Review: Amazon Echo Show is 'good enough'

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 81
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Pull your finger out Apple. Dictation alone needs a lot of work for Siri. Privacy would stop me buying this or any Google product however. I do love that you gave this a fair shake though. Daniel Eran should love this review ;-)
    edited July 2017 watto_cobraavon b7
  • Reply 22 of 81
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,680member
    JDP81 said:
    boredumb said:
    I still can't see relying on Amazon for hardware OR software.
    They still can't make a Kindle work reliably or smoothly, or do much of anything well,
    and they've been "developing" those for ten years...
    Even the midrange ones cost more than their HD Fire "tablets",
    so I find their other products easy to avoid.
    It'd be like buying rocket engines from a company that hadn't quite yet mastered matches.
    The problem I have with Amazon is that all their products are profitable to them post-sale, they're all nothing more than store-fronts so Amazon can sell you more shit through their (cheaply designed, cheaply produced, cheaply sold) products, which is why they're all so much cheaper than Apple products (up front only). I find any discussion of price comparison between business models like Amazon's and Apple's to be wholly disingenuous because they never take into account the sinister ways Amazon's business model discretely and without your full understanding reaches around you, grabs your wallet and extracts money from it over time for every product of theirs you buy. You think it's cheaper because you only think about the initial price, but that's not Amazon's business model, they profit off you over time (as does Google). As for the functionality of their devices, well, they're all geared to optimising what I've just described about their business model - the question you need ask yourself is: "is this how I want a product designed for me?" Personally, I don't.
    And that's fine, but Amazon isn't a non-profit organization, so criticizing them for trying to profit is ridiculous lol
    And of all the major for-profit companies they're the one that works hardest at trying to break even each quarter. But more importantly, the Echo products are not trying to sell you anything. Tying to your Amazon account is a feature but I've never once used it in 3 years. The closest I've come is to ramble off To Do items while I was busy which I later then went into the Alexa app and copied the items to my iPhone's Notes app. There is no, "Alexa, what time is it," with a reply of, "The time is 8:04am. We many wonderful grandfather clocks for sale that I'm sure would look lovely in your home," or "Alexa, play Spotify," with a reply of, "OK, but first a word from Clorox."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 81
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,680member
    ireland said:
    Pull your finger out Apple. Dictation alone needs a lot of work for Siri.
    How do you know? You can't compare dictation with Siri on a tiny device with leaks microphones to one designed with many far-field microphones. If you think that it makes absolutely no difference then you need to concede that Amazon did an amazing job with dictation out of the gate with their original Alexa and that the HomePod is going to suck balls if the microphones work only as good as they do in the iPhone.

    Who knows if you even mean dictation, or if you mean comprehension of what is heard, which includes using the proper homonyms, proper nouns, etc., and that's even before  the query is full analyzed so it can reply appropriately, which is the harder part to program. Remember that HomePod can't just say "here are a few websites I found since there's no display for displaying such data. Well, I guess it could push it to your Apple TV display or iDevice, but that doesn't sound like a good plan, to me.
    watto_cobramacxpress
  • Reply 24 of 81
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    Soli said:
    ireland said:
    Pull your finger out Apple. Dictation alone needs a lot of work for Siri.
    How do you know? You can't compare dictation with Siri on a tiny device with leaks microphones to one designed with many far-field microphones.
    In a quiet room with the bottom iPhone mic pointed at and 10” from my mouth with clear speech it often misinterprets what I say. I don’t want excuses. I was Siri to hear and correctly dictate my speech.
  • Reply 25 of 81
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,680member
    ireland said:
    Soli said:
    ireland said:
    Pull your finger out Apple. Dictation alone needs a lot of work for Siri.
    How do you know? You can't compare dictation with Siri on a tiny device with leaks microphones to one designed with many far-field microphones.
    In a quiet room with the bottom iPhone mic pointed at and 10” from my mouth with clear speech it often misinterprets what I say. I don’t want excuses. I was Siri to hear and correctly dictate my speech.
    Again, how do you know that’s an issue with Siri and not with the local HW since you can’t do any sort of independent testing. Based on your comments the HomePod is going to suck balls with better mics because it’ll still use the same ol’ Siri—unless you think it’ll use a different Siri, and I’d love to see an argument for that.

    I have an Echo and Echo Dot. Both are far better than Siri at understanding what I’m saying but the Echo Dot is considerably worse than the Echo. Do you think these are using completely different Alexa backends? I don’t. You can even test this with the Alexa app they have for iOS. Microphone HW matters.
    edited July 2017 watto_cobramacxpress
  • Reply 26 of 81
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    JDP81 said:
    foggyhill said:
    Yeah, why not use an Ipad?

    Funny how your assessment of Alexa is way way off from mine; but hey, we see what we want to see...
    You think it's funny that someone has a different opinion than yours?
    Funny how reading is not your cup of tea, but;, just my opinion about you; can't prove it, but it must be true since I just said it.

    Its supposed to be an objective review, not just an "opinion".

    If you state that Alexa is "better" in a review, well back it up, or say in what cases that is indeed a fact or don't say it at all.

    If I want to hear musings and ponderings about Alexa I can go read Amazon user comments and call it a day.


    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 81
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ireland said:
    Soli said:
    ireland said:
    Pull your finger out Apple. Dictation alone needs a lot of work for Siri.
    How do you know? You can't compare dictation with Siri on a tiny device with leaks microphones to one designed with many far-field microphones.
    In a quiet room with the bottom iPhone mic pointed at and 10” from my mouth with clear speech it often misinterprets what I say. I don’t want excuses. I was Siri to hear and correctly dictate my speech.
    Well, It doesn't do that for me IN FRENCH, Quebec french mind you while Alexa, which I tried and supposedly can "teach you french" (sic) (serious!!) is utter crap.
    Yet, you got people on place like stuff.fr clapping their hands like trained seals. It is like their using a different product than me.

    A lot of problem with Siri seems people mumbling and slurring their words from my own experience (and those of my family).

    My only big problem with Siri is the fact I use a lot of mixed language requests and like all other digital assistant it fails at this.
  • Reply 28 of 81
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    ireland said:
    Pull your finger out Apple. Dictation alone needs a lot of work for Siri. Privacy would stop me buying this or any Google product however. I do love that you gave this a fair shake though. Daniel Eran should love this review ;-)
    Its not a review, it is a load of unsubstantiated "feels".
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 81
    The problem I have with Amazon is that all their products are profitable to them post-sale, they're all nothing more than store-fronts so Amazon can sell you more shit through their (cheaply designed, cheaply produced, cheaply sold) products, which is why they're all so much cheaper than Apple products (up front only). I find any discussion of price comparison between business models like Amazon's and Apple's to be wholly disingenuous because they never take into account the sinister ways Amazon's business model discretely and without your full understanding reaches around you, grabs your wallet and extracts money from it over time for every product of theirs you buy. You think it's cheaper because you only think about the initial price, but that's not Amazon's business model, they profit off you over time (as does Google). As for the functionality of their devices, well, they're all geared to optimising what I've just described about their business model - the question you need ask yourself is: "is this how I want a product designed for me?" Personally, I don't.
    You got it right. It is all about tying you into Amazon for everything you do.
    IMHO, this is all part of their grand plan to make all other retailers shut up shop.
    While this stuff from Amazon is convienent do you really want them to be the only store left anywhere?
    This 'thing' gathers all sorts of data on your life. Amazon will use it to target ads at you, even for things you just bought and are now cheaper (that sucks)

    Sorry Amazon, I for one am not going to take the bait. In fact I'm spending more of my money with local independant traders and not with the big boys.
    Yes I'm a grumpy, ornery old git and not your target market but I know I'm not alone in rejecting you and Wallyworld and ... and ....
    Any you know what? I feel better for it.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 30 of 81
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,992member
    Amazon’s Echo Show is an appliance and not a general purpose mobile computing device like the iPad. These products were purposely designed and optimized for several different use cases despite the fact that they can also serve some of the same functions. Trying to use an iPad for the same things that the Echo Show is optimized to perform is going to be suboptimal and trying to use the Echo Show for things the iPad is optimized for is going to come up short. Just because different products have some overlapping features and functions does not mean that the products are interchangeable. All of Amazon’s products are optimized for the Amazon ecosystem and all Apple products are optimized for the Apple ecosystem. While there’s a lot of direct competition between these two ecosystems neither one’s success, in today’s marketplaces, demands that one ecosystem survives while the other one gets destroyed. Both are doing quite well and have lots of loyal and delighted customers. It’s hard not to love both Amazon and Apple.

    On the other hand, I suppose it is a standing requirement that anything mentioned or reviewed by AI be done so through the lens of how it impacts anything within the Apple ecosystem, which is the focus of this site. So mentioning the overlap is perfectly fine. In this case it might be interesting to make a case for Apple to expand the audio signal processing in future iPads (and possibly iPhones) to include the ability to discern between near field and far field audio interaction and dynamically apply the best signal path to the situation. For example, if the iPad/iPhone has facial recognition (and directional beam forming) and you are speaking to it in the near field then it ignores far field signals and off-axis signals to give its full attention to you as you speak. Perhaps it has exceptions for things like police/fire sirens, barking dogs, automobile horns, crying babies, etc. The ability of the device to dynamically focus its “attention” between available near and far field signals with situational awareness would be a much more natural audio interaction model than picking only one or the other. 

    If nothing else, Siri, Alexa, and various other audio interface mechanisms have shown us that using audio and speech as a primary interaction model has huge untapped potential that we are only now starting to realize, and in quite trivial ways compared to what is really possible. At some point all human sensory abilities will be expressed in useful ways by our smart cyber assistants.
  • Reply 31 of 81
    bluefire1 said:
    This device reminds me of "That '70's Show".

    It would fit well into an episode of Space:1999
    watto_cobraavon b7
  • Reply 32 of 81
    Didn’t read article. 
    But man, that this is UG LY. 

    watto_cobraStrangeDays
  • Reply 33 of 81
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,680member
    Didn’t read article. 
    But man, that this is UG LY. 
    It might be functional and there's not too much you can do with a display that needs to be facing someone from a standard height without getting overly complex, but that's definitely an uninspired design.

    But if you think the outside phoned it in you should see the internals on the iFixit teardown. In Amazon's defense, they didn't need to spend a great deal of time and money trying to compact the internals. In fact they have plenty of room to work with, but still the internals are unpleasant to look at for modern CE.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 81
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,680member
    Remember when people said that any Siri device for the home would have to have a display because the iPhone has a display and that it would have to be an iPad display in a stand, not something with some basic lights for visual communications on top?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 81
    Looks ugly. I will keep my electronics right next to the sink for safe keeping. /s If you have Legos, you can tilt the machine properly. /s
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 81
    wigbywigby Posts: 688member
    Apple can certainly complete... take the $329 IPad, remove the battery, and add a better speaker and mike.  

    The biggest problem is Siri sucks.

    It's interesting the Amazon had crap for an App Store just a few years ago, but now they have developer support.  We'll see if game developers also jump on board.

    ----
    I'll stick with an IPad. I have wireless earbuds, and have Siri disabled.  But, Amazon has become interning enough with Alexa that many people might take another look at their tablets.  I'd consider an Amazon phone at the right price point...
    Amazon stopped making and selling their own phones.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 81
    wigbywigby Posts: 688member

    JDP81 said:
    boredumb said:
    I still can't see relying on Amazon for hardware OR software.
    They still can't make a Kindle work reliably or smoothly, or do much of anything well,
    and they've been "developing" those for ten years...
    Even the midrange ones cost more than their HD Fire "tablets",
    so I find their other products easy to avoid.
    It'd be like buying rocket engines from a company that hadn't quite yet mastered matches.
    The problem I have with Amazon is that all their products are profitable to them post-sale, they're all nothing more than store-fronts so Amazon can sell you more shit through their (cheaply designed, cheaply produced, cheaply sold) products, which is why they're all so much cheaper than Apple products (up front only). I find any discussion of price comparison between business models like Amazon's and Apple's to be wholly disingenuous because they never take into account the sinister ways Amazon's business model discretely and without your full understanding reaches around you, grabs your wallet and extracts money from it over time for every product of theirs you buy. You think it's cheaper because you only think about the initial price, but that's not Amazon's business model, they profit off you over time (as does Google). As for the functionality of their devices, well, they're all geared to optimising what I've just described about their business model - the question you need ask yourself is: "is this how I want a product designed for me?" Personally, I don't.
    And that's fine, but Amazon isn't a non-profit organization, so criticizing them for trying to profit is ridiculous lol
    They're not being criticized for profiting, they're being criticized for how they profit. There's a difference.
    watto_cobrapscooter63StrangeDays
  • Reply 38 of 81
    wigbywigby Posts: 688member

    saarek said:
    Amazon is getting to the "good enough" sweet spot before Apple is even out of the door and that is a serious problem.

    At this rate Amazon will be the entrenched standard with Apple acting like Windows Mobile, too little too late.
    Sweet spot where? In the kitchen as a single device? You sound like all the Windows fans when Microsoft supposedly launched the iPhone killer. Windows phones went nowhere and Amazon Fire phones are already officially dead so I'm not sure how entrenched they can get. All devices continue to move to more to mobile so Amazon's really just grasping at table scraps here. Echo platform is the Raspberry Pi of the PC world. It's ubiquitous but only because it's cheap and easy to implement. As far as branding, customers don't really have a true loyalty or even trust for Echo. Amazon has captured the low hanging fruit market which is customers buying cheap solutions to specific problems. Those customers never stick around unless no one presents an alternative solution.
    watto_cobrapscooter63
  • Reply 39 of 81
    My only question is - "Is there a market there?" Honestly, it's an odd format. I'm interested to see if anyone I know uses it. I've found the echo mostly useless. Set a timer, which you can do on your phone. But I'm interested to see if a market develops for a product that I don't see being useful. Time will tell of course, if everyone is using a in house speaker in 5 years.
    saarek said:
    Amazon is getting to the "good enough" sweet spot before Apple is even out of the door and that is a serious problem.

    At this rate Amazon will be the entrenched standard with Apple acting like Windows Mobile, too little too late.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 81
    How does Siri suck compared to this or an echo? I'm just wondering. I don't use voice asset that much, but have an echo and iPhone ETC. But I'm wondering what I'm not doing that creates this gulf.
    Apple can certainly complete... take the $329 IPad, remove the battery, and add a better speaker and mike.  

    The biggest problem is Siri sucks.

    It's interesting the Amazon had crap for an App Store just a few years ago, but now they have developer support.  We'll see if game developers also jump on board.

    ----
    I'll stick with an IPad. I have wireless earbuds, and have Siri disabled.  But, Amazon has become interning enough with Alexa that many people might take another look at their tablets.  I'd consider an Amazon phone at the right price point...
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