Alexa tips: 5 fun ways to use your Amazon Echo

Amazon’s Alexa devices are so full of useful features that it’s often easy to overlook some of the most fun. That’s why our team of tech experts pulled together a list of tips and suggestions to help you get the most out of your tech:

  1. Control Smart Home devices with Alexa. This includes locking the doors, dimming the lights, changing the temperature, controlling an entertainment center, turning on the coffeemaker and even finding out how much gas is left in your car. Keep in mind that devices being controlled must be compatible & Alexa-enabled. Set up is completed by using the Alexa app and binding it to the devices to be controlled.
  2. Make Calls with Alexa. Th Alexa Calling feature allows free voice calls and messaging services through all Echo devices as well as smartphones through the Alexa app. This includes an opt-in “Drop-In” feature on the Echo Show that allows you to receive calls on your devices without having to answer the call. An example of how this could be used would include remotely checking in on elderly relatives if they own a Drop-In-enabled Echo.
  3. Enable the Wake Up Sound. This feature can be used in place of the light for confirmation that Alexa heard you, even when you are in a place in your home where you cannot see the device. You can also enable an “End of Request” sound.
  4. Add Alexa Skills by Voice. Alexa Skills allow you to customize your device to provide a more personalized experience. Until February of 2017, Skills could only be added through the Alexa app or online. Now, you can add them simply by commanding, “Alexa, enable FitBit.” Find out more skills by asking, “Alexa, open Skill Finder” or “Alexa, tell Skill Finder to give me the skill of the day.”
  5. Fun Questions to Ask Alexa. Trigger some fun responses with the following statements and questions:
    1. “Alexa, I want the truth.”
    2. “Alexa, my name is Inigo Montoya.”
    3. “Alexa, do a barrel roll.”
    4. “Alexa, how many Super Bowl Rings has Dan Marino won?”
    5. “Alexa, is Santa Claus real?”
    6. “Alexa, would you pass the Turing Test?”

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