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With Covid-19, we purchased two Echo Shows, one for our home, and one for Mom. My brother already had one he loved. I'm very tech savvy, he is pretty tech savvy, Mom isn't.

First, Echo is a "dumb" device - all of the setup must be done through the Alexa app on a Kindle, iPad/tablet, or smartphone. I installed Alexa on my iPhone for us. My brother installed Alexa on a hidden Kindle at Mom's apartment. There's some configuration you can do through a web browser but not much. Second, instead of "apps," Echo uses "skills" - selected through the Alexa phone app. Third, to get Contacts populated, you must grant Alexa app access to ALL of your phone's contacts.

Ready to go? We spent hours online with Amazon tech support just to remote configure Mom's Echo. When I click on her contact, it calls her phone. When I click on my brother's contact, it calls his Echo. He can't make an Echo videocall at all. I have spent so much time trying to get these things working to no avail. I was easily able to connect the Echo to our Sonos speakers and Lutron lights. No video calling. Incredibly kludgy setup. Impossible to remote setup or add/remove contacts remotely. There must be a way, but I don't know what it is.

Instead, back to Amazon they go. The only senior video devices that are at all simple are an iPad (although it's not always on, it can be simplified to pretty much FaceTime and Weather), ViewClix (nice option but wouldn't allow Mom to call us), Facebook Portal (kludgy and privacy problems, no thanks), Claris Companion (possible but pricey) or Grandpad (also possible, but we'd prefer a VOIP solution). Please be aware that Echo has a lot of bugs and cannot easily be remote managed like the Claris and Grandpad.