If you are reading this post, it is likely that you own an Amazon Echo and/or regularly use Alexa to manage your smart home devices or check the weather forecast. You also know that these devices constantly receive updates and are getting smarter. New ways to use Amazon Echo may appear faster than you may realize.
We will explore several surprising options that users often underestimate, neglect, forget, or are unaware of. Try them to enrich your experience with Echo speakers.
If you have a family, you can create personal Alexa profiles for each family member. Each profile will connect to their corresponding Amazon account. Then you will need to remember about switching profiles every time you come home, just in case someone was using Alexa while you were away. This will prevent confusion while adding useful functions. For example, you can share calendar events and movies or music between profiles.
When you’re not sure which profile is active, just ask ‘Alexa, which profile am I using?’ If it is not yours, say, ‘Alexa, switch profile’ to fix this. It would be useful if you also make voice profiles for everyone. This way, Alexa will recognize everyone’s voices and not mix up your musical playlists with other family members.
You may change the settings via the Amazon Alexa app. Choose ‘Settings > Account Settings > Amazon Household,’ and follow the on-screen guidelines.
This one seems obvious but is often overlooked. ‘Alexa’ sounds cool, but for various reasons, users may need to use a different name. A few options are available: ‘Computer’, ‘Echo,’ and ‘Amazon’. To change the name, choose your device in the Alexa app, then tap the ‘Wake Word’ option.
You may also choose any word you like (except curse words) for Alexa to address you. To do this, you need to go to ‘Communicate > My profile and settings’.
You may find it frustrating to give multiple voice commands every time you need to manage everything that happens in your smart house. However, you can connect some smart devices that Amazon Echo doesn’t support officially and make use of their possibilities.
These are just a few examples of how new applets can make your experience with Alexa more efficient. Just like the official skills, their number grows constantly.
Amazon lets you call anyone from your phone contact list using Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show, or another Alexa device, provided that they have an Echo device too. If it’s not urgent, you can send a message the same way. They will receive it via the Alexa app.
Intercom-like calls are another option. If you have multiple Alexa devices around the house, you can retranslate anything you say in any room. No need to yell to gather everyone to dinner.
If your usual alarm becomes boring, or you are so accustomed to it you don’t even hear it anymore, try to set your favorite music on the alarm. You only need Alexa and a streaming service: Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, or Sirius XM. You can test the new alarm by saying, ‘Alexa, wake me up to the Roxxete” (or Christmas carols, or any other music you like).
When your speaker is dead, it’s time to remember that you own another one. You can stream Amazon Music and Audible audiobooks or make Alexa read something from your Kindle library.
With unsupported music services, such as Apple Music, Google Music, or your music library, you will need to connect your devices via Bluetooth and use Echo as a typical Bluetooth speaker.
One of the most plain ideas is to learn a new language. For example, the Daily Dose skill helps in learning 34 languages. It can be a new-word-in-one-minute or a full lesson that takes 10-20 minutes.
A special skill from Coursera won’t allow you to do your homework or quizzes, but will help you not to miss your deadlines and check on your progress. This way, Coursera hopes to fit education into the daily life of its students.
You may find custom skills for very special expertise. For example, Birdzilla will help you become an expert in North American birds and even distinguish them by their songs. The Alexa skill allows you to not only listen to almost 600 different bird songs but also learn more about the feathery singers. If you have Echo Show or any device with a screen connected to your Echo, you can see a picture of the singing bird.
Initially, when users wanted to add a new Alexa skill, they had to open the Alexa app and do it manually. The skills library wasn’t organized well, but now that has been fixed, and you can manage the skills via voice commands.
Now, knowing the skill name all you have to do is say, ‘Alexa, enable Magic-8 ball’ (or the Bartender skill, or whatever skill you need). You can use the enabled skills right away.
Here are a few more Alexa Amazon tips:
We’ve covered some useful yet often overlooked Amazon Echo tips and tricks which can make your life easier and more fun. There are many more. If you want to be up to date, ask, ‘Alexa, do you have any new features?’ and receive a rundown of what is new.
Even after all of this, it’s quite possible we have yet to discover the best way to use Alexa. Do you happen to have a groundbreaking skill idea? Do you need to improve the experience for your Alexa skill users? Onix is ready to help.