From Creating Routine Plans to Ordering Your Favourite Food With A Simple Voice Command: Best Alexa Tips and Tricks

Here's a bunch of tips and tricks for you to make the most out of your Amazon Echo.

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Owning a sophisticated device and using it are two completely different things. Very often, we find ourselves unaware of the plethora of functionalities that come with these devices. If you own an Amazon Echo and have not quite found the time to explore its hundreds of features, don’t worry. We are here to bring you some of the best Alexa tricks and tips that will help you make the most out of the Amazon Echo device.

How To Change The Wake Word ‘Alexa’

As you know, Amazon Echo responds to the word ‘Alexa’. However, if your name is Alexa too or for some reason you want the wake word to be something different, you can easily change it in the app.

  • Open the app
  • Go to Settings in the top left corner
  • Select Device Settings
  • Select the Amazon device
  • Scroll down and select Wake Word
  • Select the wake word from the options ‘Alexa’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Echo’ or ‘Computer’
  • Hit the save button.

Mute The ‘Alexa’ Wake Word

Amazon Echo is always paying attention to the wake word. So every time you tell the wake word, say ‘Alexa’, the device wakes up and responds. In case you don’t want this to happen for a while and you want the device to respond to absolutely nothing, you can mute it by pressing a button on the top of the speaker. You can unmute Alexa by pressing the button again.

How To Create Different Profiles For Different Family Members On Alexa

You can create different profiles for different members of your family to share movies, music and other content libraries. You can set it up by selecting Settings > Account Settings > Amazon Household and follow the prompts.

You can check which profile is under use by asking “Alexa, which profile is this?” You can also switch profiles by saying “Alexa, switch profiles.”

How To Create Voice Profiles To Recognise The Voices Of Different Family Members On Alexa

You can create a personalised experience by setting up different voice profiles for different family members. Different voice profiles help Alexa distinguish which family member is issuing the command and helps her respond accordingly. So for example, some member of your family wants to play music, then music according to their preferences will be played.

To set up this feature, select Settings, Accounts, Your Voice and follow the prompts. You can also simply say “Alexa, learn my voice” and follow the instructions.

How To Control Alexa From A Browser

If in case you do not want to use the app, you can easily control the speaker by visiting http://echo.amazon.com from the comfort of any device.

How To Add Skills With a Simple Command On Alexa

Amazon Echo offers a wide range of skills to perform different functionalities. You can enable the skills with a simple voice command. For example, you can say “Alexa, enable” along with the skill you would like to add. You can also ask Alexa to recommend some skills for you. Alternatively, you can browse through the thousands of skills and select the one you would like based on the functionality and rating.

Set Up Smart Home Devices With Alexa

Alexa can be used to coordinate your Alexa-enabled smart home devices. You can also ask Alexa to scan for compatible devices in your household by saying, “Alexa, discover my devices.” Once you set up

Follow these steps to connect smart home devices to Alexa.

Create Routine Plans With Alexa

Perhaps one of the most impressive features of Amazon Echo is the ability to create routines for your smart home devices to perform a sequence of operations. For example, you can create a routine for when you say “Alexa, good night”. This will turn off the smart lights, switch on the smart security cameras, lock the doors, and so on.

In order to create, modify or delete a routine, follow these steps.

Have Alexa Streams Music, Podcasts And Audiobooks

Alexa speakers offer the option to directly stream music from Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn Radio and iHeartRadio. However, if you would like to stream music from other services such as Apple Music or Google Play Music, you have to first connect the speaker to the computer or smartphone via Bluetooth.

Please note that you can create playlists on your Amazon Music app by saying “Alexa, add this song to my playlist.”

You can also set up an Audible account to play audiobooks by giving a simple command “Alexa, read me my book.” You can use alternative services such as Kindle and say “Alexa, read me my Kindle book.”

Get Alexa To Answer Questions Exactly The Way You Want

In this feature, you can customise the answers from Alexa on your Amazon Echo. For example, you might want your babysitter to know when you’re returning or what time should the kids be put to bed and so on.

You can set the questions and answers by visiting this link https://blueprints.amazon.com. Then select Custom Q&A > Make Your Own. Type out your question in the box under ‘When you say Alexa’ and the customised answer under ‘Alexa says:’. Then click on Create Skill > Update Account.

Set Up Flash Briefings To Get News And Weather Updates With Alexa

Flash briefings offer a way to get updates on news and weather. All you have to say is “Alexa, play my flash briefing.” To enable this feature, select Menu > Setting > Flash Briefings and follow the prompts. The user has the liberty to select the source for these updates and can even manage the order in which the updates are delivered.

Use Alexa As An Intercom To Communicate With Other Members In The House

If you have children, you will know that screaming across the house is not a very easy task. However, there is a fix around this problem if you have multiple Amazon Echo devices at your home. On enabling the drop-in functionality on the app, you can say simple commands such as “Alexa, drop in on the master bedroom” or “Alexa, call the kitchen” and you can then talk to people in the room. For a one-way conversation, the announcement feature can be used to announce things like “Come down for dinner”.

To enable the feature, go to the app, select Devices > Echo & Alexa > Communications > Drop In. Finally, select the name of the device you want to drop in on.

Order Your Favourite Food Through Alexa

Alexa Skills makes it look like just anything is possible with the Amazon Echo. One such feature is the ability to give a simple command to order food, say from KFC. Just enable the skill by downloading it on the app and activate it by saying “Alexa, tell KFC I am hungry” or “Alexa, launch KFC”. You can then place the order and wait for the meal to arrive at your doorstep.

Similarly, you can enable the Pizza Hut or Dominos skills to order pizzas.

There is an additional Starbucks skill as well, but to use the skill, you will have to have previously placed an order on the Starbucks app. Then, once you enable the skill by saying “Alexa, enable Starbucks Reorder”, you can have Alexa repeat your usual order. Simple, right?

Delete Your Voice Data From Alexa

If due to some privacy concern or any other reason, you want to delete your voice data from the servers, you can do so by selecting Settings > Alexa Privacy > Review Voice History. You can then select the recordings you want to delete or select Delete all recordings for today.


Read more: WireX – September Issue

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