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Echo Auto

Old 06-14-19, 03:43 AM
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Echo Auto

I preregistered and bought within seconds of email. $24.99 plus tax, half price of "regular" price. I LOVE it. I use it mostly to listen to songs without having to do playlists. I have to tinker with it because you can supposedly link Google Maps and Waze to it and I haven't done that yet (and I do use Google Maps almost on a daily basis). But just being able to play any song on command (have Spotify) is worth the price of admission. Also being able to make phone calls. I described it to my husband as a hands-free device that actually works. One happy camper. They're not accepting reviews yet, but they have my 5 stars.

When I first got it I opened the package and started unpacking and thought cool a remote I can probably use it with all our Echoes and put it aside and kept unpacking looking for the Echo... oh, that was the Echo!
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Old 06-20-19, 10:08 PM
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Re: Echo Auto

I got mine less than a week ago, and it’s going back tomorrow. The thing worked properly for about the first five minutes, and has been an exercise in frustration ever since.

My car has no Bluetooth support, so I had to make do with using my iPhone and the aux cable/jack. The initial setup was mostly flawless, finding and pairing the device almost immediately, and instantly finding the handful of songs I threw at it on Amazon Music. There was, however, a considerable delay with performing home automation tasks; turning the porch light on and off took anywhere from five to ten seconds, whereas it takes less than a second through the Echo Dot inside the house (and both devices were on the same Wi-Fi network, since I was testing all of this from the driveway).

When I got in the car the next morning, it refused to pair with my phone, despite Bluetooth being on and the Alexa app still running in the background, and I was never able to successfully pair it again. No amount of resets, power cycles, forgetting devices, or any other Amazon suggestions made any difference.

I had high hopes for it, but it was almost a complete failure for me. I have had similarly bad luck with other Echo “peripherals” like the Echo Remote and the silly Echo Clock, but the Dot has been almost rock solid.
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Old 06-20-19, 11:55 PM
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Re: Echo Auto

I only had to pair once and it works flawlessly through Bluetooth. I don't have to touch anything, it's always ready to go. Honestly, having used things like the Pokemon Go Plus and such, it's a combination of phone and car that is either going to make it or break it for you. I don't use it for home stuff as we only have inside lights set up for it. I've been having a blast with it. I work nights and it's helpful to go over my schedule for the day on the way home. And I like that it plays NPR, pop radio station, I've tried the audiobooks and podcasts, and of course music.
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Old 07-06-19, 06:15 PM
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Re: Echo Auto

print: Sorry you had so much trouble. My '16 Kia Sorento has built-in bluetooth and the EA I just got yesterday works flawlessly in my car with my new Moto G7. I wasn't expecting it to add much capability, since I have a lifetime Sirius/XM subscription already, a MP3 thumb drive with 5000+ songs on it, and use my phone for audiobooks and to listen to downloaded Big Finish stories, but I was pleasantly surprised. I've been able to play Spotify, Audible books, Radio Free Skaro (podcast) and (after changing my "traffic" setting in the Alexa App) was able to launch Waze and have it navigate me around town - all by voice.

The other thing that's a huge plus for me - and this is vehicle-specific mind you - is that I can stash the EA inside the armest console between me and the front passenger seat. Kia has thoughtfully put a USB power tap inside that console, and the Sorento has such excellent soundproofing and picks up so little road/background noise that I can give standard Alexa commands at a normal voice level and the EA *inside* the armrest picks it up and acts accordingly. No ugly exposed power cables or worry about leaving any sticky reside from the glued-on magnetic base mount.

Interesting side story.... it arrived Friday but was in a USPS "oops" bag. Apparently it was damaged in transit but they delivered it to me anyway. The note on the package said that they had notified Amazon of the damage, and a quick check of my account verified that was true. I called them up and had a CSR on the line while I unboxed the thing. Two of the corners of the box had been crushed, but the device and all of the included accessories looked to be in pristine condition. I ran a quick power-up check and everything seemed okay. The CSR offered to refund my money or send a replacement, but let me keep the first unit to apologize for the inconvenience.... hells yeah, please send me another one! That arrives on Sunday. Meanwhile the one I've got seems to be working great, and since it's inside the armrest I have no need for the $15 vent mount I picked up... sounds like my kid is going to get an early Xmas gift, though it's damn tempting to flip the bonus EA and the vent mount on eBay. Nah, I'll be a good dad and give my 18 y/o something that will hopefully keep eyes on the road and that will add handsfree access to the media that I -know- is going to get played anyway.

Not too shabby for $25 (+$15 for the mount)
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Old 07-06-19, 06:19 PM
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Re: Echo Auto

Originally Posted by GatorDeb View Post
you can supposedly link Google Maps and Waze to it and I haven't done that yet (and I do use Google Maps almost on a daily basis).
It's amazingly simple once someone tell you how.
1 - Open the Alexa App
2 - Tap Menu, Settings
3 - Scroll down under Alexa Preferences and tap Traffic
4 - At the bottom, tap Default Navigation App and select Waze (my preference) or Maps (which is Google Maps, if that's your preference)

Done.

I'm uncertain if there's only one trigger phrase or not, but I found that saying "Alexa, Navigate me to .... " is all I need to do to get it to launch Waze and pass that destination across. I only have to tap the "Navigate Now" button or wait for Waze to time out. When it was launching Google Maps it passed the destination over and automatically began navigating. Both worked great - use whichever one you prefer or are used to.
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Old 07-08-19, 09:12 PM
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Re: Echo Auto

Holy shit, after requesting Amazon for an invitation over six months ago, I finally received one today, and ordered one (I should get it Wednesday). Fingers crossed that it works in my car!
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Old 07-09-19, 12:37 AM
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Re: Echo Auto

For the navigation I already had the settings correct, but apparently it's hit and miss depending on the destination. I was able to get it to navigate to certain places but it won't pick up other ones, so it may just be a work in progress. it WILL navigate anywhere if I give it the address, but just some places with the business name. I prefer the phone hooked up through USB to the car for maps anyway as it has a monitor that shows me the map.

I asked for the nearest Sonics and it added a Sonic plush toy to my Amazon cart :/ Or maybe it did know what it was doing .....

Last edited by GatorDeb; 07-09-19 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 07-10-19, 03:29 PM
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Re: Echo Auto

^ Yeah, being able to say a thing in a manner the device can recognize and understand can be challenging. Sonics might have thrown it off if you were looking for a Sonic Drive-In since the business name is singular, not plural, but not if you were looking for the Seattle Supersonics, except that they're in Oklahoma City now. It's hit and miss, but that's probably more to the voice-command nature of the interface - a thing that's safer and much easier to do, though not nearly as reliable, as typing letters on a screen.
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Old 07-10-19, 11:23 PM
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Re: Echo Auto

I played around with it today and it has mostly issues with places with the same name and multiple locations. Like Alexa navigate to Word1 Word2 Word3 Location, it won't do it (I go a 3-name place often and it has like 7 locations and each one has a name like North, West, etc., it won't do that at all), but it did find the nearest McDonalds. It does home each and every time but other places it won't do at all. I was looking for the fast food place I noticed it pulls up the maps and navigates on my phone but Alexa won't give the directions and I have to make sure the phone has the volume up.

I was geeking out so bad today to "Alexa play pop from the 90's" that I kept asking myself what took me so long to look that up.

Last edited by GatorDeb; 07-11-19 at 03:02 AM.
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Old 07-16-19, 01:20 AM
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Re: Echo Auto

Can you get it to read your incoming text messages? That is one of my biggest peeves about my Tesla - - it can't do that even after 100 over-the-air updates and a Ford Focus can. That and Spotify capabilities are why I purchased one even though it can play songs, dial numbers and do Google navigation with voice commands already

Also while you can ask a Tesla to play a podcast, it has trouble with ones longer than 45-60 minutes and gives you an error message. This works way better for that.
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Old 07-16-19, 10:16 AM
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Re: Echo Auto

Answering my own question, though it is not listed anywhere in the skills description, it CAN read text messages to you while driving. Very nice feature.
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Old 07-16-19, 11:12 AM
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Re: Echo Auto

Does anyone have any idea how much data this uses and for what? I have a phone plan with rather limited data and am worried that the Echo Auto might burn through that (I'm hoping it doesn't). I was mostly planning to use this for Spotify albums that are stored on my phone, so no data being used there.
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Old 09-19-19, 07:21 PM
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Re: Echo Auto

Just ordered mine yesterday.
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Old 09-20-19, 11:05 AM
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Re: Echo Auto

Ordered one, but only because it came with three free months of Audible, so worth the $25 to me.

Hooked it up, but not sure it adds much to my set-up. Seems like pretty much everything it does I could already do with my phone/car stereo.
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Old 09-20-19, 11:34 AM
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Re: Echo Auto

Really the worst way I've ever spent $25. Offers nothing that my car and phone don't already offer. I've had it about a month and used it the first day or so and not since. I'll probably just take it out and chalk this one up as a bad purchase.
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Old 09-20-19, 11:42 AM
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Re: Echo Auto

Originally Posted by Timber View Post
Really the worst way I've ever spent $25. Offers nothing that my car and phone don't already offer. I've had it about a month and used it the first day or so and not since. I'll probably just take it out and chalk this one up as a bad purchase.
Does your car do hands-free texting? Because that was worth $25 alone for me.
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Old 09-20-19, 11:49 AM
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Re: Echo Auto

Looks pretty cool, but it does nothing that Apple CarPlay doesn't do already (or most of what Toyota Entune does). I'm driving a 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE; this tech would have been more useful in my previous car (2010 Nissan Altima).
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