The app crashes on the new WatchOS 7 beta. What should I do?

The app store version crashes, but I’ve received reports that the latest TestFlight beta does not. You can try it out at https://viac.app/iosbeta

In any event I will be looking into WatchOS 7 as a matter of priority.

What data do you collect/store? What servers does your app talk to?

The app only communicates with Amazon servers, both during login, and during normal use, except when playing your flash briefing. We don’t collect anything because we run no servers that are used by the app.
The app does stream data from non-Amazon servers when streaming your daily flash briefing, using a URL provided by the Amazon Voice Service.

I installed the app directly on my Apple Watch and it says to install the app on my phone

I’ve had a handful of people report that they installed the app on their watch using the WatchOS 6 App Store, and it is telling them to install the app on their phone, even though they have done so. I don’t yet know why this is happening, but the following steps appear to work:

  1. Uninstall the Voice in a Can app from your watch by tapping the digital crown, and then long-pressing the Voice in a Can app icon until an "x" appears on the icon and tap that "x" to delete the app from the watch:

    If you are showing your apps in a list you will first need to show them in a grid by hard-pressing the screen when it is showing the list and select "Grid View" and then follow the above instructions
  2. Uninstall the Voice in a Can app from your phone if it is installed by long-pressing the icon on your phone and selecting "Delete App":
  3. Restart both your phone and your watch (click those links for Apple's instructions). I think you can get away with just restarting your phone, but I'm not 100% sure.
  4. Reinstall the app on your phone from the app store on your phone
  5. Use the "Apple Watch" app on your phone to install Voice in a Can on your watch. If it is not listed please ensure you installed Voice in a Can on your phone per step 3, and try restarting your phone
  6. Once it has finished installing, it should show as installed:
  7. Now try launching it on the watch.

How do I get Siri Shortcuts working on my Apple Watch running WatchOS 6?

I’ve put together this video showing how to set up a Siri Shortcut on your iPhone running iOS 13, so that you can say “Alexa” to launch Voice in a Can (it starts listening automatically)

Wait a moment and Apple will transfer the shortcut to your watch, and assuming you have enabled Siri to listen when you raise your wrist, you should be able to raise your wrist to your mouth and say “Alexa” and the app will launch and start listening.

Feel free to email me (damian@voiceinacan.com) if you have any additional tips on setting up Siri Shortcuts, or if you are still stuck.

I updated the app on my iPhone, and it has disappeared from my watch

This can happen if you’ve updated your iPhone to the latest version of iOS, but you’ve not updated your watch to the latest version of WatchOS.

Please check in the Apple Watch app on your phone: General, Software Update.

The latest update of Voice in a Can for Apple Watch targets WatchOS 5 (to support Siri Shortcuts), however Apple have announced that WatchOS 5 is not supported on the first generation Apple Watch, which means the latest update of Voice in a Can will not install on first generation Apple Watches.

The sound from my watch is very quiet

I’ve had 3-4 people report this.

Apple don’t give control of the system volume to apps, so the level of sound is outside of the app’s control, which I understand doesn’t help you much.

Please check the sound level on the watch under Settings|Sound and Haptics. Please also check if other non-Apple apps are similarly quiet (ie. not Siri or music), if you have other third-party apps installed.

If all third-party apps are quiet then the only solution that I’m aware of is to reset your Apple watch and re-pair it. I appreciate that this is rather drastic, but I’ve had reports from people that had no sound, or low sound for third-party apps that this addressed the issue. You could also try re-starting your watch.

If other apps are not also quiet then please report the issue per the section below.

I’m in Italy and can’t log in

Please try using this URL to login: https://amazon.com/it/code

I hate the icon used in the complication. Can I change it?

Yes you can. Swipe over two pages in the watch app, and you can change the icon used for the complication. I’m open to ideas for icons (damian@voiceinacan.com)

Can I play music on my other Echo devices?

Yes you can. Say “Play music name in device name” where device name is the name of an Echo or a group. Here is a YouTube video showing how.

My Amazon Echos are being triggered when I say “Alexa” to my watch.

There is no need to say “Alexa” once the app has launched, just tap the button and speak.

If you are using Siri Shortcuts, then I suggest recording a different invocation phrase.

My Watch thinks I’m in the wrong location. How do I set my location?

Use the Amazon Alexa app on your phone, and go to Settings|Devices. Along with all your physical Amazon Echos, you should see Voice in a Can listed. It will be shown as Offline unless it is actually running on your watch. You can change its location as with any other device, in the Amazon Alexa app.

The app is not on my Apple Watch, what should I do?

Watch this video which shows how to install it. If you are not seeing Voice in a Can listed as an app that you can install, or if it keeps spinning but never installs we suggest restarting your phone and/or your app. This isn’t something under our control, it is Apple’s software that handles the install.

Putting the watch and the phone on the charger seems to speed up app install too.

How do I install the app on my watch screen?

You can set it as a complication by hard-pressing the watch screen when the clock face is displayed, as shown here.

I can’t login with the code from the watch, what should I do?

Ensure that the app keeps active (that the screen doesn’t go off) when it is displaying the code.

The screen keeps turning off on my Apple Watch, what should I do?

We recommend increasing the timeout on your watch, under Settings|General|Wake Screen. This video shows how:

My smart home devices or routines are not working

This sometimes happpens when you accidentally log in to the wrong Amazon account when setting up the app. On the watch you can logout by hard-pressing the screen when the app is running.

You should also verify that the Alexa service is hearing what are saying properly. You can do that using the Privacy section of the Amazon Alexa app on your phone:

In one situation, where all the home automation was working except for one specific service, the person found that if they unlinked the service’s skill from their Amazon account and then re-linked it, it started working with Voice in a Can.

The watch app seems to be hanging, what should I do?

If this happens you can stop the app by launching it, long-press the lower physical button until the menu appears (Power off etc), then long press the upper physical button (the digital crown). You should see an animation of the app disappearing.

Then re-launch the app. I’d be grateful if you could send a bug report to me by swiping over two pages and tapping the “Feedback/Bug Report” button, and following the instructions there.

The Apple Watch app isn’t working or is very slow, what should I do?

The speed of the connection of your watch to the internet is key here. If the watch is connected to your phone, then Apple channels all communication between the watch and the internet via your phone, over a slow bluetooth connection, so you’ll see the best results when your watch is on Wifi or Cellular. See this link to tell what your phone is using.

If you are still seeing unexpected behavior:

  1. Open the app on your phone (and just leave it there running)
  2. Open the app on your watch
  3. Hard-press the screen on your watch when the app is running
  4. Tap the “Send-feedack…” button
  5. On your phone an email should be generated … please send it and I’ll look at the attached log

The iPhone app isn’t working, what should I do?

Tap the settings cog in the iphone app, and choose Feedback. Your phone should then pop up an email in which you can describe the issue and tap send. Note it will include a log with diagnostic information.

What is silence detection adjustment and how does it work?

When Voice in a Can is listening, it streams what you say to the Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS), which processes the audio and generates a response. The AVS detects when you stop speaking, and sends a command to Voice in a Can to stop listening. If your connection is slow, this can take a long time.

So in addition to this AVS silence detection, I try to detect when you’ve stopped speaking inside the app on your watch … if however you are in a noisy environment, or perhaps if you naturally have a quiet voice, it make not work correctly. The silence detection adjustment setting lets you change how sensitive this silence detection is on the watch. You normally should not have to change it, however if you are often in a noisy environment such as a factory, you might want to tweak it.

Voice in a Can shows as ‘Offline’ in the Alexa App

This is normal. It indicates that although you have registered the Voice in a Can (apps) they are not actively connected to the Amazon Alexa Servers.

Voice in a Can will only show as Online when the app is actually running, because that is the only time when it is connected to Amazon’s Alexa servers. When it is not running it cannot maintain a connection to Amazon’s servers.

Who is behind Voice in a Can?

My name is Damian Mehers, and I’m the owner of Atadore SARL, a Swiss company that provides the app. I blog here, this is my Twitter profile.

My question isn’t answered, what should I do?

Please email me at damian@voiceinacan.com. This is a side-project, so I’ll try to reply when I can.