What Amazon Echo Dot Can’t Do
Unfortunately after reviewing and trying out the Amazon Echo Dot and therefore, Alexa, we felt that we found more that she couldn’t do than she could do (see page 2 for what she can do below). Certainly it’s nice to simply say a command outloud and have your TV power off, lights dim, or music playlist to start playing, but other than that we found her pretty useless.
Throughout the week that we tested the Echo we asked Alexa quite a few questions, including those that we’ve seen asked on Google Home commercials when showcasing their new product and sadly she replied 90 % of the time with something like this, “I’m sorry, I cannot locate the information you’re looking for,” or “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand what you’re asking.” That got old pretty fast, especially when we would then ask Siri, which everyone knows is quite frustrating in her own right, and she’d find the answer, or at least AN answer (even if it was wrong) for the same questions. So the note here would be that if you do try the Echo, definitely don’t expect Alexa to answer many questions, but if you’re one for jokes she’s supposedly quite funny, according to reviewers anyway.
On the top of the list for things that your Echo and Alexa won’t or can’t do though would be this: Echo, or Alexa, cannot call anyone or send texts. If she could do this it would be a reason for keeping Alexa and not shipping her back before the 30 day money back guarantee is up. Unfortunately, after scouring the internet and the Alexa Skills page for a solution we found that this particular skill is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
In this regard there are some things being worked on, some workarounds, but there’s nothing as of yet that really will allow you to use Alexa to “call mom” or “send hubby a text telling him I’m on my way.” This is of course a feature most wanted and the one most used with Siri on iPhone, and therefore, it would be very nice if it was able to pair with the iPhone or other smartphone so that it could perform these actions. It cannot send an email or read your emails either, again, something Siri can do.
The Skills apps that say they can make calls are doing so through VoiP services like Oomla, which assign you a phone number and then you have to say, “Alexa, ask Oomla to send grandma (actually you’d have to say her full name and possibly even her phone number) a message.” The reviews on the Skills that offer such a service are quite bad saying that Alexa has a terrible time following through with the command or usually doesn’t. This can be due to the skill or Echo itself, but the point is, there’s currently not a way to use your smart phone or its contacts through Alexa / Echo.
This isn’t the end of our review! It’s actually just a part of our Amazon Echo Dot review. We began on page one by considering how the Dot works, and its setup. We then considered what Alexa can do for you, especially in a home utilizing smart home technology. This part, page 3 of the Alexa review covered what Alexa and the Echo cannot do. You can find the rest of the page links below, including our final part which helps you reason whether or not the Echo Dot would be a good addition to your home. Have the Echo already? Please share your thoughts below to help others decide if they should try it out.
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