Try “Alexa, …”
For all the amazing capability voice assistants bring to our homes, there’s often a gotcha here or there, after all this is new technology with the Echo Dot kicking off the smart speaker revolution merely three years ago in 2015.
Speaking of Echo, the one thing that drives me bonkers it the fact that there’s no way to turn off the infamous “Try this” card. It is relentless. And like a Terminator from the future apparently is also unstoppable.
Amazon wants us to engage with Alexa, and gives us lots of ideas and suggestions. Fair enough. But there should be a way to turn off this card. For those who have been using Echo speakers for a while now, there’s no value in seeing the prompt. Understandably, for new users it could be useful.
Read the reviews for Echo speakers — Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Show… take your pick — on Amazon itself and you’ll find that indeed misery loves company. We all want an option to turn off the “Try” card.
But is Amazon really listening to its customers?
If Amazon is truly a customer first kind of company, you’d think they’d roll out an option in the Echo settings to disable the hindrance. Yet they haven’t. Why not I wonder?
Instead, sort of like Facebook is often prone to do, Amazon is putting Amazon first in this small, but irritating instance. It could very easily put an on/off switch to let us setup the Echo how we like. My theory is that Amazon is so far ahead of everyone (including Google and Google Home and Google Assistant) that it doesn’t need to beckon to our every little whim and need. It will do what it needs to do to get Alexa everywhere, and make sure that we engage with her and Amazon’s massive platform no matter a little inconvenience to us along the way.
Try “Alexa, please turn off the try card.”
Note that Google does not force a “Try this” card onto its users. My Google Home Hub sits there, very pretty, displaying beautiful artwork when in screensaver mode. Subtle and the way it should be.
First world problems, yes, but perhaps a lesson in listening and prioritizing what’s right for customers over marketing objectives
At the end of the day, I’m amazed at what Alexa and Google Assistant and their respective apps have done to make our homes truly smart and connected. Streaming music has never been easier. Same too for controlling lights and scheduling things to happen automatically (routines). As I wrote the other day here on Stark Insider I believe that 2015 and Amazon Echo and Alexa will go down as important a milestone in tech as 2007 and the Apple iPhone.
I just wish Amazon would throw us a bone every now and then, and please let us turn off the “Try this” card.