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Alexa in Canada

  • 6 October 2017
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45 replies

Userlevel 7
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Hey Ryan S What is so unique about the Canadian implementation of Sonos from the US that it will take so long? Why can’t it just simply be ported over as is?
I wouldn't want to speculate as I know there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle that go into bringing support for Alexa to new regions. Part of it is accounting for accents and simply getting voice detection working on the Sonos One, another part is making sure all of the servers have good endpoints and the pathing between the Amazon cloud and the Sonos cloud for the region is working correctly. Also, we need to do a lot of testing on every part from start to finish. I'm sure there's way more I'm not even familiar with, but I don't want to start spreading rumors.

In short, there's a lot that goes into it, and we're working on them all right now.
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I noticed today Staples is offering pre-sales on Amazon Echo. With all the voice autiomation tech being developed it is going to be a fun challenge to see what matches with which device. Great to hear that Alexa works well with my Sonos investment.
It isn't just the language. The Alexa India app and devices are only in English in India at this time, but do not work with Sonos.
Sure. But Amazon has chosen to launch in English only for now. Add French later once it is ready in the ecosystem. The French population is mostly focused in Quebec and even there English is common in places like Montreal, etc.
Hey Ryan S What is so unique about the Canadian implementation of Sonos from the US that it will take so long? Why can’t it just simply be ported over as is?

The fact that Canada is a bilingual country is a rather obvious difference, is it not?
Hey Ryan S What is so unique about the Canadian implementation of Sonos from the US that it will take so long? Why can’t it just simply be ported over as is?
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Hey everyone, as you've seen, Alexa just entered Canada. We're working with them right now to bring Alexa support to new areas. When Alexa starts working somewhere new, it takes some dedicated engineering work and testing to bring support to Sonos, but we are committed to bringing Alexa voice control to Sonos in Canada in early 2018.
Userlevel 6
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The India experience may be relevant. In addition to release of the hardware, there also needs to be an accompanying Alexa app release by Amazon. Once that is done, that has to contain Sonos Skills in it..
Sorry, I should have mentioned that those without access to the U.S. Android store can easily sideload the latest version of the Alexa app by downloading an apk. This is what I did, because until recently there was no app in the Canadian or Brasilian store. I presume it is now on the Canadian store. The only problem is that these versions of the Alexa app may or may not update automatically with new releases, so it may be necessary to load a new apk from time to time. If you have access to the U.S. Apple store you should also be able to download the Alexa app there, but as I noted above there are problems using it to configure Sonos from a country outside of the US. Once you've configured your Sonos, the Alexa app is perfectly usable on iOS devices.
The India experience may be relevant. In addition to release of the hardware, there also needs to be an accompanying Alexa app release by Amazon. Once that is done, that has to contain Sonos Skills in it.

In India, 15 days since the release there is no knowing when the latter will happen, except the soon, hopefully, kind of words.

Prime Music is also working in India but only for device owners. Amazon has confirmed that the formal release is this month, when it will be possible to make custom playlists as well. And it will have to be visible as a music service in the Sonos controller such that it can be added there. Hopefully, that is not going to be another wait for Sonos to catch up after big brother Amazon has done its bit.
Userlevel 6
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Yeah, amazon has launched their echo dot, echo, and echo plus in Canada. My wife is pre-ordering some as we speak. Any word from Sonos when the ones are expected to work here?
They can easily be made to work in Canada with Sonos. The ones I bought in the US are working fine in Canada, with a Canadian address configured in the Alexa app. I've done the same in Brasil (I live in both countries). The trick is to do set it up through the Android Alexa and Sonos app or the desktop. You'll run into problems if you try to do it through iOS, although that might change now that Echo gear will be sold in Canada. It also looks like Amazon Prime Music is finally in Canada, so everything might change now. I'm back in Brasil at the moment so I can't test that part.
Yeah, amazon has launched their echo dot, echo, and echo plus in Canada. My wife is pre-ordering some as we speak. Any word from Sonos when the ones are expected to work here?
Userlevel 6
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Looks like you’re not dreaming. Thanks for the info.
Userlevel 2
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Am I dreaming? I just noticed Amazon is now selling the Echo dot in Canada ??
Userlevel 2
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I really hope Amazon launch Alexa soon in Canada and give us a more permanent ETA when it will launch. Instead of getting another Kindle 😞
Userlevel 6
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If you set up Sonos and Alexa using the Alexa Android app or desktop, you can keep Alexa configured with a Canadian address. But you can’t do that with iOS ( which will eventually result in Amazon telling you the API is not available in Canada). After failing with my iPad, I succeeded with Alexa on my Android phone using my Canadian Amazon account and without having to change my Alexa address from Canada. Alexa began allowing Canadian addresses (good for weather etc.) a few months ago.
OK, I got it working. You just change your Sonos address to the USA. Then add the SOnos Skill into Alexa and join your accounts. It only plays certain music streaming, but not apple music which is what we have in our family.
I have Alexa working with my US Amazon account. Trying to get Sonos to work natively. There is a workaround called "My Speaker" that works. but you need to keep the app running on your computer. (Windows only).

You then say Alexa, ask my speaker to ...
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
I've heard nothing official, but the rumor mill has been claiming by the end of this year. Those claims have been bolstered by Amazon Canada hiring a number of Alexa developers.

I think people underestimate what a serious undertaking it is to launch these digital assistants in different locales and languages. We're talking about tech powerhouses with Amazon and Google scrambling to deploy to new locations. For your consideration - it's expected that Amazon will spend well over half a billion dollars on Alexa R&D this year. That's incredible, and it shows how valuable they believe this space to be.
Userlevel 2
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I heard it is the bilingual issue. Alexa no parlez vous Francais, yet.

That’s unfortunate, Google just released Google Home Max which looks like a Sonos Play 3. That product is launching first in US and Canada.

However, I was checking out other forums and there is a way to have Alexa in Canada. That is by switching the country in Amazon account to USA. Then voila! Alexa aparently will work like a charm. Ony thing about that idea is that I have to find an Echo because the Alexa app is not available yet in Canada 😞
I heard it is the bilingual issue. Alexa no parlez vous Francais, yet.