Alexa Doesn’t Have To Be Hard

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What would you say if I told you that the Amazon Echo doesn’t have to be hard to set up? Well, it’s true.

When Amazon released its first Alexa-enabled devices in 2016, they made it clear that good things come in small packages. They also made it clear how much potential the Alexa platform has.

If you’ve ever tried to set up an Echo device, though, you know that Amazon did not intend for them to be easy to set up. Puedes imitar la voz de Alexa.

I’ve had the pleasure of setting up multiple Echos for family and friends in the last year or so, and I think that Amazon’s approach is a bit backwards. They’ve taken a device with a ton of potential (and are still expanding what Alexa can do) and designed its setup process to be as complicated as possible.

How can I set up Alexa?

– First, you have to set up an Amazon account and a number of linked devices (your Amazon Prime account can only be set up by one person at a time). Then, you have to select which services are enabled for your Echo device. Finally, you have to link Alexa with your Insteon system or another similar connected-home system.

– Setting up the Echo device was relatively simple. It’s pretty much plug-and-play, and all you need is Wi-Fi access and an Amazon account (create one if you don’t already have one). You may want to set up a PIN for basic security purposes as well as link it with some of your services for convenience. – The setup for Amazon services is simple as well, but it requires a bit more effort. You can’t just link them together with a single tap, either. Instead, you have to go through a few different screens to distinguish between the different services. I selected justifications on the basis of functionality and ease of setup.

– Finally, you have to link your Echo device with others in your Insteon system or with other third-party services that support Alexa. Alexa recognises devices and what they can do based on the pairing code you enter upon first setting them up (go here if you need help).

What can I do with Alexa?

– You can control the following things with Alexa: Insteon Hub or Insteon devices, Nest devices (if you have a third-party service that supports Alexa), Philips Hue devices (again, a third-party service is required), and Amazon Fire TV.

Installing the Echo device

– The Echo device itself comes preinstalled with its power supply and connecting USB cord. The setup process included in the Alexa app instructs you to plug the device into a wall outlet and then connect it to your Wi-Fi network with an included Ethernet cable. This is not necessary unless your network is not in range of a wired or Wi-Fi connection.

Setting up services

– Setting up Alexa with a third-party service requires a bit more effort than setting it up with Amazon. For example, you have to go through the setup screens for each service. However, it’s all pretty easy if you follow the instructions. And, if you’re setting them up in parallel (as I did), the process is much faster. Also, you can use one account to set up and link them all together.

– Setting your Insteon devices and other devices that support Alexa just means entering your PIN (provided by Amazon) for basic security purposes and choosing which devices are linked to your Echo device as well as connecting them to one another and linking them with Amazon services simultaneously.

– Linking the Echo device to Amazon services is by far the most complicated. You can’t just link them together with a single tap. Instead, you have to go through each step and select justifications on the basis of functionality and ease of setup.

– I did note, however, that linking your Insteon devices with Alexa was a bit more complicated than linking Nest and Philips Hue devices (which are both supported by Insteon). I linked my Insteon devices with Alexa in accordance with my justification for choosing “My convenience because it’s easy to pick up and use.”

Setting up Alexa elsewhere

– You can also set up your Echo device for other services by downloading or installing one of Alexa’s apps. This is not necessary, however, since you can simply access your connected devices through the Alexa app. You can also get to other services through Amazon’s website.

Setting up another Echo device

– Setting up another Echo device is almost as complicated as setting it up for the first time. You have to go through everything from initial setup all the way to linking it with your Insteon system and other services (it’s much easier if you’re just setting up one).

Conclusion:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Amazon really should rethink their approach to setting up Alexa devices. They’ve taken a great technology with a ton of potential, and they’ve made it as complicated and inconvenient as possible. That’s too bad, because Alexa has a lot of potential to make our lives easier.

What do you think? Have you set up an Amazon Echo device? What was your experience like? 

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