Oh wait, I’m not sure I directly answered your questions with my ranting.
ST cannot currently directly control Alexa to speak a notification.
There are no Smartapps that I know that can force Alexa to speak other than perhaps some TTS interface that is converted to “voice” and fed into Alexa’s engine. Maybe EchoSistant can do this? @bamarayne?
All of my workarounds simply use the Echo as a Bluetooth receiver and use the TTS engine of the device that receives the notification from ST. So the voice of my home is not Alexa’s voice.
Thanks MEarly! At least I know I’m not missing anything, and that is important, too. I also hope Alexa can come to support direct messaging some day.
It’s very internet connected AND a fine loudspeaker, right in the center of my house already, that I paid top dollar for! Sigh.
The Bluetooth solutions don’t appeal to me because it should work whether I’m here or not (for family) and whether my phone is working or not. Said another way, I just want Alexa to work. Not Alexa + some other tricky connection. Look how you need not one app not two, but two apps plus additional hardware, wow.
But now at least I know I’m not missing anything. I’ll look into the other options. They all seem to require more hardware or more software or a weak link (like proximity/bluetooth). Maybe I’ll just wait another year or three. Maybe see Google Home obsolete Alexa, hehe.