When Will Echo Auto Be Available?
Amazon Echo gives you access to Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, enabling you to give voice commands to the device. Echo was launched worldwide back in 2015, but last year in September, Amazon announced a similar device for cars, Echo Auto. The idea is that the device connects to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth and gives them access to a wide variety of perks and useful options.
At the moment of this writing, the device was announced almost a year ago, but Amazon hasn’t set the exact release date. According to some, this date has been pushed back to the end of 2019, but there is still no official statement from Amazon. Either way, it’s better that they take their time with Echo Auto, as it can prove even more convenient than the regular Echo.
So, why is everyone so hyped up for this product? What’s so great about it? Well, it has a large set of features, just like the regular Echo but comes packed with a few extras, designed for the road use. Here are some of them.
Alexa in Your Car
You probably already presumed that this will enable Alexa in your car. Echo Auto will come with a dash mount and will connect to the Alexa app on your smartphone, playing through either Bluetooth or the auxiliary input.
Made for the Road
So, what’s the difference between Echo and just using voice commands on your phone? Well, Echo Auto comes with 8 microphones and far-field technology. This means that Echo Auto will be able to hear you over loud road noise (for instance, if you drive a convertible), loud music, etc.
As with the regular Echo, you can ask Alexa to do many things for you. It can play your music, open the garage door (or anything IoT), find the nearest supermarket or gas station, and whatever else comes to your mind. The goal here is to always have a perfect travel companion by your side. Where Echo makes your life at home easier, Echo Auto’s goal is making it both easier and safer road navigation.
Just ask and Alexa will start navigation on your phone, whether you’re using Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Maps. This means that you don’t have to select your destination manually while driving, or yell at your phone until it gets what you meant.
You can use Alexa to set up a series of actions automatically. It can perform various tasks for you when you leave the office, when you get home, or while you’re in the commute.
More than Radio
Sure, Echo Auto can play any radio station that you wish. However, it can play much more. For instance, if you want it to play a particular song on Deezer or YouTube, all you need to do is say the words. Additionally, you can use it to listen to podcasts, stream Amazon Music, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Spotify, etc.
You can ask Alexa to Google anything, to call anybody, to search for a number and contact the individual or company via text. While this is really useful and interesting, but more importantly, it emphasizes road safety. With Alexa as a ‘co-pilot’, you won’t have to take your eyes off the road.
Although there’s still no official release date, a number of early invites have been sent to some users. This number isn’t as small as you’d think, but it pales in comparison to the huge interest in Echo Auto. The invites, as it turns out, are sent based on particular criteria.
First of all, you need to already own an Echo device. If you don’t, you’ll have to wait for the official release. Secondly, you need to be using the Android version of Alexa. The early access is also restricted to North America. Now, here’s a tricky one. Your car needs to be compatible and registered and approved in the Amazon garage. This means that your vehicle’s Bluetooth implementation needs to pass the Echo team tests. Additionally, you need to be an Amazon Prime member and lucky enough to be chosen.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an exact release date for Echo Auto yet. It is speculated that the device will be available to the general public in late-2019, but this isn’t 100% certain. The only way to try giving Echo Auto a test run is to sign up for an invitation. However, to do this, you need to cover all of the above-mentioned criteria. Additionally, the devices will likely be shipped on a “first come, first served” basis, meaning that you may have to wait some time before you get it, even if you fulfill all the criteria.
But things aren’t as gloomy as they might seem. Although many users are disappointed to have to wait a long time to test this device, some users, who applied early, received their Echo Auto around Christmas 2018.
What the Future Holds
It is almost certain that Echo Auto will be a fantastic device. Some say it will fit in your life even better than the regular Echo in your home. With all the safety it will bring to the table and other benefits, it is only understandable that people can’t wait for its official worldwide release. If you meet the criteria, go ahead and sign up for an invite now.
What do you think about the upcoming Echo Auto? Have you signed up for an invite yet? Have you received your Echo Auto? Hit the comment section and let us know what you think about this device.