Amazon Echo Show

This is like buying a Mac in 1984. The capabilities are endless, but the software is limited.

In this case, it’s skills.

Apple is so far behind. They just introduced their unavailable smart speaker and Amazon comes out with a readily available smart speaker with video!

I’d like to say it’s an incomplete product. That it’s typical of a half-baked Amazon offering, fresh off the drawing board with kinks not worked out. But that is not true. What’s amazing is the unboxing experience, it rivals Apple’s, it EQUALS Apple’s.

There’s no extraneous information. Almost none at all. You strip the cellophane and plug the Show in and it walks you through set-up, which had no glitches whatsoever. You find your wi-fi network. You enter your password. You download the Alexa app, if you’ve got no previous Echo, and then confirm your name and password and then the Show updates itself, which takes about ten minutes, but it keeps you posted all along the way, and then you’re inside.

Where you gonna go?

We live in a software world. The hardware era is behind us. Seemingly, anyway. When was the last time you updated your computer? Even your phone? And I’ll tell you, the age of cosmetics is history. If you’re purchasing a new device to advertise yourself as young and hip and forward-thinking, you’re missing out. Sure, you can wait for an iPhone 8. But what is astounding about the 7, the Plus anyway, and if you don’t have a big phone you’re missing out, is the chip and the camera. The pictures are ASTOUNDING! Only hobbyists need a standalone device. And when you run iOS 10 on an older device, you can see the difference, it’s slow. But what’s under the hood is never sexy to the hoi polloi, but it should be!

So the fit and finish on the Show is perfect.

And it understands AND HEARS, what you say. It is ready for prime time. Which Siri is still not, as for Google Home…it’s got good answers when it hears me, but it never seems to, and I’ve about given up.

And I was worried that by talking to the Show I’d awaken my Echo in the next room.

But there was no confusion.

But the device could not do much. Couldn’t show videos from YouTube. You see the wall between companies is growing, and right now the leader is Amazon. You might think it’s Apple and Google, but you’d be wrong. Amazon has got your wallet, you employ the company/service for so many things. At this point, Prime is changing the culture more than the iPhone. Listen to me. We live in the physical world. The ability to get almost anything anywhere in two days means that…you don’t have to worry about going on vacation and leaving things behind, you don’t have to worry about being off the grid, this is what I needed when I lived in Vermont and Salt Lake back in the seventies. There is no more flyover country. The people who still say there is are the ones still flummoxed by Trump’s victory. Everybody’s got cable TV, everybody’s got internet, everybody’s got a mobile phone, everybody’s got a SMARTPHONE! You think the gossip doesn’t reach Iowa? And I’m gonna let you in on a dirty little secret, most people in Los Angeles don’t leave home. They’re no different from those in the middle of the country. Because the traffic is so bad! Of course I’m overstating the truth, but not by much.

We’re all equal here in America.

So now you’ve got a clock and the weather and all kinds of things that are nice but you can live without.

As for the vaunted calling feature…

We do have FaceTime and Skype, but there is a convenience factor in not having to have to whip out your phone or sit in front of the computer.

And the video is not fuzzy and the world is split into two types of people… Those on the voice control revolution train and those who are not.

And it’s not about sound quality, although the Show sounds astounding for its size, but the aforementioned convenience. This is the future. This is why Spotify is eclipsing YouTube. And when I told the Show to play the Spotify Hot Country playlist it started right in, with a picture of the album cover on screen. Is this the return of liner notes?

That’s right, it’s about possibilities. Stop lamenting what you’ve lost and look to what you’ve gained, which may be similar to what was, but with a twist.

Do you need a Show today?

Absolutely not.

But if you want to know what’s gonna happen tomorrow?


P.S. I just did some research and found out you could watch YouTube on the Show: But still, the wall between tech titans remains.

P.P.S. There’s a learning curve. We live in the era of no help. Which is the result of not paying for services. Then again, no one wants to pay for help anyway and corporations want to cut costs so you’re on your own, pumping your own gas and troubleshooting your own devices. That’s another way the world is split. If you’re overwhelmed when your device/software hits a wall and want someone to save you, can’t figure it out yourself, you’re in the left behind economy. Most times, if you sit there long enough, do enough online research, you can find the solution to your problem. And you feel so satisfied! But the truth is, this is the modern learning experience, being mentally nimble. They don’t teach that in books, but you can teach yourself.

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