Having a smart speaker at your place is something really useful. It can make some daily tasks much easier, and keep you up to date with weather, news and much more. If you already have a smart speaker, then you probably have one of the two most popular ones, Google Home or Amazon Echo. Both smart speakers have a lot to offer to the point it’s a bit overwhelming. While we already have some Google Home tips and tricks article, in this article we will mention some useful Amazon Echo features that will save you the time and effort to go through the Alexa App on your smartphone.
Control Your Smart Home
Amazon Echo and its digital assistant Alexa can be your hub to control all the smart gadgets that you have at your place. You will be surprised by the number of smart home gadgets that work with Amazon Echo, or have the Work With Alexa certification. You can check all those gadgets on Amazon. You can use your Amazon Echo to control your lights, lock the door or unlock it, control your thermostat temperature, even open your garage door among dozens of other devices that you can control hands-free via Amazon Echo.
Make Calls/Video Calls
Based on the fact that everyone has a smartphone nowadays, people don’t have landlines anymore, and even if they do, it is quite weird to call someone on their landline. But it’s definitely not weird to call someone using Alexa. It’s even cool. You can ask Alexa to call anyone in your contact list if they also have an Alexa enabled device. And if you both have an Amazon Echo Show, for example, you can have a video call just by asking Alexa to do so.
It’s good to know that anyone who has your number can call your Alexa speaker, but at the same time, you are able to block any unwanted number.
Get Your Daily Doze News
We might not really realize how much time we can save every morning while getting ready to go to work. Alexa will help you with that, you can easily ask Alexa to read you the headlines of the news while getting ready. You can even set an Alexa routine, for example, when you tell Alexa “Good morning”, it will tell you the weather forecast, the news, and the traffic situation on your way to work. You can set up your routines and customize them in the Alexa app on your smartphone.
Control Your TV
While watching TV, it’s sometimes annoying how you have to reach for the remote just to control the sound, or to switch between channels. Well, now you can ask Alexa to do so. There are many new smart TVs in the market that are Alexa compatible, you can ask Alexa to turn the TV on and off, control the volume, among other things. In case you TV isn’t smart, or it’s not Alexa compatible, you can upgrade it by getting a Logitech Harmony Hub with the Harmony remote included. The Harmony Hub will make your TV Alexa compatible, so you can enjoy a hands-free experience.
While we are still on the topic, you might wanna consider getting an Amazon Fire TV Stick. The Fire Stick enables any TV to stream content over WiFi such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Pandora, HBO go, and much more. Basically, you will upgrade your normal TV into a smart one.
Get Help While Cooking
Although cooking is a skill. But still, everyone can cook with some help from Alexa. Having an Amazon Echo in your kitchen is something really useful. Alexa can help you get recipes from Allrecipes.com. It can also set as many timers as you want, play some music to keep you company, as well as help you convert between units.
Listen To Music
Amazon Echo can do many things for you, but we must not forget that it is a speaker after all. You can ask you, Alexa, to play music on Spotify or Amazon music. You can choose a song, an album or a playlist to play and just ask Alexa for it. It’s good to know that if you want to play music on Spotify, you have to set up your Spotify account using the Alexa app on your smartphone.
Play With Alexa
If you have children at home, or you just have the spirit of a child, you can have a lot of fun with Alexa. Alexa is full of surprises, you can try and ask any silly question, and get a silly answer in return. Your kids are asking for a bedtime story, Alexa is there for you. You can purchase some paid games and add them to your Echo speaker for your kids to have more fun. You can also add more fun skills to your Echo speaker, here’s our list of skills that you can add and make your Alexa smarter.