Amazon has some great devices in its arsenal and all these devices have a central brain called Alexa, which functions pretty much in a similar way in every Echo device (Amazon Tap doesn’t come under the Echo range of devices). But all of these devices have different hardware capabilities with Echo Dot being a portable smart speaker and Echo and Echo Plus being much bigger, heavier and powerful versions. When coupled with Alexa these devices can perform some crazy tasks and can really make your life much easier. So let’s check out some of the best things to do with Amazon Alexa on the Echo devices.
Listen to Music
These Echo devices are basically smart “speakers” so it makes sense that you would want to listen to music, but it helps you do that and much more. You can play a specific song by calling out its name to Alexa or some distinguishable lyrics. You can ask play a song from a particular genre and can even set up different songs as your alarm tone. You can also play music through streaming services like Spotify. Although remember that Echo Dot does not have a powerful speaker and might not be able to provide you with the best of experience when it comes to music, but Echo and Echo plus both have powerful speakers.
Try some of these commands:
“Alexa, play some Jazz”
“Alexa, play…. (Name of the song)”
“Alexa, wake me up at 8 to ….(Specific song)”
Control your Smart Home
One of the major features of Alexa is that it is capable of controlling your lights, fans, locks, etc. with just your voice command. If your smart home device is compatible with the Echo device, it will be able to control it. You can also set up routines in which you can control multiple devices by a single command. For example you can set up a routine for every time you say “Alexa, Good night”, Alexa will switch off all the lights, lock all the doors and recite your flash briefing. For starters check out some of these skills
- Controlling Lights: Alexa can turn the lights on or off and she can even change the color of the lights if possible.
- Controlling Temperature: You can change the temperature of your house by saying, “Alexa, Set the temperature to 65”. Nest, Ecobee and Honeywell are some of the thermostats that work with Alexa.
Listen to the News
Gone are those days in which one would have to wait for the newspaper to come in order to read the news. The world has changed since then, now you can get all the world’s news at you smart-phones. Now what’s next? How about if you are able to hear all the latest news from your selected sources. This is called your flash briefing which can be read to you before sleeping or after waking up or whenever you want.
Get help in the Kitchen
Now you can’t really expect Alexa to cook or wash dishes for you, but it sure can make your Kitchen work easier and less stressful. Alexa can get you recipes, you can get conversions like “Alexa, how much grams is half a pound?” you can even make grocery lists and Alexa will remind you of the items that are needed to be bought if you are visiting a grocery store. You can set multiple timers and Alexa can warn you about the approaching expiration dates of various food products in your house.
Ever felt alone and bored? Well you don’t need to be anymore as Alexa has a lot of inbuilt games like the Animal Game. Just say, “Alexa, Play the animal game” and now Alexa will try guessing the name of the animal that you are thinking of by asking you some questions related to that animal. There are many interactive quizzes and Alexa can even act as a virtual dice for a board game by just saying “Alexa, roll a dice”.
Some of the games include:
- Song Quiz
- True or False
- Deal or No Deal
- Tic tack Toe
- Millionaire Quiz Game
- Movie Quotes
- 20 Questions
Control Your TV
No need to look for your remote or even stand up to change the channel, just ask Alexa to do it. You can almost entirely control your TV with just your voice but it might take some time and money to set things up but once done, you can ask Alexa to “Turn on the TV”. To set things up you would need a Logitech Harmony remote that comes with the Harmony Hub.
Take care of your Health
Alexa can act as your health expert and you can do a lot of fitness related activities using Alexa. For example, you can ask Alexa about the nutrition information of a particular food product or check your FitBit status, the number of steps or the amount of calorie that you have burnt in the day so far. Just ask Alexa, “How am I doing today?”. You can also make Alexa your fitness coach by adding the 7 minute workout skill and saying the command, “Alexa, Start the 7 minute workout”
There are almost endless tasks that can be accomplished by Alexa using the Echo devices. There are a lot of skills that are available for Alexa and the list of such skills is increasing day by day. So just wait and watch as one of the biggest companies in the world, makes Echo one of the biggest Smart speaker brand in the world.
Neil Smith is the outreach senior executive of Alexa Echo Help. He has held just about every position possible in the technology world, from tech support to marketing head. He is a tech enthusiast who has a great interest in smart home technologies. He and his team have been applying their vast Amazon Alexa Echo Support experiences to create world learning solutions in tech world.