Good day, listeners. techsnopes here. Welcome back to another episode of Talking podcast Tech. Isn’t it true that smart speakers tend to blend in with their surroundings? You buy them because you might need them if you have a question, want to check the weather, want to look up a recipe, or if you have kids at home who want to know what Bolivia’s capital is. It’s there, whatever it is. It’s tucked away on a shelf. It mixes in with the environment. Isn’t it true that you don’t notice it until you need it?
The latest Echo device from Amazon, on the other hand, is expected to be the center of attention. It’s Episode 15 of the Echo Show. It’s a device that works with Amazon’s Echo. It’s a speaker, but it’s also a touchscreen, so it can do a lot more. But it’s not just any touchscreen; it’s 15.6 inches, so it’s quite large. You won’t be able to ignore it. For the past few weeks, I’ve been able to put this to the test. On tech.techsnopes.com, you may read my thoughts on the subject.
If you want to keep organized and entertained, it has a lot of promise as a focal location. So, if you have a large family and are just trying to keep track of everything that is going on in your family circle, this device is for you. It feels like a smart speaker with practically a TV, but then all of a sudden it’s a digital bulletin board. It’s not as simple as buying a speaker, taking it out of the box, and plugging it into the socket. You should really think about where this is going to live.
Owners have the option of mounting it on their wall or setting it on a counter with a stand. Depending on your preference, you can show it horizontally or vertically. I didn’t want to put any more holes in my walls for my objectives. As a result, I placed it on a kitchen counter with support. It seemed like a decent central position to me. If it was going to be used as a family hub, this seemed like the best place to put it.
Visual ID is a new addition to the Echo Show lineup. It’s essentially a form of facial recognition. It’s similar to the iPhone’s facial ID. When you set up the device, you’ll enter your account information and other information. It will prompt you to create a visual ID. It works in the same way as face ID does. So you’ll have a look at the Show’s built-in camera. You’ll move your head in different directions so that it can take images of your face. Because the concept is that if you walk into the room where the Echo Show 15 is located, it will recognize you and display crucial information about you.
It also allows for the creation of several profiles. So, if I want to see my calendar, sports scores, and other information, it will display widgets on the screen that have been customized for me. If my wife has a profile, it may contain a variety of information, such as news, a calendar, or whatever else. What you want from your home screen is entirely up to you. So that’s a really cool portion. The widgets were stated earlier. You may utilize them to make things more personal. They have weather forecasts and calendars. If you only need to make quick reminders, you can use sticky notes. As you get closer to Show 15, it will pull up all of the information you’ve provided.
Now, if you value your privacy, this is understandably concerning. When you enter a room, this device recognizes you. It’s a little peculiar, doesn’t it? The camera is protected by a shutter on the gadget. The microphone can also be muted via a button on the top. So, according to Amazon, if you don’t want this device to see or hear you, simply do those things and you’re good to go. Of course, Alexa is used, which is fantastic. So, when you put everything together, it feels like a really fantastic central device for staying organized.
If you’re managing kids’ activities, doctor’s appointments, the grocery store, you got to go there, you could put all this stuff on your Echo Show 15, and then you can really stay organized. Personally, for me, I enjoyed using it a lot when I was doing dishes because it’s essentially kind of a TV. I had Netflix so I would throw on Netflix on there while I was doing dishes. It was great. It made the process, made it a little less kind of boring and tedious. I had something to kind of take my mind off of doing dishes.
There are other things you can do with it as well. You can manage your lights with smart home gadgets, such as a smart plug. If you have ring cameras, you may use this to see all of the different viewpoints from them. With an Echo Show, you can do a number of different extremely fun things.
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The one criticism I have is that I wish it could do more with its touchscreen. This device seems to be begging for the ability to support more apps. Widgets make up a large portion of it. There are a few supported apps in there, such as Netflix and other similar services. I really wish there were more apps to pick from. Apps for recipes stand out to me since, due to the size of the screen, this device is ideal for seeking up a recipe and then simply reading it on the screen.
You’re not dealing with a smaller screen if you’ve been doing it on your phone or tablet. It feels fantastic for that. Even for games and other apps that seem like they’d be a good fit for this. I’m surprised there wasn’t a bit more enthusiasm for it. I think you need to get more out of that touchscreen for a gadget like this if it’s going to take off and become that central center. There are times when it feels like you’re just using an Alexa speaker with a huge screen attached to it. That’s great if that’s your thing.
However, I believe it is capable of much more. For the price of 249.99, you’d think it could do a little more. But that’s about my only criticism about the Echo Show 15. It’s a fun device, in my opinion. If you’re a big fan of Alexa and want a centralized control panel for everything, this is an excellent place to start. However, I would have loved to see a lot more. Hopefully, there will be more of that in future editions of this.
More of my comments on this can be found at tech.Techsnopes.com. Let’s hear from you, listeners. Do you have any suggestions, queries, show ideas, or technical issues that you’d like us to look into? @techsnopes is how you can find me on Twitter. Remember to subscribe, rate, and review us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or anywhere you get your podcasts. Talking Tech is what you’ve been listening to. We’ll be back with another fast hit from the world of technology tomorrow.