Science & Technology



Tech Q&A: Sending iPhone pics to a voice-run Echo Show

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Science & Technology News

Q: My sister, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease and doesn't have a phone, recently got an Amazon Echo Show that plays music and shows photos in response to voice commands. Is there a way that I can download pictures from my iPhone or computer to my sister's Echo Show?

--Cynthia Petroff, Broadview Heights, Ohio

A: Get the free Amazon Photos app (formerly called the Prime Photos app) for your iPhone.

Once you have the app, you can use it to upload photos from your iPhone to the online Amazon Photos account that's being used by the Echo Show (such an account is free for storing up to 5 gigabytes of photos.) The photos you upload to the account can then be viewed on the Echo Show. (You can also get the Amazon Photos app for Windows (free, see or Mac ($60,

To make it work, you will need to obtain the username and password of the Echo Show's Amazon Photos account. Then, after you have uploaded the photos, your sister can access them on the Echo Show via its voice-activated Alexa digital assistant. If your sister says, "Alexa, show my photos," the photos will be displayed as a slide show (see

You can also limit the slide show to only some of the online photos. To do that, put the photos you want your sister to see in a separate folder (called an "album") in the online account, and give the folder a name, such as "California Trip." To start a slide show of only those photos, your sister should say, "Alexa, show my California Trip album."


Update: Last week, I told a user of the Mac Catalina operating system to sync his iPod with his Mac via the Finder app rather than iTunes (see Reader Bruce Purnell agreed, but he said it may first be necessary to change the "preferences" in Finder or the "permissions" in the Mac's Home Folder (for details, see

Q: My 6-year-old Mac mini ran fine until I upgraded the operating system to Catalina, or version 10.15.3. Then the Mac began restarting when I tried to shut it down. The Apple Store reloaded the Mac OS twice, but it didn't solve the problem. Diagnostic tests don't show a hardware problem, but the operating system has suffered a "kernel panic." What should I do?

--John Sandri, Minneapolis

A: The operating system upgrade probably caused the shutdown problem. Try these system resets:


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