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New/new to me Alexa features

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Additions to routines:

You can now add many sound effects to routines from animals to red alert from Star Trek. Unfortunately there is no way to loop the sounds, you must add each action to your routine separately if you want a longer sound. Also you are confined to a single device, can't use the everywhere group.

Guard can now be activated with some routines but not deactivated and location based routines cannot be used. What was Amazon thinking? It would make much more sense to incorporate Guard to location so that it automatically switches to Away when I leave and Home when I arrive home.

Also you can have an Echo display a pulsing yellow notification light when a reminder is missed.

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On 11/23/2019 at 9:02 AM, David said:

Additions to routines:

You can now add many sound effects to routines from animals to red alert from Star Trek. Unfortunately there is no way to loop the sounds, you must add each action to your routine separately if you want a longer sound. Also you are confined to a single device, can't use the everywhere group.

Guard can now be activated with some routines but not deactivated and location based routines cannot be used. What was Amazon thinking? It would make much more sense to incorporate Guard to location so that it automatically switches to Away when I leave and Home when I arrive home.

Also you can have an Echo display a pulsing yellow notification light when a reminder is missed.

They are getting there with these routine additions though...boy oh boy.

 

Did anyone notice the Fire TVs displaying the words of your notifications or reminders now?

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55 minutes ago, AYL_Brian said:

 

 

Did anyone notice the Fire TVs displaying the words of your notifications or reminders now?

Nope, I got tired of announcements turning on all my tvs so I disabled communications.

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Alarms for some unknown, stupid reason will not work with speaker groups, only 1 echo at a time and without the sub of course.

So I found a workaround!

Create a routine for a specific time, set to repeat on a schedule if you would like. Add action to play music. At the play line I entered the station name followed by the speaker group name. For example "Iheartchristmas station everywhere" and now all my echos, pairings and subs in my everywhere group will play I heart Christmas from I heart radio. Or for a single speaker group (1 echo show 5,  echo plus &  echo 3rd gen stereo pair and  a sub) I entered "Lost 80's station in Bedroom"

I also added another action and moved it to the top of que to be an increase in volume to make sure I wake up.

Why amazon won't allow this under alarms is beyond me but I now have what I wanted, a repeating alarm on 3 echos and a sub.

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On 11/12/2019 at 5:25 PM, David said:

Care to elaborate?

Hi @David Once you install the skill, you can get the latest Automate Your Life YouTube videos or wake up to Brian on your Echo Show.... kind of reminds me of Max Headroom (is that what his name was?). Just Kidding.

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Echo Studio can support multiple wifi networks. I took my studio to work last week, set it up on another network, brought it back home and didn't need to change anything. It automatically connected back to my home network. Don't know if this is new, when it started or if it's all echos.

While connected to my work network it also gave me notifications, announcements, and reminders from my home network but that might be because both networks were tied to my phone.

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On 12/21/2019 at 6:57 AM, David said:

Echo Studio can support multiple wifi networks. I took my studio to work last week, set it up on another network, brought it back home and didn't need to change anything. It automatically connected back to my home network. Don't know if this is new, when it started or if it's all echos.

While connected to my work network it also gave me notifications, announcements, and reminders from my home network but that might be because both networks were tied to my phone.

I don't think it was nearly that easy before David.  And the notifications and things from your home network is a very useful scenario!

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You can now set a reminder for every x number of days. You can choose anywhere from 1 to 31 days

 

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I noticed this week that my 2 show 5's have been keeping a webpage open long past the usual 5 min. timeout. Last check was approaching an hour before I cancelled it.  

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I was so tired today (OK, hungover), that I forgot what I was going to say. All I got out was Alexa, lights and they came on! Not lights on or lights XX%, just lights. My first thought was to see if the one word command "lights" would also toggle them off but no luck. I also tried just "off" but no luck either.

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Alarms can now be set for any echo from any other echo.

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Changes to routines:

You can now copy/paste existing actions from one routine to another.

You can also change the trigger to existing routines.

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Not sure how long this has been on the app but you can now disable an echo from calling or messaging. Could be helpful for those with kids that have an echo in their room.

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This week Amazon added categories to lists. On by default but you can turn it off unlike their silly Bluetooth notification.

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In case anyone missed it, Ring doorbell presses can now be set up to automatically display on echo show devices. What I can't seem to find out (before I buy a ring) is if it will also automatically display on fire tablets in show mode.

 

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Reminders are no longer tied to one device. You can use the app to set up any reminder to sound off on all devices. I can't find a way to set by voice, edit current reminders, or set alerts by groups. It seems to be an all or one type of thing right now.

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You can now drop in on all devices at the same time. Settings/communications/enhanced features.

Don't think I will ever use it though. With most rooms having more than 1 echo and many within earshot of each other, I can foresee a whole lot of feedback coming from all the open mics.

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Another update to reminders, You can now have all devices announce reminders set either by voice or on the app. Go to settings/ reminders/ announce on all devices.

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Alexa app on android phones can now be hands free. App must be open, displayed and screen on. Not sure if this is useful since on my device the app is always open but it's usually running in the background.

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9 hours ago, FrankE said:

Maybe as an Echo Auto replacement?

Problem I had with that was as soon as alexa launched waze maps, waze became the front and center display on my phone and the app would no longer hear me hands free.

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Discovered today that my Wyze and Blink cameras can now be used as triggers for routines. The Blink can be set up for motion or no motion but the Wyze is based only on person detection.

Of course the lag in Wyze notifications and cool down time does not compare with the quick response from my zigbee motion sensors.

I'm thrilled that the Blinks can trigger since I have no other sensors exposed to the weather where the Blinks are placed.

 

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Named timers (dryer timer, pizza timer, etc) now default to the last setting you requested. Since I always use 50 minutes as my laundry timer I can now just say "laundry timer".

 

Also rumor has it that Amazon is holding its annual new device event this coming week. I believe it's supposed to be on the 24th.

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