An app that would bring Alexa to your vehicle has been greatly anticipated for a while now. Amazon has recently officially released a car-oriented Echo device called Echo Auto. Finally, Amazon users can access Alexa in their vehicles using a compact, efficient device.
The setup process is fairly quick and simple and shouldn’t cause any issues, especially if you’ve already set up an Echo device at some point. Here’s how to set up and activate Echo Auto in your vehicle.
Why Use It?
It’s great that Amazon has finally decided to release a device that will allow the drivers to gain access to Alexa while on the road but was it really necessary? Well, you’ll quickly learn why it really was.
So, Echo devices are generally portable, which means that you can pretty much use the, say, Echo Dot, as long as you find a way to provide power for it. Well, why not use Echo Dot instead of Echo Auto? What does Echo Auto do that Echo Dot doesn’t?
First of all, people have tried using the Dot and other Echo devices in their vehicles. In theory, they work, but the biggest problem here was the fact that their microphones aren’t really built with road noise and wind howls in mind. Roll the window down and go over 50mph and your typical Echo device won’t be able to pick up anything. Echo Auto comes with 8 sensitive microphones that were specifically made with road noise in mind. And yes, that definitely does the trick.
Secondly, properly fixing a home Echo device onto your dashboard isn’t possible without DIY tools, and that is far from an ideal solution. Echo Auto comes with an easily-washable sticky side that adheres to your dashboard like a charm.
Finally, Echo Auto is about the size of a couple of matchboxes, so size isn’t an issue, either.
Setting It Up
Echo Auto, like most other Echo devices, connects to your smartphone and uses its connectivity to work. If, at any point, your smartphone experiences connectivity issues, so will your Echo Auto.
There is a list of things that you will need if you want to use Echo Auto inside your car. First of all, your car stereo needs to support either Bluetooth 4.0 or higher or have an AUX line in. Your car also needs to be equipped with a USB port.
So, first of all, you should make sure that you have an Alexa app installed and freshly updated on the phone that you’ll be using with your vehicle’s Echo device. If your Alexa app isn’t updated to the latest version, complications may occur.
Plugging It In
To set your Echo Auto up, plug the device into the power source using the included Micro USB cable and power adapter. Now, make sure that Bluetooth is enabled on your phone or plug your phone into the Echo using an AUX cable. On your car stereo, you need to set the connection type. If you’re going to go with Bluetooth/AUX set it to Bluetooth/AUX. There should be an included AUX cable in your Echo Auto package.
Setting Up the Alexa App
Now, take your phone device, enter the Alexa app and navigate to the Devices icon. Now, find the Plus icon and tap it. From the menu that appears on your phone screen, choose Add Device. Then, on the list of devices, select Amazon Echo and Echo Auto in the following list. The app will then display step-by-step instructions that will help you properly set up the device.
Over the course of the installation process, you’ll be prompted to give the Alexa app and Echo Auto certain permissions, such as location access and microphone access. Echo Auto won’t work if you don’t allow it access to these features on your phone. That’s especially important when it comes to location, as the device will be using your phone’s GPS to help you navigate. Your Echo Auto is ready to use.
Positioning the Device
Although the device’s eight microphones are sensitive enough to work from anywhere within your car’s cabin, you should always position Echo Auto so that the LED light bar faces you. This will make it easy for Alexa to properly understand you and make the setup process seamless. You don’t have to turn Echo Auto off manually – when your car is turned off, the device powers down automatically.
Although the setup process for your Echo Auto should go smoothly, you should know what to do in case the setup is unsuccessful.
First, unplug the power cable from your Echo Auto for 45 seconds and plug it back in. The light on the Echo device should turn orange, indicating that you’re in setup mode. If this doesn’t happen, hold the Action button for about 8-10 seconds to activate setup mode manually. Now, go through the above-listed setup steps again. This time, the setup should be successful.
Setting Echo Auto for Another User
If you share your car with your spouse, family member(s), or roommate, Echo Auto allows you to add a phone for each user so that they can set it up as they please and use it when they’re using the vehicle.
To do this, hold the Action button for 8-10 seconds until you see the sweeping orange light, mentioned above. Now, go through the setup steps outlined above with the new phone. This should allow you to connect it with another phone.
Echo Auto Setup
As you can see, setting up your Echo Auto device is fairly simple and straightforward. Although you shouldn’t experience any issues when setting it up, you can always go to setup mode manually and try it again. Follow the outlined steps carefully and enjoy Alexa in your car.
Have you successfully set up your Echo Auto? Did you encounter any particular difficulties? If you have anything to add or ask, feel free to do so in the comments below.