Making voice announcements & controlling Amazon Alexa Echo


You can always hack the pad so it’ll use Google Play. I did that with an old Fire tablet a few years back.


I’ve done that with all of my pads. And my new HD 10 pad shows up in ST. BUT, I cannot get Echo Speaks to recognize the pad (like ALL of my other pads).



Thanks for this great rundown. I’m trying to adapt your process and idea to use Tasker and Autonotification so that if someone rings my NEST Hello doorbell, the AMAZON Echos in my home will announce and/or chime. While I’m sure you know those two devices don’t play nicely together, I feel cautiously optimistic based on your explanation of the use of these two apps that I’d somehow be able to accomplish the following:

  1. Someone rings doorbell;
  2. Dedicated android phone in basement receives notification;
  3. Tasker and/or Autonotification catch that doorbell ring notification (fuzzy on the details here);
  4. Tasker triggers a piston in WebCore (fuzzy on the details here, too) that does one of the following two things:
    (i) uses the “playAnnouncement” function on WebCore to alert me someone is at the door; or
    (ii) flips a virtual switch that triggers an Alexa routine that does the same.

Think this is somehow possible?


The easiest way is IF SmartThings/webCoRE can see the doorbell ring.

If so, here is the basic flow:

  1. Someone rings doorbell
  2. A webCoRE piston catches the event, and
    (i) flips SimSwitch
    (ii) speaks whatever

Alternatively, IF SmartThings/webCoRE can not see the doorbell ring… but
IF Nest sends a notification to your Android, then the flow is something like this:

  1. Someone rings doorbell
  2. Nest sends Notification to Android
  3. Tasker sees this specific notification, and executes a piston
  4. The piston does all the fancy footwork:
    (i) flips SimSwitch
    (ii) speaks whatever

Both scenarios are very different from this thread though, so which ever path you choose, please start a new thread, and I will try to assist you there.


For those subscribed to this thread, I have added a new post to the top that has a nice summary of this entire thread…


Well, it is official… As of Sept 8, 2020:

“The Echo Speaks SmartApp will no longer be supported and existing installs will no longer be accessible”

Thankfully, everything here in the top post will continue to work!!


(So if you want advanced voice alerts, you all have 4 weeks to make the switch)

Announcement - Changes to Legacy SmartThings Platform

Hopefully SmartThings will learn something with this debacle and give other authors more than 3 1/2 weeks notice that their SmartApp is being singled out and disabled across the platform!

Given all it can do, I wouldn’t be surprised if Webcore is probably the next most expensive SmartApp on their platform after Echo Speaks. I’m worried!


I agree, 28 days is not enough, but to be honest, we’ve known all year that groovy based code was going away.

Personally, I am disappointed that they want to pull the plug (on anyone) before having a solid infrastructure in place in the new ecosystem.

Perhaps this is a good analogy:
Under normal circumstances, I would never rent or load a moving truck until AFTER my new house is 100% ready to be moved in to. (If I break that rule, then either I am an idiot, or my current landlord is a jerk, and I have no other choice)

The good news is, everything in my top post here will continue to work for years in the future.


If only there was a similar iOS solution. sigh


For what it’s worth, I picked up a brand new (2018 model of) Android for $10, and it works perfectly for my ‘stay-at-home’ Android speech alerts.

To be honest, the hard drive is only 8GB, so it was nearly filled after installing a dozen apps, but really all I need is Tasker, a few plugins, SmartThings, a media player, and a few downloaded voices to choose from, so I am not complaining.

Alternatively, some go the route of buying a used Android for a few dollars more.
(with more storage & a faster processor)

For reference, previously, I had been using a Galaxy S4 phone from 2013…
(and it worked flawlessly, until my screen broke, LOL)

I find this a bit ironic because of my previous prediction:

Apparently, an exploding battery is just as detrimental as a hammer. :grin:


Yeah I used to have a Galaxy S5 running Tasker as a bridge to control a Broadlink RM Pro. One day the RM didn’t work. Go to check the phone and the battery didn’t explode (yet) but swelled to the size of a balloon and broke the screen and phone. Haven’t put one back in since then, so if you do this, make sure you check on the phone/tablet every now and then (especially if it’s a Samsung phone :smile: )

Just a thought, but can Tasker run on a PI running an android emulator? This way, no exploding batteries!


This is exactly what happened to my S4… (after six years)

I now put my phone charger on a SmartPlug, so I can toggle power on and off automatically throughout the day. (on 15m, off 45m) This prevents the battery from getting hot.

I also have Tasker programmed to auto-reboot the phone every day at 4am.
(this advance command does not work with all Androids, but it keeps my device quick & snappy)

I don’t see why not… Although you’d also need to install SmartThings as well to send notifications. (and there would likely be a bit of a delay due to the emulator)


a few downloaded voices to choose from

Where do you get the voices from?

Do you set these voices for the tasker app?



Depending on your phone, I believe most versions of Androids come with a few “Speech Engines” pre-installed, but it’s only two clicks to grab extra languages. Once they are on the device, they are selectable in Tasker. (the pitch and speed can also be tweaked back in Tasker)

So the Google Text-to-speech engine chooses the dialect and either male or female…
… and then Tasker does the fine tuning (if desired)

Sometimes I create a sample “Task” with a spoken phrase…
(So I have an easy tester to get the voice just the way I like it)

In the Tasker “Say” command, (step 6, line 3), you can click on the highlighted button to see what languages are already on your device:


My new ($10) phone has a list of 40, my previous ($700) phone had only 4 pre-installed…
Go figure. :man_shrugging:

As far as where to get additional voices, I go into a bit more detail in post #4


So I’m confused…with Echo speak I can direct any text (i.e. “temp is 78 outside and the temp inside is 65” to be spoken to any (single or multiple echos)…with this solution it seems that it goes to an Android tablet… what am I missing…how do I get the text to be spoken by the upstairs echo and the basement echo?


The method on this page sends a command to your Android to speak. The spoken voice comes out of the attached speaker. (this is not a whole house solution unless you connect the Android to your Home Theater system)

Of course, you could always send the command:
“® Alexa, broadcast temp is 78 outside and the temp inside is 65”
and it should go to all your Alexas.


thanks for the clarification…so not a solution to target specific echos…


That is true, unless you have more than one Android.

Edit: There are speakers out there that can connect two (or more) speakers to a single Android, but I do not know of any that can change arbitrarily on the fly via command line.

Maybe “designate” one right channel, and one left…
Then playback can be determined via balance slider in Tasker.
(upstairs, downstairs, or both)

Note, Not all Androids will allow a L/R adjustment, although if your alerts always use both speakers, that will not be an issue


The whole concept of this thread is to bypass the (always changing) API limitations in Amazon.
(IE: voice alerts on this page do not require Alexa… Any speaker should work)

With Amazon’s ‘brains’ removed from all of the processing, then all of the logic & intelligence comes from webCoRE & Tasker. (IE: Us, the programmers, LOL)

…but this also means it will continue to work reliably… Even with the new SmartThings platform… Even with dozens of Amazon updates… Even with webCoRE updates…

*lowers voice a bit* … Heck, even with a different Rule Engine entirely…

If the app can send a string in a notification, the voice alerts will just keep on chugging away. :grin:

It is a very nice way to “free yourself” from having to jump thru hoops every X weeks…

For reference, other than playing with various voices, I have not changed any of my Tasker code in the past 28 months, and it has ran like a champ thru all of the various 30+ updates.

Edit, If the app dev ever decides to “rename” his app, you may have to edit step 6 to point to the “new” app.


This would be cool for google home as well.