Alexa Tell Me Some Amazon Echo Tips

31 Amazon Echo tips, tricks and features

(Image credit: Amazon)

Virtual assistants are all the rage. Think Siri on Apple tree’s iPhones, HomePod Mini and HomePod, plus of class Google Assistant on Android devices. By far the about popular, notwithstanding, is still Amazon’s Alexa. Since actualization on the showtime-gen Repeat dorsum in 2016, it has spread to a plethora of smart propositions such as the diminutive Echo Dot (now into its fourth generation) Echo Testify – complete with a screen that can follow yous around your room – Burn HD tablets and even into Amazon’s own true wireless Echo Buds. You’ll increasingly find Alexa in non-Amazon branded kit besides, see Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound A1 (2nd gen) or Audio Pro’s Addon C5A for starters.

Alexa can prepare alarms, stream podcasts, compile to-practice lists, play audiobooks, read PDFs, give you traffic updates, provide the atmospheric condition forecast, answer trivia, pit you every bit a contestant in
Pointless, control your smart home, play music and much more. If you’re one of the many to accept picked up an Amazon Repeat speaker (or Dot, or Show, or Dot Kids Edition), but don’t know if y’all’re making the most of its functionality, or yous’re simply wondering what to ask Alexa adjacent, hither’s everything you’ll want to attempt. Have fun!


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Getting started

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

(Image credit: Amazon)

ane. Give your Echo a new proper noun

First on your list should exist making your Repeat feel similar it’s your own, and yous can practice that by giving it a brand new name. Go into the Settings section of the Alexa app, tap the device name, and and then striking “Device Name” to call it something special. Like ‘Hal’ or ‘Jarvis’ or ‘The Terminator’ or ‘Linda’.

2. Choose what you say to wake it upwardly

Speaking of names: while everyone knows Amazon’s AI is called Alexa, that’due south not the only thing you can call it. You can cull from “Alexa”, “Amazon”, “Echo” or, forStar Trek fans, “Computer”. Caput to the Alexa app (Settings > Device Settings > Wake Word) to pick a new discussion from the list.

3. Set up request sounds

Want to make sure your Echo definitely heard y’all? Nether the device’s ‘Sounds’ menu on the app are a couple of toggles so your speaker will make a audio at the start or the end of the request. Or both. And you’ll desire to make sure your incoming call ringer is on, if y’all’re expecting someone to ‘drop in’.

4. Say that again?

If you lot didn’t quite catch your Echo’s answer to a question, just say “Alexa, tin can you say that once more?” and the speaker will repeat its last answer
ad infinitum.

5. Terminate it speaking (and listening in)

For those that want a flake of peace and placidity, you can hitting the physical microphone push on the top of the Echo to mute the speaker. You can besides just say “Alexa, mute”. After that, y’all’ll exist able to say “Alexa” or your chosen wake word as much every bit you like without the Repeat listening in. Press the mic button again to unmute. Easy.

Getting personal

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

(Image credit: Amazon)

half dozen. Metric or Imperial?

Are you lot from the United States, Myanmar or Liberia? Or are you only irritated past metres, litres and grams? You can ensure the Echo gives all measurements in Imperial units by going to Settings in the Alexa app, selecting your device and scrolling down to the Measurement Units toggle.

7. Tell it where you are

A lot of the Echo’s skills, likewise as its ability to recommend nearby restaurants or utilities, rely on it knowing where you lot are in the globe. So tap the Device Location pick and put in your address – yes, your address is requested as part of the setup of your new device, simply under ‘Your Locations’ in Settings y’all can add a piece of work or other address, too. Useful.

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8. Become traffic data

Get the Alexa app, select Settings > Traffic, and you can input in your work address or other frequent destination, as well every bit any drop-offs or necessary detours on your road, like the school choice-upwardly. So, y’all can inquire Alexa for the traffic details in the afternoon, or add together this route to a routine.

9. Manage where you get your news/customise your flash briefing

Y’all can inquire your Echo to tell you the news, but you might non desire to hear from every unmarried broadcaster. Past hitting the Flash Briefing button in Settings, you tin can add or remove the BBC, Sky or The
Guardian, as well as many others. Then, when y’all say “Alexa, what’due south new?” or “Alexa, play my flash briefing”, you lot’ll be given a catch-up of information based on news outlets you lot want to hear from. You tin besides do this vocally by saying “Alexa, give me the news” and your voice assistant will ask which outlets you’d similar to hear from and recollect these in future. You can of course add more content to Flash Briefing and modify the society in which it is delivered.

10. …and your sport

Saying “Alexa, sports update” will give yous a rundown of news and match fixtures for your favourite sports team. Go into the app settings and click the Sports update, which will give you the choice to search for specific teams or observe national teams. Not all sports are covered, even so, so if you’re really into snowkiting you lot might be out of luck.

xi. Set a ‘Celebrity’ alarm

Ill of the standard jingles to wake you up in the morning? How almost Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May shouting at you instead? Nether the Warning section there’southward the option of calculation ‘celebrity’ voices (although in the Britain this is restricted to the stars of Amazon’s
The Grand Tour

seasons one or two,
or a “Come up on City!” football dirge). Those in the US take the culling options of Dan Marino, Jason Schwartzman, Alec Baldwin or Missy Elliot.

12. Talk to other Echo users

If yous give the Alexa app access to your smartphone’southward contacts, you lot’ll be able to outset a vocalism call (over wi-fi) with any other Echo device possessor that has washed the aforementioned – swell for keeping up with loved ones from afar, or saving your voice by calling your kids upstairs to come up downwards for dinner. Nether the Communicate tab, yous can call, bulletin, ‘drop in’ or ‘announce’ to other Echo users – and if y’all’ve got an Echo Show it’ll utilize the screen as a camera, likewise.

13. Modify your background

This is only for Echo Testify (and older Spot), but if yous go into the settings carte du jour you can alter the screen’s wallpaper from its default blue to Onyx, Assuming Teal, Mod Fuschia, travel scenes, or photos from your ain camera whorl, amid others.


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Voice command

31 Amazon Echo tips, tricks and features

(Image credit: Amazon)

14. Make vocalisation purchases

You tin can shop from Amazon’s own site using your voice by activating it in the app’s Voice Purchasing setting. But if y’all’d like a little bit more security (to save pranksters ordering big quantities of random items on your behalf), you can add in a four-digit confirmation code for each purchase to go along your depository financial institution residue condom.

15. Requite Alexa feedback

What makes the Echo and so powerful is (obviously) its phonation control, but there are times when Alexa gets it wrong. If information technology does, yous tin get to the Home section of the app, hitting the drib-down arrow and see what Alexa heard – and ship Amazon feedback on whether its AI got information technology correct or wrong to assist make it smarter.

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16. Use a Routine

Find yourself asking the same commands every morning time? Set up a Routine – a concatenation of ‘Skills’ that will automatically play itself at a sure fourth dimension or when you say a control phrase.

To set up this up, go to the Routine sub-menu in the app’southward Accounts section, hit the plus sign, tap “When this happens” so select either “When you say something” or “At scheduled fourth dimension” and first adding skills. Alexa will then activate your smart lights, play music, or actuate your Wink Briefing (or whatsoever other deportment that you prepare) all in conjunction.

17. Delete all voice commands

If you’re not happy with Amazon storing so much data almost you, there is the option to mass-delete every recording. Log into Amazon’due south website, navigate to the Manage Your Content And Devices section, then go you Your Devices and select your Echo speaker, and finally ‘Manage voice recordings’. From in that location, yous tin scrub anything yous’ve said to Alexa off your account.

18. Switch accounts

Since the Echo is made for habitation use, it’s possible you lot’ll have multiple people using information technology – each with their own Amazon account. If yous want to switch between them, go to Settings in the Alexa app, select Household Profiles and follow the instructions there. Later that, all you have to do is wake upwards your device and say “switch accounts” (or “which account is this?” to check that you’re on the correct one).

Sound and vision

Amazon Echo Show 10

(Image credit: Amazon)

19. Stream from Amazon Prime Video

Those that accept a Prime number account will be able to play content from Amazon Prime number Video with a uncomplicated command – provided y’all have an Echo device with a screen, such as the Show. Desire to watch YouTube? Simply tell Alexa to search for the best moments of
The Office.
Have a Netflix account? You tin can link information technology.

20. Stream from Amazon Music Unlimited (or Apple Music or Deezer)

Alongside TuneIn for radio, y’all can play around 40 million songs from Amazon Music Unlimited – provided you’re a Prime subscriber. If not, there’s always Apple Music or Deezer – either of which can be set every bit your default streaming service, also.

21. Or link a Spotify account…

For Spotify subscribers, y’all tin get into the Alexa app to add your account to your Repeat. Just striking the More bill of fare, become to ‘Skills & Games’, then ‘Music & Audio’ and enable Spotify as a ‘skill’.

22. …and make that business relationship your default service

If yous desire your Echo to automatically play music from Spotify, rather than from Amazon’s own service, head to the Music & Audio section in the app’s Settings and brand Spotify your default music histrion.

23. Wake up with music

You can also set up some songs or a playlist, through Spotify or Amazon Music, to wake you up or alarm yous to an alarm. Say “Alexa, wake me upward with…” or “Alexa, fix an alarm to…” and specify a time. You’re ready to become.

24. Pair a Bluetooth speaker

Getting the nearly of out of your music is hard using the built-in speaker on the Echo (and fifty-fifty more difficult using the smaller speaker in the Echo Dot). Happily, you tin can pair your vox assistant with any Bluetooth speaker past heading to the Settings menu one time over again, hitting Devices and then following the instructions in that location.

Separating the sound and the microphones out has the added benefit of the Echo more easily agreement y’all, as you don’t have to talk over what’south playing.

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Using your skills

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition

(Image credit: Amazon)

25. Add skills

I of the all-time things well-nigh the Echo and the Echo Dot are the number of apps – or ‘Skills’, as Amazon calls them – information technology works with. You can search through the (approximately) 10,000 skills in the Amazon Alexa iOS or Android app, or check out some of our favourites below…

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26. Telephone call an Uber

Possibly the most popular taxi app in the UK, you can ask for an UberX, UberXL, UberEXEC and UberLUX by saying “Inquire Uber for a ride”. Information technology doesn’t just come up to your default location either, equally you tin change your location, check your ride status or cancel information technology if you’ve changed your mind.

27. Food from Just Swallow

Past linking your Just Consume account with Alexa (using the app) you lot can have your Echo re-gild your virtually recent meal by maxim “ask Only Eat to re-order sushi” or “enquire Only Eat to re-order Chinese”. Unfortunately, y’all can’t make complete new orders through the Repeat yet, but the future sometimes comes sooner than we call back…

28. Control your smart home’due south lights

Probably the most impressive affair the Amazon Echo can do is control your smart home. If yous’ve got Philips Hue or SmartThings lights, you tin can tell information technology to turn on the lights in specific rooms. If you desire even more adjustability, y’all can set the degree of brightness, and even the color.

The Echo Plus, meanwhile, has a built-in hub which allows you to find devices through a vocalization command (“Alexa, detect my devices”) so y’all can bypass the Philips Hue hub for a smoother integration.


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Third-party admission

29. Manage your Alexa lists with or Todoist

Creating a list using your Echo is relatively easy – only say “Alexa, add milk to my shopping listing” or “Alexa, I need to buy bread”. If you’re an Whatever.practise
(opens in new tab)

or Todoist
(opens in new tab)

user, though, you’ll have to link your accounts first by going into the Lists subcategory nether Settings in the Alexa app.

30. Add a Microsoft, Apple tree, or Google Calendar

You can’t take a good virtual assistant if it doesn’t know your schedule. Microsoft, Apple tree, and Google Calendar users tin can integrate their corresponding calendars with their Echo to get updates about upcoming events.

Information technology also ways you can tell Alexa to add new activities to your calendar (by saying, unsurprisingly, “add an consequence to my calendar”). Alexa volition inquire some follow-up questions to verify the appointment, time, and proper noun of the event, and then it’ll be viewable on your figurer or mobile app.

31. Use IFTTT

For those that want to really get deep into what their Echo tin can do, then IFTTT (If This, And so That) could be your new best friend.

The gratis app, which is available on iOS and Android, acts as a middleman between Alexa and your other apps that don’t still have integration. Through IFTTT, you tin automatically add together new listing items to your iOS Reminders app, make your phone band when the timer goes off, or have it close your garage door, mute your phone and turn off your lights all at once.

You lot can apply either IFTTT’s preset ‘Recipes’ to customise your Echo, or fix your own instructions. It’s not altogether necessary to use this third party service to get a slap-up experience from your Echo, but it’s fun to try it out.

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Alexa Tell Me Some Amazon Echo Tips