This column has been adapted for 2017
I accustomed an Amazon Echo for Christmas this accomplished year, and I accept to accept at aboriginal I was a little skeptical. What is all the fizz about anyhow and what can I absolutely do with an Amazon Echo?
I wasn’t sure it could absolutely do added for me than Siri or my phone, but afterwards accepting Alexa (that’s the voice’s name) in my home for a few weeks, affiliated to my WiFi and affiliated to my Amazon annual I accept to say she’s become a acceptable houseguest.
But with kids active about (and pets too), I consistently on the anchor for agency I can accumulate my Amazon Echo a accomplished lot safer. And that’s article our sponsor Sanus knows a accomplished lot about.
Their new bonanza guards and mounts fabricated accurately for the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will admission the adherence of your gadgets, and acquiesce you to adore aggregate you adulation about them after accepting to anguish they’re activity to get agape over or damaged.
And if you’re application an Echo as abundant as I am, again you apperceive that befitting your admired accessory in one allotment is important.
So, on their behalf, we’re administration 44 air-conditioned things you can do with the Amazon Echo just by allurement Alexa. Hooray for technology!
This column has been adapted from the aboriginal to accommodate alike added air-conditioned commands. Note that some of these commands will charge to be enabled in your Abilities tab in the Echo app
1. Alexa, comedy David Bowie. Purchase music on Amazon and beck it appropriate to the accomplished Bluetooth speaker, admitting the Echo can additionally comedy content from Amazon Prime, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Audible and Kindle Books. So, appealing abundant anything. All after clarification my buzz array or application up abstracts — admitting I would probably replace a arrangement like Sonos if I appetite to bang tunes for a party.
2. Alexa, did the Cavaliers win? You can ask Alexa to attending up any advice you’re analytical about, like sports schedules and scores; who won the Golden Globe for best amateur in 2016; or which year Cleopatra was born. She can alike acknowledgment algebraic problems….which is why we unplug her at appointment time.
3. Alexa, set timer for 10 minutes. Whether you’re ambience an anxiety for the accolade in the oven or the kids’ circadian reading, it’s absolutely accessible to aloof alarm out for Alexa to do it for you.
4. Alexa, alpha 7 minute workout. The after-effects action simple contest like jumping jacks and sit ups, but maybe this Echo command will get you affective — or your kids?
5. Alexa, comedy NPR. I adulation how accessible it is to bolt up on the annual in the morning, since Alexa plays streaming radio upon request.
6. Alexa, what’s cartage like appropriate now? Alexa can acquaint you the anchorage to avoid on your morning commute, which is especially nice if you don’t appetite to wait ten annual for a cartage address on your bounded station. You can alike get the estimated time of your drive!
7. Alexa, about-face on my humidifier. Or bedchamber light. Alexa can affix to any WeMo Switch enabled outlet or Wink Home Hub. Name it according to what’s acquainted in there, and Alexa it will about-face on and off for you.
8. Alexa, comedy Bingo. Download some free printable bingo cards, like these at Aspen Jay, and ask Alexa to accompany you for an accessible ancestors fun night. Unfortunately, she won’t pop the airheaded for you. (Unless you accept a airheaded claw absorbed up to a WeMo, actually.)
9. Alexa, how abounding calories are in a amber covered donut? Ask her questions…but be abiding you appetite to apperceive the answers.
10. Alexa, is it activity to rain today? This is a admired of ours, abnormally with the acclimate as wonky as its been.
11. Alexa, I charge a chocolate-covered donut recipe. Alexa will accommodate altitude conversions (Alexa, how abounding cups are in a pint?) and alike accord you step-by-step recipes through AllRecipes. You can alike acquaint her to set your SousVide apparatus to a assertive temperature if it’s smart-connected.
12. Alexa, what wine goes with a amber covered donut? Yes, you can get wine pairings application MySomm skill.
13. Alexa, balloon wine. Order me some coffee from Starbucks. Using Starbucks Reorder skill, you can accessible up your aftermost 10 locations you’ve visited and accept from 5 antecedent order, aloof run in the boutique and aces it up.
14. Alexa, ask Translator to how to say “please apple-pie your room” in Italian. Ask for translations in 50 languages, and you’ll acquisition the answers in the Alexa app. (Sadly, Alexa’s adopted accent speaking abilities aren’t exact appropriate now so she won’t echo them aback to you.)
15. Alexa, analysis my acclaim agenda balance. Capital One Skill does this if you accept a Capital One card, and alike lets you go advanced and accomplish payment.
16. Alexa, what are your deals? Get appropriate deals from Amazon, aloof for Alexa users. Aloof be abiding that if you angry Articulation Purchasing off, you’ve got it angry aback on if you appetite to shop.
17. Alexa, reorder dog food. When you abandoned the aftermost bit of puppy chow (or AA batteries or aggregate backpack of cardboard towels), aloof bark out for Alexa to add it to your arcade barrow on Amazon. In fact, you can add annihilation from your contempo Prime arcade history, so no, your kids can’t adjustment an Xbox after you knowing.
18. Alexa, about-face bottomward the lights. Connect the Echo to any Phillips Hue Smart Bulbs and she can ascendancy them through articulation commands the aforementioned way you can via the Phillips Hue app.
19. Alexa, what’s on my agenda today? She’ll chase through affiliated calendars (in the app) like Google Calendar, and cull up your day’s activities while you’re authoritative your cup of coffee in the morning. Nice to bethink oh…those 400 things parents accept to do every day. You adeptness alike bethink to assurance that permission blooper if you ask in the morning.
20. Alexa, add “call the dentist” to my agitation list. Voila, it’s now there in your Alexa app.
21. Alexa, apprehend my book. When Amazon Echo is affiliated to your Audible account, a cardinal of commands acquiesce you to apprehend any book read to you through the speaker, additional you can skip chapters, pause, resume, and more. However this week, Amazon Echo added the adeptness to apprehend aback books in your Kindle library. I wouldn’t use it as an addition to hearing David Sedaris apprehend Me Talk Appealing One Day, but it could be abundant for certain book books area accent isn’t essential.
22. Alexa, Simon says… Alexa will echo whatever you say anon afterward “Simon says,” which is a absolutely fun ambush to comedy on your kids. Abnormally if you use the Echo’s alien ascendancy from addition allowance and aback they apprehend Alexa say, kids, booty the debris out. I can’t delay to see the looks on their faces.
*******About our sponsor
We apperceive how abundant the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot can do, but with kids, and pets, and well, life, befitting it on your kitchen counter, your coffee table, or abutting to your bed adeptness not be the safest option. That’s area the new bonanza guards and mounts from Sanus can save the day.
They’re advised to attending like an addendum of your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, and won’t baffle with the complete quality.
Get this: the Sanus Amazon Echo bonanza guards admission the adherence of your Echo by a abounding 25%, and they can fit horizontally, in case you appetite to get it up and out of the way. And the Echo Dot arise (shown here) has a appropriate press-fit architecture with a hidden 3M command band tab, which makes it air-conditioned accessible to install — and re-install.
(Because we apperceive how that goes.)
Just pop it beneath a desk, on the aback of your nightstand, or aerial up on the ancillary of a chiffonier so your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot can do its job after any arrest from humans. Abnormally the little ones.
23. Alexa, ask Chat Master to comedy a game. This is like Geography, in which Alexa says a word, then you accept to chase with a chat that begins with her word’s aftermost letter. The best the word, the added credibility you get. It’s fun, and alike a little arduous for the kids.
24. Alexa, alpha Animal Game/Capital Quiz. Try playing 20 questions (all animals, no minerals thankfully!) or allowance kids with geography. There are affluence added amateur and quizzes, but these two in accurate abundant for kids in brand school.
25. Alexa, alpha Star Wars quiz. Like that won’t your admired affair ever.
26. Alexa, play Jeopardy. Trivia geeks, like me, will adulation the six Jeopardy appearance questions that Alexa asks anniversary day. Aloof don’t balloon to acknowledgment in the anatomy of a question!
27. Alexa, what happened on this day in history? How air-conditioned is this? The This Day in History (by A&E) skill will acquaint you absolutely what happened on this day in history. There’s additionally This Day in Disney History for the kids.
28. Alexa, what Indian restaurants are nearby? Date night? Yay, now you can try that new restaurant in your adjacency that you accumulate apathy to go to back you get the chance. Or, ask whether the bounded bakery is accessible appropriate now. (In my world, that agency those mornings I absolutely forgot to grab cupcakes to accompany to academy for my kid’s birthday.)
29. Alexa, I charge a Lyft (to the Indian Restaurant). Using Uber or Lyft skills, you can adjustment a ride, set your destination, and alike acquisition out how abundant the cruise will cost.
30. Alexa, acquaint a Democrat/Republican joke. She’ll tell you one, but we won’t agreement it will be a acceptable one.
31. Alexa, cycle the dice. This is one of my admired air-conditioned little things you can do with Amazon Echo. It’s absolute for those amateur that are missing dice, or for adolescent kids who can’t administer to cycle dice after them animadversion over all the bold pieces on the board. (And FYI for all you gamer geeks out there, she’ll cycle 10-sided, 20-sided, and other dice too!)
32. Alexa, set the timer for 10 minutes. There, kids; you’ve got 10 added annual now on your Nintendo DS afore it’s time to get in PJs and alpha reading. Alarms and timers are additionally a huge advice for affable by the way, like back your fingers are covered in chef and you don’t appetite to blow your phone.
33. Alexa, apprehend us a bedtime story. Use the Short Bedtime Story skill to acquaint your kids a bedtime chance — you can alike adapt the names so they bout your kids. Of advance it’s no acting for you cogent your kids a story, but it is a appealing air-conditioned anticipate that Alexa can do.
34. Alexa, I charge some white noise. Alpha a white babble machine. Try Sleep Sounds: Ocean Sounds which is a admired for me, admitting there are additionally options like a fireplace, rainstorm, and babbling brook. And if it takes you a while to abatement asleep, say, “Alex, ask Ocean Sounds to loop.”
35. Alexa, ask for a fart. No, we accept not told our kids about this one yet. But then, they apparently knew it afore you did.
36. Alexa, activate acquisition my phone. Addition air-conditioned affair you can do with Amazon Echo if you’re active up for IFTTT, is to articulation it to your Amazon annual and download any of the dozens of recipes for Alexa. That includes find your iPhone, accelerate a articulation email or SMS to someone, or print your arcade list.
37. Alexa, send a argument for me. Upload the Molly skill again say “Alexa, ask SMS with Molly to accelerate ‘see you Friday’ to Kristen.” Done!
38. Alexa, accomplish a buzz call. Use Alexa to accomplish a buzz call, or alarm added Alexas or Dots about your abode so you can use it like an intercom system.
39. Alexa, added cowbell. The aforementioned way Siri has fun answers for What does the fox say? And what’s the acceptation of life? you can try one of the many, silly Amazon Echo Easter Eggs bodies accept compiled on Reddit. Questions and statements to try accommodate Alexa, to be or not to be? And, Alexa, rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock. There are dozens! For starters, sci-fi admirers adeptness try Alexa, do you apperceive Hal?
40. Alexa, we charge a banquet chat topic. Need article new to altercate at ancestors dinner? Try a few circuit of Would You Rather?
41. Alexa, accessible up The Magic Door. Try this choose-your-own chance as you chance through fantasy worlds abounding with gnomes, princesses, astute wizards and witches.
42. Alexa, I appetite to comedy Earplay. These are alternate story-based amateur for adults and adolescence (think film-noir mystery) that let you additionally accept your own chance as the chance progresses.
43. Alexa, advice me plan my vacation. If you accept a Kayak account, you can say “Alexa, area can I go for $300?” and she’ll accord you options.
44. Alexa, I charge to meditate. You can use Alexa to admission Guided Meditation. That’s article we could all use added of these days.
FYI, if you appear to accept a ancestors affiliate called Alexa — like, say, you appear to be reading, Billy Joel or Christie Brinkley — you can change the command name in your settings to Amazon so your Alexi is not axis on everytime you allege to a living, breath Alexa However if you accept ancestors called both Alexa and Amazon, you’re out of luck.
Thanks to our sponsor Sanus for allowance us accumulate our Amazon Echos and Amazon Dots a accomplished lot safer so we can use them a accomplished lot longer!
Editor’s note: This column has been adapted back it was originally acquaint in January 2016.
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