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[Amazon Canada] Amazon echo dot 2nd gen Pre-order $49.99

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silverele wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 10:19 am
It's not true about voice pick up, it's not in the facts. Amazon physically has more microphones that reach farther and it understands you just fine. The Amazon Echo and Dot have 7 mics, the Google Home has 2 the Mini has 1 or 2. By comparison, the Sonos speaker even has 6. I've compared the the smart speakers and voice pickup on the Alexa is more consistent. Neither are horrible.

They are working on the Amazon AI to make it more natural, they've got a department for it. People seem to forget it was literally JUST released in Canada, like 4 days ago. It's not going to be perfect, but it's pretty good as is now. It may not be able to give you Google search answers, but it understands questions just fine, as well as convert and calculate.
One could actually manually configure a Google Skill for Alexa, as to have Alexa provide Google answers -> http://alexamods.com/guide-install-ask- ... exa-skill/

So if you are not happy with an answer that Alexa provides, just say...""Alexa, ask Google......"

djino
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Wait my echos havent come but I've been reading stuff.

So if I don't have American Amazon account, I'd be losing like half of the skills that alexa knows? It came with Canada (English) language and the only way to set it to English (US) is to have American Amazon account?
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rvs007 wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 10:16 am
Where are you seeing Japanese? When I go into the language settings in the Echo, all I'm seeing is English (US), English (UK), and Deutsch. The Echo is set up with English (Canada) at the moment. How do I get other languages to show up?
It's not true that you can choose "whatever language you want" like the other poster was saying. I think Japanese came out this month for Japanese customers, but the list of supported languages is quite limited at the moment.
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casperr wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 10:38 am
Wait my echos havent come but I've been reading stuff.

So if I don't have American Amazon account, I'd be losing like half of the skills that alexa knows? It came with Canada (English) language and the only way to set it to English (US) is to have American Amazon account?
I believe people have posted ways to set your digital content to US, but link it to your Amazon.ca account and have your location be in Canada. You do it through the desktop interface. You change the digital content and then the language to English US. I'm sorry, I don't know the exact steps.

They will release more skills over time, but I find the Canadian side has what I need at the moment so I haven't made the switch. Maybe try Canada first cause it's easier to setup and then switch to the US if you want more.
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http://www.aftvnews.com/alexa-can-now-p ... -and-date/

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Amazon’s Alexa has many different ways for you to request just the right music. Now it has gained a few new advanced music commands that might come in handy. These new commands let you request music similar to other tracks, music that is popular in a particular part of the world, and music that you’ve played in the past but can’t exactly remember.

If you want to hear music that is similar to other music, you can now request it by asking “Alexa, play songs similar to [song / artist].” You can also be more specific by including a mood or era prior to saying the artist’s name. While listening to any song, you can say “Alexa, play more like this” to play songs similar to the one you’re listening to.

To go along with Amazon’s recent expansion of Echo devices and Music Unlimited around the world, you can now request to hear popular songs by region. Just say “Alexa, play the top songs in [region]” and you’ll hear music that’s on the top of the charts in other countries.

If you’re not looking to find new music to listen to but aren’t sure what to listen to, you can now ask “Alexa, play some [songs / albums] I haven’t heard in a while.” If you want to be a bit more specific but still want to hear something you haven’t heard recently, you can say “Alexa, play some [artist / genre] I haven’t heard in a while.” you can also request stations and playlists that you haven’t heard recently.

Lastly, you can now be very specific about recalling music you’ve heard in the past. If you were listening to something you enjoyed the other day but don’t know the song names or artists, you can say “Alexa, play the songs I heard [yesterday / last night].” If you know the exact date that you were listening to the forgot songs, you can say the exact date instead of saying yesterday or last night.

These new recall commands don’t just work on songs, but also work for artists, genres, stations, and playlists. You can say “Alexa, play the [artist / genre / station / playlist] I was listening to on [day]” bring up specific music from the past that you may not be able to recall any other way.



djino
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willy0275 wrote:
Dec 8th, 2017 9:50 pm
With shortcuts, Google Home can become even more handy than Amazon Echo. Now, I can say "Hey Google, TV" and it turns on the TV. Setting up shortcuts is a pain because you need to do it for each freaking command, but once you've got them set it's pretty powerful.
Very true. I set up a bunch of shortcuts and the prospect of having to do more as I find which commands I use is a bit daunting. I'll effectively just end up setting up shortcuts for all the key harmony commands anyways, but you'd think Google would follow suit in allowing the apps/skills to assign their commands without the additional "ask Harmony/etc" if accepted by the user.
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Carbo wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 10:57 am
Very true. I set up a bunch of shortcuts and the prospect of having to do more as I find which commands I use is a bit daunting. I'll effectively just end up setting up shortcuts for all the key harmony commands anyways, but you'd think Google would follow suit in allowing the apps/skills to assign their commands without the additional "ask Harmony/etc" if accepted by the user.
Yes, I think it's because of the way the Google Home system works is very different than Alexa's. So a simple solution would be to allow installing a set of shortcuts from an online source. For example, you could have an "Import shortcuts profile" function and you select from a list "Harmony shortcuts" and it will add automatically all the useful shortcuts, which you can then modify if you want. They're still shortcuts in the system. It would not be too hard to do, and would save us a lot of time.
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for some reason when i set up my new echo it automatically linked to my US account even though i went to alexa.amazon.ca to do the set up - did this happen to anyone else ?

it said i could sign up for prime trial and i said yes expecting it be on my canadian account but it turns out it was linked to my US account.

can i link this to my canadian account and/or should i even bother ?

i did put in my address so i do get local weather
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dchabby wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 11:03 am
for some reason when i set up my new echo it automatically linked to my US account even though i went to alexa.amazon.ca to do the set up - did this happen to anyone else ?

it said i could sign up for prime trial and i said yes expecting it be on my canadian account but it turns out it was linked to my US account.

can i link this to my canadian account and/or should i even bother ?

i did put in my address so i do get local weather
Yes, it happened to me too! It was annoying. I think it was because I have both accounts with same email and it just defaulted to US.

You can change it back to Canada easily. If you haven't used Prime before, you can sign up for the free trial on the Canadian side through their website.
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silverele wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 11:09 am
Yes, it happened to me too! It was annoying. I think it was because I have both accounts with same email and it just defaulted to US.

You can change it back to Canada easily. If you haven't used Prime before, you can sign up for the free trial on the Canadian side through their website.
Any clues? I can't get it to connect to Canadian account, reverts to US. Thanks
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driverso wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 11:40 am
Any clues? I can't get it to connect to Canadian account, reverts to US. Thanks
Deregister and reregister. Then use English CA and have your location set to Canada. It should work, check online with a PC to see if your device is connected to Amazon.ca under devices.
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Aug 5, 2015
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Here's another different that no one talks about, and I'm glad I bought a Google Home Mini for testing myself.

The big difference between Amazon Echo and Google Home at the moment is that Google Home will try to differentiate voices. You can have different persons using the same device, and it will know "who" is talking. That's great, right? Not so much. My Google Home doesn't recognize my voice in many instances, and is asking me to retrain. It happened to me yesterday and I even had to reset the device because I could not retrain.

Well, today it happened again a few times. Amazon Echo / Alexa can recognize my commands 100% of the time. Also, just right now, I tried "Okay Google, turn of Kodi". She answered "Nothing's playing right now". Second time, it worked. I also just tried "Okay Google, turn on Kodi", and she said "Sorry, I don't know how to help with that". Second time worked. If you check online, you'll see that many people complain there's a degradation in voice recognition capability of the Google Home. Some people suggest to air dust the microphone.

I just tried my Alexa "on/off" Kodi 10 times in a row, it worked every time. Something is telling me that the fact that Google Home is trying to differentiate voices, on top of analyzing commands, makes it less robust with voice recognition. Well, mine anyway.

I just moved my Google Home Mini at the same location of the Amazon Echo so that the strength of my voice and direction are the same for both devices.

EDIT: I wish there was a way to shorten Google Home's feedback after acknowledging a command, it's really annoying versus Alexa's simple "Okay" .

EDIT2: I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence but GH's voice command recognition seems to be better since I moved it, it was the same distance before but on another side... Anyway I'll keep on testing all week-end so I'll have a better idea tomorrow. I should definitely get a life!
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willy0275 wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 3:11 pm
Here's another different that no one talks about, and I'm glad I bought a Google Home Mini for testing myself.

The big difference between Amazon Echo and Google Home at the moment is that Google Home will try to differentiate voices. You can have different persons using the same device, and it will know "who" is talking. That's great, right? Not so much. My Google Home doesn't recognize my voice in many instances, and is asking me to retrain. It happened to me yesterday and I even had to reset the device because I could not retrain.

Well, today it happened again a few times. Amazon Echo / Alexa can recognize my commands 100% of the time. Also, just right now, I tried "Okay Google, turn of Kodi". She answered "Nothing's playing right now". Second time, it worked. I also just tried "Okay Google, turn on Kodi", and she said "Sorry, I don't know how to help with that". Second time worked. If you check online, you'll see that many people complain there's a degradation in voice recognition capability of the Google Home. Some people suggest to air dust the microphone.

I just tried my Alexa "on/off" Kodi 10 times in a row, it worked every time. Something is telling me that the fact that Google Home is trying to differentiate voices, on top of analyzing commands, makes it less robust with voice recognition. Well, mine anyway.

I just moved my Google Home Mini at the same location of the Amazon Echo so that the strength of my voice and direction are the same for both devices.

EDIT: I wish there was a way to shorten Google Home's feedback after acknowledging a command, it's really annoying versus Alexa's simple "Okay" .

EDIT2: I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence but GH's voice command recognition seems to be better since I moved it, it was the same distance before but on another side... Anyway I'll keep on testing all week-end so I'll have a better idea tomorrow. I should definitely get a life!
Don't you sometimes have to specify which device you want to control?
As in "Hey Google, play Kodi on living Room Nexus Player".

I know I had to do that, but once things were playing on the chosen device I could pause, start, stop, quit out of, etc.

Either way, I still believe that we are in the early stages of both devices, but from what I've seen so far in owning both I'm having MUCH more success with ease of use and device compatibility (Nexus Player, ChromeCast, Hue, etc) with the Google Home Mini.

If it weren't for the free year of Amazon Prime coming from Telus, I'd be returning the $99 Amazon Echo V2 in a heartbeat, perhaps to re-visit it again at a later date.

At technically $20 (Prime is valued @ $80 CAD), I'll just keep this one and hopefully watch it become smarter as time goes on.

I've got 3 Google Home Mini's activated and scattered throughout the house now, with another 3 which are still sealed in their boxes (either to use myself, or give as gifts this Xmas if people are interested).

One thing I have noticed though, and it's my main reason for even wanting either device, is that the Echo V2 is faster at controlling my Hue lights setup than the GHM is...so that's a win.
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Woah! wrote:
Dec 9th, 2017 3:43 pm
Don't you sometimes have to specify which device you want to control?
As in "Hey Google, play Kodi on living Room Nexus Player".

I know I had to do that, but once things were playing on the chosen device I could pause, start, stop, quit out of, etc.

Either way, I still believe that we are in the early stages of both devices, but from what I've seen so far in owning both I'm having MUCH more success with ease of use and device compatibility (Nexus Player, ChromeCast, Hue, etc) with the Google Home Mini.

If it weren't for the free year of Amazon Prime coming from Telus, I'd be returning the $99 Amazon Echo V2 in a heartbeat, perhaps to re-visit it again at a later date.

At technically $20 (Prime is valued @ $80 CAD), I'll just keep this one and hopefully watch it become smarter as time goes on.

I've got 3 Google Home Mini's activated and scattered throughout the house now, with another 3 which are still sealed in their boxes (either to use myself, or give as gifts this Xmas if people are interested).

One thing I have noticed though, and it's my main reason for even wanting either device, is that the Echo V2 is faster at controlling my Hue lights setup than the GHM is...so that's a win.
Sounds like we're in the same boat. I have a GH and 2 GH minis and the Telus "$20" Echo v2 and 2 Dots on route from Source.

After using the GH's for a week, just trying the Echo I find the GH more useful, even though the voice command sequence is shorter on Echos.

I do love some of the crazy commands I have mastered for the GH though. "Okay Google, play the Wiggles from Google Play Music on Family Room Chromecast". Basically any time you want to source media you need to specify: WHAT, FROM WHERE, and TO WHERE.

Can be a bit cumbersome. But still finding it better than the Echo which just overall sh1ts the bed more often. Like you said, for $20 I'll keep it to try, but will likely end up returning the Echo dots.
Last edited by Carbo on Dec 9th, 2017 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Any here with a Google Home can confirm this: if you have a guest, and they want to test cool commands like "Okay Google, turn on TV", they need to be added as a user to the device and train their voice? Wow, if that's true, that's a major bummer compared to Amazon Echo. I would like everybody to be able to issue commands, I don't care about the multiple users functionality. Is there a way to disable linking the device to a Google account?
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