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How has Google Mini/Alexa improved your life?

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  • How has Google Mini/Alexa improved your life?

    Google Mini, you use one of these voice-activated home automation units and have a SCI ? What do you use it for? Please share! I am working on an article on this topic and would love to hear any first-hand experiences 👍😀 Thanks!
    May the fetus you save be gay

  • #2
    I was tempted, but was scared of by paranoia of Alexa (or 'whatever') listening in or monitoring me.

    It would be nice to just say, "Alexa, lights." Not worth the privacy infringement though.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12


    • #3
      If I had to rely on her because of my disability I would go insane. She doesn't always turn the lights or tv on when you ask which can be frustrating AF, but she's a great music player when linked to a Spotify pro account, great for telling me how cold it is outside and great at laughing creepily at 3am!


      • #4
        Google Minis is the way to go...we started with one and now have 5!

        Its getting smarter each day. It now has "routines" which is where you can say as simply as good night or good morning and it will do up to 5 commands at once.

        When I wake up I can say good morning it will great me with the weather, up to date news, start our coffee and turn on the lights and set the thermostat!

        We have add wifi light bulbs though our house, we also have Nest for our wifi thermostat control and Wemo for turning on appliances, and Guardzilla for security.

        All can be set from Google Assistant.

        We have music playing when we want including outside.

        They can also make calls which is added security if one falls or needs help.


        • #5
          I am afraid of this too! I am amazed by everything it can do however. I have a feeling one day I'll submit....

          May the fetus you save be gay


          • #6
            LOL does she really laugh at 3am? Geesh!

            A decent music player isn't bad. Maybe your connection isn't that great or...?
            May the fetus you save be gay


            • #7
              Awesome! Was it easy to setup?
              May the fetus you save be gay


              • #8
                Originally posted by Theophania View Post
                Awesome! Was it easy to setup?
                I have an Echo ( Alexa) back in my bedroom. Very easy to set up if you have decent wifi and download the app on your Tablet or phone. I've had Alexa the longest, about 2 years and got it for a very good sale price. I usually get news and podcasts. On my iPad I have , "Pandora' and also 'Tunein radio' apps so I have dessignated them for music, NPR and pretty much telling Echo whatever station i want . I have several NPR stations I listen to, Boston, San Fransisco, etc, there are some programs I like and can catch in different time zones so it fits my schedule, I will just say the station and play through "tune in". Similarly with Music I usually use Pandora and just request from stations which I also have on Mac and iPad. There are a multitude of of music / radio stations you can connect , Spotify , Sirrixm, etc. Also Kindle books read aloud and, I haven't subscribed to Audible. One thing I haven't been able to do is connect with iTunes library, that would be nice. I haven't looked into trying recently, but have assumed it is just a competition issue.

                I use quite a bit in the morning for an alarm, weather, news briefs, to do lists, grocery, reminders. That's some of what I use it for. There are however a lot more capabilities. I have not found a need and / or have been too cheap to purchase any smart home features. IF I was laid up for any reason I might consider some smart home features.

                One thing I did accessorize fo Amazon Echo is remote. I find the range to be pretty amazing. i can be any where in the house and add to lists, control, on, off etc. Before getting remote if volume was up to 6 or 7 and I was some distance away had to yell out to get over the sound and hear my command. The remote is well worth the extra $29 expense ,imho. In an apartment it might not be neccessary but I find it very useful in the house.

                For Christmas my sister got all of sibs google. I like it. The speaker quality is a bit tinnier that Echo. "Hey Google" almost seems a little smarter than Alexa. I have electronics in the front of my house so it's not a primary music / radio source. Easy to set up, again with downloaded app. Since I've only had about three months I can't really give it a fair comparison to Echo but it's handy. I'll ask weather , podcasts but again have not found a need for any 'Smart home features".

                That's all I can think of at this time. I will probably use the Google more as time goes on. i have played around using it for phone calls and it works well. I am happy with both Amazon Alexa and Google.

                Been a long day and I am rambling but these are a few things that come to mind for each... one was a gift as mentioned and the other a purchase, both helpful and no buyers remorse at all.
                Last edited by ChesBay; 03-27-2018, 11:45 PM. Reason: eta typo


                • #9
                  The laughter:

                  I think our problem is more with the LIFX bulbs then the Echo itself.


                  • #10
                    My daughter (C5) just started using an Echo (Alexa). She is using it more than she thought she would. It is in her bedroom so she uses it for music, weather/time and random questions. I like it for her for a couple reasons....because it is always plugged in (no charging) and provides redundancy backup for emergency calls should she need help (after dropping her phone or phone is dead) from bed. (She cannot independently transfer.)

                    She is away at college right now. When she comes home for the summer I think we'll try some home automation stuff too.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lynnifer View Post
                      I was tempted, but was scared of by paranoia of Alexa (or 'whatever') listening in or monitoring me.
                      I already think the vast resources of the Internet contain more personal data about me than I care to know. Having something monitor every sound in hopes of hearing the word Alexa truly creeps me out. So far my home automation system consists of a number of X 10 units placed around the house controlling lights. As my wife and I continue to age, thank God, I may rethink this as it might help us stay independent. Until that day comes I can't see anything convincing me this is worthwhile.

                      "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12


                      • #12
                        The Amazon Echo is not always listening. You can use a program called Wireshark to measure your upstream bandwidth. The Echo is listening for the wake word, "Alexa." I know there was a problem with the newly released Google Home Mini but this was a review unit (was always listening) which was resolved by Google.
                        The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
                        --General George Patton

                        Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
                        ––Paul Nussbaum


                        • #13
                          I love my Echos. They can turn the lights on and off without me having to get out of bed. You can also use them as a house intercom. I have my dot connected via bluetooth to my stereo and subsribe to amanzon music which has a great library. And of course there is hours of entertainment doing this