But it only cost me £25, so was cheaper buying another bluetooth speaker. And easier to use.

    I would probably get a screen one like the Spot when google bring their version over the pond, to use an alarm clock

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    I was hoping you could actually just touch it’s screen to switch the alarm off

    Hmm never tried that, give me a few minutes…

    Premier Icon Rockhopper
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    I can lie in bed on a freezing cold morning and just ask Alexa to turn the heating on for me.  It doesn’t get much better than that 🙂

    Premier Icon stumpy01
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    Can the Google ones do things like send a text from your phone?

    Premier Icon trailwagger
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    Can the Google ones do things like send a text from your phone?

    I can make calls with mine, never tried a txt but I believe they can.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    It doesn’t get much better than that

    An automated timed thermostat is even easier…

    Premier Icon trailwagger
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    Kryton, if you think all modern smart tech is ultimately useless, why bother with the threads. You could just leave the people who can perceive the benefits to enjoy the exchange of ideas amongst themselves without trying to convince everyone that its all pointless garbage.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    I was hoping you could actually just touch it’s screen to switch the alarm off

    Well then.

    On the echo Spot tap the screen for a 10 minute Snooze, swipe up turns the alarm off.

    Premier Icon Rockhopper
    Free Member

    An automated timed thermostat is even easier…

    Only if you always get up at the time set in the stat.  I’d rather not be heating the house if its not needed.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Kryton, if you think all modern smart tech is ultimately useless, why bother with the threads. You could just leave the people who can perceive the benefits to enjoy the exchange of ideas amongst themselves without trying to convince everyone that its all pointless garbage.

    I didn’t say that its useless at all.

    And the OP asked for opinions, I’m welcome to one, and have left mine based on the thread I referenced and my perception of use vs cost of replacing domestic content with smart content vs actual usage benefits.

    Calm down dear.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Only if you always get up at the time set in the stat.  I’d rather not be heating the house if its not needed.

    Bear with me I’m playing devils advocate, but is your house heating “instant”?   e.g. your suggestion appears to be that you can wake up at any moment, speak to a device and your house is warm.  Buts that not true, is it?  There’s a time lag.  In which case its usefulness is merely the fact that you don’t have to get out of bed and move to a thermostat/switch.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    Very handy things I’ve a echo devices very handy things but as you can see not for everyone.

    Premier Icon submarined
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    I’ve got a Home and a Mini.

    Whilst not essential, they’re bloody useful if you start using their intelligence. I always use a similar example to above – If I’m in the kitchen with food all over my hands, I can tell it to play whatever music or radio station I want. My son comes in asking if he can watch telly before dinner, I can get it to turn on the lounge TV and start playing Transformers on Netflix. I can then carry on cooking, get it to convert ‘cups’ of floor to actual real non made up units, then set a timer for the food I’ve just put in the oven. And then add any ingredients I’ve just used up to my shopping list.

    If I’m in the garage working under the car with grease all over my hands, I can ask it to convert ftlbs to Nm, play a different song, then broadcast a message to the house that I’ll be finished in half an hour or so, so that my wife doesn’t think I’ve been crushed by a falling Saab.

    That’s all with very little in the way of home automation, just Chromecast and Homes.

    They’re not perfect, but they make some parts of life a little simpler.

    Premier Icon trailwagger
    Free Member

    I didn’t say that its useless at all.

    But you did, kind of.

    Don’t bother?
    There’s a recent “Smart things” thread here which unless you are a ferrile tech geek highlighted to me the fastidious pointless use of the things

    But, now that you have discovered the tap and swipe functionality maybe it will change your mind 😉

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Trailwagger, my opinion is highlighted in my response to Rockhopper.   Personally, I’m happy to get to get up and switch the heating on, or have it pre-adjusted via my wall mounted thermostat.

    Now I think about it, it may be useful for me to have a smart plug attached to the oil filled rad in my Man Cave for those winter turbo sessions so I don’t have to leave the house to turn it on, and it can go on about 4am ready for a morning workout!

    Horses for courses as Drac says.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    They can’t be very intense turbo sessions if you need a heater :p

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    Going from 0-5 degrees does wonders for my EIB… 🙂

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