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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeTue 17 Nov 2020 - 12:47 #1

I am curious, do any of you use Alexa echo speakers or similar devices?

I never have, I was always paranoid about the privacy aspect. However these type of devices seem prevalent these days and I wondered if I was missing out lol!


Are there still privacy concerns with them? And if you do have them, what is the reason and main benefits you find in using them? TBH I thought they would just be a fad, but this is obviously not the case, so I assume they must be good. Just not sure I would get much use out of it personally.

Most reviews I read mention playing music on it. I don't really need this device to do that. One person did mention you can get it to read your books for you. I would like to make some of my books audio, but not sure if that means you have to buy the book in audio or it converts your book for you?
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeTue 17 Nov 2020 - 12:58 #2

If you are concerned about your privacy (which everyone should be), avoid Alexis. Apple offers the best privacy. I use Google Assistant because Siri is not developed enough for me. For the best audio, read the latest reviews as the competition is improving these devices all the time. (HTH) Smile
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeTue 17 Nov 2020 - 13:29 #3

I don't use it. But I think it was one of those news YouTube or some other channel, where a guy was interviewed and he used one of those Internet connected speaker to scare off intruders at the door. And he was out of town at that moment and had a Internet connected security system. The intruder was caught on camera trying to peek into his windows and walking around his property before knocking on his door. Then he shouted something from his phone and it was played on the speakers to the intruder giving the impression that someone was home. 

The cons, anything connected to the Internet can have a possibility of being hacked.
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeTue 17 Nov 2020 - 13:53 #4

Thanks both of you for you

I am off to look at the Apple and google devices @Mic Miller as yes privacy is the biggest factor for me. Ease of use being second Smile

@Calliie I never even thought of things like that. How brilliant that having such a device helped prevent a burglary Smile

It reminds me I am considering one of those door intercom things. Where you can see and speak to who is at your door. It's not for when I am out. I am never out unfortunately. I struggle with answering the door to people, especially unexpected callers. So I am seriously thinking this may be my answer.

Being hacked is scary. But with the way the world is going it is an unavoidable risk if we want to access the convenience of all this technology we now have.

It's weird, I took to coding the forum templates, CSS and JS etc like a duck to water with the forum. I actually love it and spend hours learning as much as I can. Don't get me wrong I cannot create many things, certainly not JS right now, but I understand how to add them and modify them to our forums needs. Yet I am a total technophobe, always nervous of trying something new Smart Speakers 3951035613
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeTue 17 Nov 2020 - 14:28 #5

Well I think I am leaning towards a hub with a screen now. I just saw the Google Nest Hub Max and you can connect loads of smart devices to it including a front door camera.

It's a lot to get your head around. Way to many options! Thinking of sticking with Google as I do not have any Apple devices. Though I am shocked, I did not know that so many different brands were making these things. There is even hubs/speakers by FB, Swann, LG, Sonos etc. This really confuses the issue.

Regarding privacy, would the concern only be what platform they use on their product. Say FB device uses Google. Or would there still be a concern regarding privacy from Facebook themselves? Smart Speakers 870808730
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeTue 17 Nov 2020 - 14:58 #6

Anything that involves FB is risky. They are the info vampires and anti-privacy peddlers of the Net (that the public is aware of).

Google's privacy settings will allow you to find your comfort zone with the hub. (I am looking at getting one when they add some more hardware features/capabilities.)
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeWed 18 Nov 2020 - 7:34 #7

I have google nest speakers and google hub devices all around my house. I love apple for my tablet and phone but in home smart devices I prefer google. The hub is in the kitchen. I love it there because I can find and follow recipes hands free and I can watch my fav tv shows or sports. I understand the privacy concerns but I will say the device listens for commands that start with “hey google” or “ok google” I love it for setting routines as well like knowing traffic patterns or setting reminders. my husband has a mini in his studio in the basement so when he is recording (gaming videos) it’s easier to use the broadcast feature then to walk in. Hope this helps in making a decision. If you have any additional questions I’m happy to answer.
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeWed 18 Nov 2020 - 11:17 #8

@maycee_shante wrote:
...the device listens for commands that start with “hey google” or “ok google”...

"Hey, Boo Boo" also works. (A tribute to Yogi Bear talking to Boo Boo Bear?) Smile
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeWed 18 Nov 2020 - 16:28 #9

Thanks @maycee_shante 

Yes it helps Very Happy I have read that the hub I was looking at lets you stream Netflix, but there are reports that it does not work properly. Now I probably wouldn't use that feature too much, but if it is supposed to do it, then I would like it to do it. So I am going to have to look into more of the google options, and see if I can make a decision.

I also read that the one I was looking at does not have a camera shutter (I think that is what it is called). It would be pretty important to cover the camera when your not using it I would think Smart Speakers 1144858355 Does your google hub have one of these camera shutters?

TIA Smart Speakers 2764
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeWed 18 Nov 2020 - 17:14 #10

I have an Amazon Alexa, but didn’t think it through, as I have Apple products. In saying that, I’ve been thinking of stopping paying for this overly priced Apple stuff, so another reason to hurry it up. 😁
I really like it, it reads my audio books for me & attaches to my Fire TV stick, so not a bad buy, especially when I got it on a lightning deal - I love a bargain. 😍
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Smart Speakers I_icon_minitimeThu 19 Nov 2020 - 9:36 #11

@Mic Miller lol i’m definitely gonna try that out. i know if you say “ok google nox” all the lights will cut off. that’s if you have smart plugs connected. 

@Downton Falls Netflix works great for me. I haven’t had any issues. I will say when i’m casting from my iPhone to my hub device i do notice some issues. it can be a little annoying but not overwhelming. As far as the camera goes one time my husband did a video call from his phone to the hub device using google duo. I was able to see him but he couldn’t see me. I think the device cast or mirror images and videos more so than being able to take pictures or record. hope that makes sense.
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