Google In Car, Alexa at Home
I’m not sure why, but I’ve resisted setting up my Echo Auto for months. Maybe it’s because my main need, getting music to play by voice while I’m driving, is being met. The other is a fear of increased complexity and my perceived limitations of Alexa’s capability in controlling things on my phone.
While driving, the apps that are on in the background are usually either Google Play Music, Spotify, and Waze. Occasionally, Audible or Zoom will make an appearance. I’ll setup the audio program first, then put a destination into Waze, and off I go. The only time I want to change while driving is if there’s a demanding audience that wants to hear something different than the playlist. In that case, it’s usually a quick “OK Google… play best of France Gall” and we’re good to go until the next ear worm bites. So, no need for more hardware here.
Then, there’s my concern about adding another layer of complexity. This is where I begin to sound old. I worry about Bluetooth not working, needing to plug in something to my audio jack, Google Assistant not working if Alexa is in the background, or some other thing that is going to result in me pulling over to intervene in some problem. That’s not good when driving and there might be a huge demand for some particular command. I don’t want to mess around.
Lastly, what if I want to make a phone call? What if I want to access my Android contacts? What if I want to send a text message? Or respond to one? Maybe Alexa in the form of Echo Auto can do this, but I don’t want to start to explore. Especially, I don’t want Alexa to interfere with any capabilities on my device.
It’s for these reasons that the Echo Auto sits quietly in my glove compartment. Waiting for me to one do connect it and test it out. Maybe it’s microphone will wow me and be useful for in car calls. It’ll have to wait.