If Santa Brought You An Amazon Echo, Start Here.

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Amazon EchoIf you have read Gizmo's Christmas message on this site (see http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/end-year-thank-you-gizmo.htm-0) then you'll be aware of just how quickly the internet is becoming a mobile platform. We use it more than ever from our phones instead of laptops and desktops. But other devices, too, are starting to emerge. Wearable technology, for example. And smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

I'm a huge fan of the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot. I use mine on a daily basis. They tell me about the local traffic, and news headlines, and weather. They play music from Spotify or from Amazon Music Unlimited. They control my lights. If you don't already have one, get one! They're wonderful. You can choose from either the full-size Echo or the smaller Dot. They are pretty much the same device, and you can buy either one of them (or more than 1 if you want). The main difference between the Dot and the Echo is that the Dot has a smaller speaker and is thus best paired with a bluetooth speaker if you want to listen to music. Also, the Dot has a 3.5mm connector to external speakers which the full-size model doesn't.

If you're lucky enough to have received an Echo or Dot from Father Christmas this year, check out the Skills Store on your phone or tablet to see what skills (ie, apps for Echo and Dot) you can enable. There are thousands to choose from, most of which are free. If you need some inspiration, see http://venturebeat.com/2016/12/27/top-10-amazon-echo-alexa-skills-2016/ for some pointers to some of the best. Though be aware that not all skills are available in every country yet.

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