You may have received an Amazon Echo as a gift during the holidays. If it's your first one, or even a second or third, you may be curious about some of the things it can do. While most folks may use it to ask about the weather or sports scores, Alexa can do a lot more than you might know.
Here are some fun Amazon Echo tips and tricks to get you started.
If you ask your Amazon Echo to play music it will default to Amazon Music. But you can change that to one of many services like Spotify, Apple Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal and Vevo.
Here's what you do:
You can also change the default service for when you speak commands like "Play music by Bruce Springsteen," or "Play classical music" or "Play a rock station" and the default podcast app in this menu.
You can use an Echo to call anyone's phone or Echo, and it'll double as a big speakerphone when you do it. To do this, just configure a few things first:
Once you've confirmed a contact is in your address book, you can call that person by asking Alexa to call someone's phone or Echo. Here are the commands to use. (I put my own name in, but swap it out for who you're trying to call):
Amazon recently added a feature that lets you share your shopping list with friends and family. Suppose you want to share your shopping list with a spouse, for example. You can do that by following these steps:
You can use your Amazon Echo as an in-home intercom and announce things to every Echo in your house. That way, people will know if dinner is ready, or if you just want to let the kids that you're running out to the grocery store and don't want to shout. Here's what to do:
Alexa can give you a quick news briefing from news outlets like CNBC. Here's how to set it up:
Alexa lets you create custom routines for certain phrases you speak. So if you say "Alexa, good evening," it might automatically turn off some lights, turn on others and lock your doors. Or you can create a custom routine to start playing music and hear the weather in the morning.
Here's what to do:
Maybe you're cooking dinner and need to set multiple timers for different parts of your meal. Here's what you do:
Your Amazon Echo can play music in different rooms of your house at the same time. It's easy to set up:
This feature is useful if you want to get notifications about sounds your Amazon Echo hears when you're away from home. If you get an alert about a glass-breaking noise or a smoke alarm, you might want to have a neighbor check in on the house or check a camera to see if everything is OK. Here's how to set it up:
Your Echo can help control your smart lights to make it look like you're home even when you're not. Do this:
You can delete recordings of all of the things you've asked Alexa. It's a built-in privacy feature that lets you review everything your Amazon Echo has picked up and regularly delete those requests. Here's what to do: