Entune + Alexa on a 2017 Prime... what does it do?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Tha_Ape, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Tha_Ape

    Tha_Ape Active Member

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    My Entune app just updated this morning and now offers a connection to alexa. I do not have alexa, but am wondering if this update would make it worth it.

    Does anybody know what functionality alexa adds to entune? (Ie, could I say "Alexa, warm up my car and turn on the defroster"?)
     
  2. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    Pretty much what the "Alexa Auto" does. It gives you Alexa (from Amazon) functionality in the car.
    Not sure what you can do without an Amazon Prime account.
    I have an "Alexa Auto" device in my car and use it mostly to play music eg. "Alexa shuffle songs by xxx".
    Since I originally got that device the Amazon mobile App has been upgraded to have that functionality
    so I wouldn't get another one today.
    As far as your original question, Alexa is rather extendable through what the call "Skills" eg:

    Setup
    1. Enable the Toyota Skill and login with your Toyota Remote Services credentials.
    2. Select your active vehicle and set a PIN*.
    3. Review terms & conditions and submit.

    Basic Interactions
    “Alexa, ask Toyota to start my car” **
    “Alexa, ask Toyota to stop my car” **
    “Alexa, ask Toyota to lock my car”
    “Alexa, ask Toyota to unlock my car”
    “Alexa, ask Toyota how much gas is in my car”
    “Alexa, ask Toyota if my car is running”
    “Alexa, ask Toyota if my doors are locked”
    “Alexa, ask Toyota how many miles are on my car”

    Multi-car Interactions
    “Alexa, ask Toyota what’s my active vehicle”
    “Alexa, ask Toyota to change my active vehicle”
     
    #2 schja01, Jun 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    2020 PRIME came with Toyota +Alexa as standard Apps. It is not exactly the same thing as Echo or Echo Auto offered by Amazon for as far as I know it does not require Amazon account log in to use it and it has no connectivity with the Amazon linked Echo. In simple term, it is just a voice recognition engine of Alexa that is propriety implemented to control Toyota vehicles infotainment system. You can do things like play music, call phone, read books, etc. It requires the smartphone linked app to use it. By comparison, the speech recognition and voice control on this Toyota +Alexa is 100% better than the TOYOTA OEM voice recognition system I had on 2017 PRIME. It is natural language recognition engine unlike Toyota OEM. That being said, I don't use much of infotainment in my car, so it is usually not enabled in my car.

    More info here: Vehicles with Alexa - Alexa Auto — Amazon.com
     
    #3 Salamander_King, Jun 23, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  4. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    I thought the Alexa Auto skill just let you do the usual Alexa stuff from your car that you can do from an Alexa phone app or Alexa device, but it didn't provide access to the car systems. But this is suggesting that the skill can talk to the car systems, sort of like the Entune Prime Apps. But this is not remote access, right? That is, doing stuff on the car by using a phone app when you are not near the car, like remote climate control or vehicle locator.
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    The update OP is talking is for 2017 PRIME, so it may be different from the native Toyota +Alexa that came with 2018 Camry and Sienna and select 2019-2020 vehicles including 2020 PRIME. My Toyota +Alexa on 2020 PRIME has no access to the car system remotely. For one thing, the app only works when the car is ON and the phone with the Toyota +Alexa app installed is paired to the car via BlueTooth. Outside of the car or when the car is OFF, the app has no functionality. And it is not even a regular Alexa phone app. For example, I can use the phone app Alexa skill to play music from my Spotify which is linked to Alexa. The Toyota +Alexa app would not even let me play my Spotify. The only music app I can use is iHart Radio that is native to the Entune Suite of apps on the car head unit.
     
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  6. Tha_Ape

    Tha_Ape Active Member

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    Ok I have a Prime account already, I will probably give it a try since I don't need to get another device. Thank you!

    If it's not great I can always delete...
     
  7. ems2158

    ems2158 Active Member

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    I've been playing with this since Toyota released the update. So far, I found it does interface with the navigation system on the Prime advanced. I can search destinations easier than the native app that originally came with the Prius. There are quite a few other functions that can be operated through that app. There is a list of what Alexa can do in the app help screen.

    I'm happy with this update. If they can implement this, Apple car play?
     
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  8. illumiN8i

    illumiN8i Active Member

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    I'm impressed that Toyota released this updated to the 2017-2019 Prius Prime. Typically the entune app updates remove functionality instead of add, so this is a welcome change.
     
  9. Habnar

    Habnar Junior Member

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    Maybe I am doing something wrong but when I tried to use Alexa it prompts me to “open the entune app on my phone when it is safe” That is kind of a pain, I don’t think I’ll be using it very much. Apple car play would be much better!
     
  10. Donjuan

    Donjuan Junior Member

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    Anybody got the directions feature of Alexa to work? I downloaded the Alexa app on my iPhone and turned location services on. That was the first challenge. At first nothing would happen when I asked Alexa to take me to the airport. After I fixed the Locations issue, it gives me a choice of airports. I then choose the one I want and nothing happens. I wonder if it’s a software bug or if I’m not doing something right. I do have the GPS option on my Prius 4 Touring so I figured that Alexa would somehow interface with my Entune GPS... maybe wishful thinking... Either way, like someone already mentioned, I was pleasantly surprised Toyota added features instead of removing them to my Entune unit lol!
     
  11. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    I haven’t spent much time but at first blush it appears to me that you don’t need the Alexa app installed on the phone the smarts are in Entune app suite. Hence the requirement that you link your Amazon account to the Entune app suite and the requirement Entune App be open. .
     
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  12. Habnar

    Habnar Junior Member

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    Confirmed today. You don’t need any Alexa app (Alexa or Toyota + Alexa). Note: Applies to entune 2.0 don’t know about 3.0. You do have to sign in to Amazon on the entune app and then you will have to open the entune app EVERY time you get in the car if you want to use Alexa. It will give you navigation directions using the cars nav system but, it forces you to touch the screen to select it. Maybe if you wait and do nothing it will start navigating on it own. I’ll try that today.
     
  13. Tha_Ape

    Tha_Ape Active Member

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    I agree, I tried it out yesterday and it added alexa to the car straight from entune. They're at least learning a little bit from Tesla. Those are the cars that keep on giving
     
  14. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    OK, so this Alexa update on Entune 2.0 (Pre 2019 PRIME) is different from Toyota +Alexa that comes standard on 2020 PRIME. For 2020 PRIME, it does not require Entune to be open, but the Toyota +Alexa app must be open on the phone and linked via BlueTooth.
     
  15. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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  16. alfmeister

    alfmeister Junior Member

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    Awesome feature that was totally unexpected. I was able to ask the weather forecast and it even shows a graphic display. I turned on my house lights before coming home. Be sure to sign in to the Alexa app on your phone first.
     
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  17. Caduceus

    Caduceus New Member

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    So I got the notification today that this was enabled. Went out to my car, did the software update...using it doesn't seem straight forward - it implies you can just say Alexa but that doesn't seem to do anything. I have to manually run the app or go through the multiple steps to launch it through the voice interface. There was a setting that seemed like it should have enabled "hands-free" listening, but had no effect.

    The other thing is it doesn't seem to talk at all - I get no sound from it. My volume is up and I even tried telling it to turn the volume up. I can see some responses on the screen, but it totally defeats the purpose of having it. I can just use Alexa or GA on my phone and get a better usability.
     
  18. Witness

    Witness Active Member

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    Somewhat topical and I didn't want to start a new thread about it yet, but has anyone looked into what kind of information Amazon collects via Alexa on the Prime? Amazon has so much data on all of us that I'm reluctant to invite them into my car and know where I'm driving each time.
     
  19. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    On my 2017 Advanced, Alexa replaced "Audio" as the quick-launch app on the bottom right of the big screen. When I tap it, the app starts to listen for the trigger word. (Climate control is on the bottom left.) In my case, I then heard Alexa audio. Sounds like in your case, it didn't switch the audio channel to Alexa.

    I understand there is also a "Toyota" skill that you can activate to have the Entune Alexa app do stuff on your car, like interface with the navigation system.
     
  20. Caduceus

    Caduceus New Member

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    I'll have to check, but I was pretty sure I tried that too, and in the bottom right it showed "Alexa" while it showed the Alexa screen with the flashing bar - but I couldn't get any sound out of it.
     
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