Amazon Echo 2: Ten New Updates to Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo 2
Amazon Echo celebrated its two-year anniversary on November 6, 2016 and soon we'll likely see the arrival of the Amazon Echo 2.
With the Google Home launch in early November 2016 and Amazon's device being two years old, it's becoming likely that a successor is not far behind.
Today's Echo already has these 100's of cool features, but how good will the next gen device be?
These are the 10 new updates and improvements the Amazon Echo 2 will likely have.
10. Wireless Charging
Making the Echo Portable
Wireless charging for the Amazon Echo would enhance portability and make it more versatile.
One of the biggest gripes about Echo is that it's always in a static position, but an updated version would change all that.
I expect the new product to have an internal battery that's aligned with wireless charging capabilities.
The charge may only last 6-8 hours, but that's all you need for a home-central device.
The Echo was never meant to be like the Amazon Tap, but that doesn't mean it should be held prisoner in one room either.
This update is on of the most anticipated, and the transition to wireless charging is the next logical step.
9. Fixes Connectivity Issues
Better Internet Connectivity
The original Amazon Echo had a lot of connection problems even with the best routers and extenders on the market.
Setting up with connection was also tedious and could be made simpler. In order for the Echo to evolve, it needs to rely less on the Alexa app and more on its voice interface.
The next generation Echo will fix connectivity problems and make it easier to connect to your home network.
You won't have to worry about a song cutting out or having Alexa drop your connection.
Furthermore there should be less reliance on the app after the initial home network setup, and these small adjustments would help streamline the experience without creating headaches for buyers.
8. Improved Smart Home Integration
Boost Smart Home Use
Smart home devices are going through an awkward stage right now where people are curious about them but not a lot of consumers are buying them.
The Amazon Echo made it less problematic by helping to make sense of smart home products, but that didn't come without complications.
Alexa's connection issues carried over to smart hubs and devices, which constantly lost communication with the smart home speaker.
With future updates seeing improved connectivity, we'll witness better smart home integration that could boost use of these commodities.
Nobody wants to spend hours fiddling around with these expensive gadgets. The experience needs to become seamless other the market for the internet of things will suffer.
An improved Echo would not only help itself, it would allow smart devices to flourish.
7. Better Audio Quality
Better Audio Quality
The Amazon Echo is classified as a smart speaker, but many Echo users prefer having other speakers.
Why is that?
Because the sound quality of Echo is mediocre compared to proven brands. This may not matter to most consumers, but audiophiles would be overjoyed if the Echo could improve its speaker quality.
The Amazon Echo 2 is expected to upgrade its speakers and strengthen the internal microphones to produce richer sounds.
The updates should also help Alexa respond better in noisy environments.
The refinements may be significant enough that consumers won't have to buy additional speakers when listening to music.
Finally they can get the sound they wanted along with a richer Alexa.
6. New Colorful Designs
A black or white cylindrical speaker looks fine, but it's not a one size fits all option.
The various Echo skins are nice but they can't quite change the product's design. The Google Home promises to give consumers fresh color schemes, so why wouldn't the Echo do the same.
I envision the Amazon Echo 2 to give us newer colors in addition to the traditional all black display.
Functionality is important but not at the risk of an ugly looking product.
Keep in mind that shoppers only became interested in smartwatches once they improved their design. The Echo is no smartwatch, but why should it sacrifice design for productivity.
For a product designed for your home, why should it have to stick out like a sore thumb.
5. Fixes Syncing Problems
No More Delays
The futuristic Echo promises to fix syncing problems between your smart speaker and your internet router.
The Amazon Echo 2 will address syncing issues to make the device better suit your router.
Many present routers are not familiar with smart devices like the Echo, so it's up to Amazon to help bring them together.
They also need to be aware of how the router's firmware updates might interfere with the Echo so that interaction with Alexa don't lag.
Future routers will be programmed to better handle smart products, but right now it'll be up to Amazon to bring their smart speaker up to speed.
4. Amazon Alexa Upgrades
Enhancing Alexa Voice Services
Alexa doesn't sound too bad, but a few tweaks wouldn't hurt.
Granted the Alexa Voice Services are all Cloud based, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't expect more natural voice capabilities.
With the Amazon Echo 2 release, I anticipate a software upgrade that'll produce a smoother and more accurate Alexa.
That would be great because occasionally Alexa doesn't know how to pronounce certain words, which is a hindrance when she attempts to read certain Kindle books.
This update could also set the stage for additional language support that would help Amazon expand their smart speaker to other countries.
Amazon needs to further their language capabilities to catch up with Google otherwise they're going to lose this battle with buyers.
Alexa may sound better than Google Now, but English shouldn't be the only language she can speak.
3. Auxiliary (AUX) Audio Output
Echo Dot Version 2
The Echo Dot is a fantastic smart speaker alternative that's cheaper and provides us with an audio output that somehow the Amazon Echo doesn't have.
I don't understand why they would withhold this hardware feature, but the second generation product is going to need it.
Even if the Echo is a solid speaker on its own, you need to give consumers extra options like the Echo Dot does.
Amazon can't leave people behind, and I think they'll listen to their buyers.
Including an audio output will open the door for multi-room support, which is what their competitor is promising right out the gate.
If Amazon wants to stay competitive, then the second generation Echo needs to expand their audio support.
2. Free 3G Connectivity
Free 3G Support
Amazon already supplies part of their Kindle brand with free 3G support, so why not include it in the latest Echo.
Free 3G would be a nice bonus for a device that relies heavily on Amazon's Prime ecosystem.
Wasn't the point of the Amazon Echo that it should always stay on. What better way to fulfill that promise than include 3G.
This is an unknown but very capable update that Amazon can choose to follow through on.
Like their Kindle E-readers, they can include two versions:
- Amazon Echo with free 3G + Wi-Fi
- Amazon Echo with only Wi-Fi
I think a lot of consumers would be happy if they had those options with the Amazon Echo 2.
1. Waterproofing the Echo
Water Resistant Amazon Echo
Once the Echo gains portability, then it's definitely going to need waterproofing.
The Amazon Echo 2 should be made stronger and more resistant to water/dust than the first gen model.
I don't expect Samsung Galaxy 7 type water resistance, but some safeguards are necessary to protect from accidental spillage.
The Echo also has a tendency to become very dusty, which affects its sound quality so some dust-proofing is a must.
I don't think Amazon wants to keep replacing damaged devices, but that's what'll happen until they build up the Echo's tolerance.
Chances are we'll see a beefier next generation model than the first Amazon Echo.