Farhad Manjoo, writing for The New York Times:
When the Echo was introduced in a goofy video in late 2014, on the heels of the failure of the Fire Phone, it was widely ridiculed. The Echo’s utility was not obvious, and in its earliest incarnation, it seemed a bit of a ditz. […]
Many in the industry have long looked to the smartphone as the remote control for your world. But the phone has limitations. A lot of times fiddling with a screen is just too much work. By perfecting an interface that is much better suited to home use — the determined yell! — Amazon seems on the verge of building something like Iron Man’s Jarvis, the artificial-intelligence brain at the center of all your household activities. Who could say no to that?
Count me in with those who doubted the Amazon Echo at launch, but the device is starting to grow on me. I still don’t own one, but I no longer laugh at the idea of having one in my kitchen to be used while doing dishes or cooking.