Amazon has added a new accessibility feature to the Echo Show called “Tap to Alexa.” It’s meant to give people who are unable to interact with Alexa by voice, such as people with a speech impairment, a way to access most of the Echo Show’s features by using the touchscreen. It works by displaying a grid of customizable icons that execute Alexa tasks when tapped. While it’s meant to be used by impaired individuals, it’s actually hand enough that anyone might find it useful. Read more ›
When Amazon added the ability to make phone calls using Echo devices, one issue was that you couldn’t really use the feature to call a phone number that had a navigation menu because there was no way to enter keypad presses with your voice or otherwise. Amazon has now addressed the shortcoming on Alexa devices with a screen, like the Echo Spot and Echo Show, by providing the option to bring up a keypad on the touchscreen. There’s still no way to ask Alexa to submit a key press using your voice, so the limitation remains present on the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Plus, but this update to the Echo Spot and Echo Show at least indicates that Amazon is aware of the issue, so we may get keypad input by voice in the future.
Amazon has added a somewhat obvious but potentially handy feature to the Amazon Echo Show. You can now ask “Alexa, show me my dash buttons” to view a scrollable list of your virtual Dash buttons that give you a quick way to reorder specific products. Read more ›
After several leaks, Amazon has now added support for multi-room audio to the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. The new feature allows you to group together multiple Echo devices and play music on all devices simultaneously. The feature is also being made available to 3rd-party speaker manufacturers so non-Echo devices can also sync music with Amazon’s own speakers. Read more ›
Ever since Amazon discontinued their Fire HDX line of premium tablets and began focusing on more affordable tablets, the Amazon Fire TV has been the most powerful device they produce. That’s not surprising since it’s the closest thing they have to a game console, so it needs the horsepower to run demanding games. What is surprising is that, according to an internal benchmark, the Fire TV has been dethroned as the most powerful Amazon device by the Echo Show. Read more ›
For feature rich products like the Amazon Echo Show, I typically don’t write a single review article. Instead, I like to go in-depth on individual aspects and features in dedicated posts, which I plan to do with several of the Echo Show features soon. For those of you who want a good overall review of the product, I highly recommend checking out Lon Seidman’s Video Review of the Echo Show. He has a great YouTube channel, that I suggest you all subscribe to, where he reviews electronics on a daily basis. Lon invited me to help demonstrate the Echo Show’s video calling capabilities, so look for my big cameo about 4 minutes into the review.
Since the Amazon Echo Show runs a modified version of Android, it comes with several things common to Android devices, like hidden developer options. Something else it has is Fastboot and Recovery mode, which are used to manipulate the operating system. It’s still unknown what use these modes have for modding purposes, or how locked down they are, but here’s how to boot into Fastboot and Recovery, as well as the available options. Read more ›
While experimenting with the Amazon Echo Show, I stumbled on the proper way to shut the device down. It doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere, so I figured I’d post it for those who need it. To shut down the Echo Show, simply hold down the mute button for about 3 seconds and then tap “OK” when the power off option appears. The mute button is the leftmost button on top of the Echo Show. To power the device back on, which essentially restarts it, just press and hold the mute button again while the device is off.
The Amazon Echo Show seems to be running a very customised version of Amazon’s Fire operating system, which is based on Android. On nearly all Android devices, if you go into the device settings screen and tap on the device’s serial number several times, you’ll enable developer options. The same is true for the Echo Show. Read more ›