Over the past few years, Amazon’s Alexa has been revolutionizing the way in which we live our lives, and this is all for the better!
From playing our favorite songs, finding recipes to telling the kids a bedtime story and helping you to find your phone, Alexa has proven to be an indispensable helper in many aspects of life.
If you feel that you can’t live without Alexa, what are some tips and tricks that you can test on Alexa today? Let’s find out…
1. Donate money
Whether you support the Heart Foundation, raising money for cancer research or you want to help fund your local dog shelter, Alexa makes donating money to charity almost too easy.
When you are ready to donate some money to charity, simply say, “Alexa find Charity X and donate X dollars” and you are good to go! Obviously, you’ll be asked to provide some security details to make sure you are not donating by accident, but once this has been set up, you can make regular donations.
2. Broadcast an announcement in your home
Sick and tired of shouting to get your kids’ attention in another room? If you are lucky enough to have more than one Alexa device in your home, to get your message across, all you need to do is use the nifty broadcast feature and use the “announce” command to tell everyone that dinner is ready or that they need to make a start on homework.
3. Track your Amazon orders
The best part of ordering items on Amazon is not actually receiving them but the anticipation thereof!
If you have recently ordered something on Amazon and you want to find out where your package is, Alexa can track it for you.
Simply ask Alexa to track your order and she will tell you what is happening. So, no more laboriously clicking on non user-friendly links (which are broken links more often than not).
4. Forgot the name of a song that’s stuck in your head? Ask Alexa!
There is nothing worse than having a song playing over and over again in your head, only to have no idea what the name or artist of the song is.
At the risk of feeling like an idiot, you can try singing the song to Alexa and, chances are, she’ll recognize what it is and will put you out of your misery.
5. Scan barcodes
Did you know that Alexa can scan barcodes? All you need to do is say, “Alexa, scan a barcode” and you can scan a barcode on the Echo Show screen. The item can then be added to your Amazon shopping list, making ordering incredibly simple.
6. Ask Alexa to set a reminder.
Need to fetch the kids from school at 1pm? Or perhaps you need to take the trash out this evening?
Don’t run the risk of forgetting! You can ask Alexa to remind you to do something at a specific time by merely saying, “Alexa, remind me to leave to pick up the kids at 1pm”.
7. Make bedtime calmer.
Many folks who have problems falling asleep find that listening to audio of waves crashing, rain falling, insects chirping, etc. can really help them to get some well-deserved shut-eye.
The only problem with listening to audio as you fall asleep is that you need to shut it off at some point and this can disturb the falling asleep process.
Instead of telling Alexa to turn off your audio when you are ready, you can set an alarm to shut it off after a predetermined time. Genius!
8. Plan vacations or weekends away.
Planning an enjoyable vacation or weekend away can be quite time-consuming and involve a lot of work.
Luckily, Alexa was born for tasks such as these and make some excellent recommendations for hotels, restaurants and fun things to do in any given city.
9. Get Alexa to read you an audiobook.
In the mood for a good book but feel too lazy to actually read the words? Why not get Alexa to read you the audiobook version of your book?
Of course, you will need to have a subscription to an audiobook service (such as Amazon’s own Audible service).
This is a great idea for evenings in front of the fire or for unwinding before bed. Just ask Alexa to read the specific book and sit back and enjoy the process.
10. Need recipe ideas? Alexa can help!
With Alexa, mealtimes never have to be boring or monotonous.
Simply ask Alexa for some ideas for dinner tonight and she will give you some unique suggestions, along with some easy recipes.
11. Send a hug to a friend or loved one.
With so many folks having Alexa devices these days, communication has become much easier.
Did you know that you can send a virtual hug to someone else who also has an Alexa device? As Alexa to send a hug to someone and the hug will appear virtually on your recipient’s phone and voice assistant.
12. Alexa makes waking up in the mornings more pleasant.
No one enjoys waking up to the sound of an alarm that has a jarring sound, but at least it gets the job done and wakes you up.
To make your mornings a little bit more pleasant and easier, you could ask Alexa to wake you up to the sound of your favorite tune playing.
Why not mix things up and wake up each morning to a different and well-loved song?
13. You don’t have to say “Alexa” repeatedly throughout the day.
One drawback to owning an Alexa device is that many of us become irritated at repeatedly having to say “Alexa” each time we want her to do something.
However, you don’t need to do this and you only have to say “Alexa” once in a sequence if you use the follow-up mode.
This can be done by going into your settings and enabling follow-up mode.
14. Use Alexa to drop in on others in your home.
If you have more than one Alexa device in your home, you can easily check in on a specific person.
You can do this by asking Alexa to “drop in on” person X and you voice will then play on the device in that room.
Another nifty feature of Alexa is that you can also drop in on folks located outside of your home, as long as you’ve added them as contacts in your Alexa app.
15. Create a song playlist.
Creating a playlist of your favorite songs can normally be done by manually adding tracks in the app or website.
Alexa makes creating playlists much easier and all you need to do is command her to “create a new playlist” and she will guide you from there.
Also, if you’re listening to a song that you like and want to add to a playlist, you can ask Alexa to add it to your playlist.
16. Connect speakers to your Alexa device.
Your Alexa speaker is powerful and the content it plays is of a very good quality.
However, sometimes you want your music to play louder and more extensively in your home. This is especially true if you are hosting a party or barbecue and you need your music to be heard over the sound of people’s voices.
The good news is that you can connect any Bluetooth speaker or sound bar to your Alexa speaker.
To connect a Bluetooth speaker to your Alexa speaker, you will need to head over to the settings section and select “device settings”. You will then be able to connect the speaker to a new device.
17. Protect your Alexa recordings.
A common concern among people is the way in which Alexa stores recordings of commands, etc.
If you are worried about this, you could always verify what Alexa has recorded. This can be done by heading to your settings and selecting “Alexa Privacy”. In this section, you will be able to listen to your entire voice recording history and delete them if desired.
18. Adjust Alexa’s speaking speed.
Everyone is different and, understandably, we all speak and listen at varying speeds.
If you find that Alexa speaks too fast for you, you can adjust her to speak slower. On the flip side, those with a type A personality and who enjoy a fast-paced life will probably want to make her speak faster.
You can also ask Alexa to repeat what she has just said if you missed it by saying, “Alexa repeat this” and it’s also possible to ask her to keep her responses shorter by making use of the Brief Mode.
19. Ensure that you don’t buy something accidentally.
One of the best advantages to owning an Alexa device is the ability to buy something in a heartbeat and with very little effort.
Unfortunately, many folks also worry that they may purchase something by accident. To safeguard yourself against this, you can easily require a PIN number before a purchase is confirmed (this can be done in your Account settings within the Alexa app).
20. Ask Alexa not to disturb you.
Owning an Alexa device can incredibly useful and even life-changing.
But what about those occasions when you actually don’t want to be disturbed at all? Sleeping in on weekends can be interrupted by your speaker waking you up or special evenings with your significant other can be spoiled if Alexa disturbs you with an inane comment.
All this can be avoided by using Alexa’s Do Not Disturb mode, which can be found in the devices section. Once you no longer need your Alexa to be in Do Not Disturb mode, you can command her to turn it off. It couldn’t be easier!
21.Make New Year’s resolutions and rely on Alexa to help you make good on them.
Keeping New Year’s resolutions is tough and most people need all the help they can get.
With an Alexa device, you can get help with your resolutions. All you need to do is ask her for help with a specific resolution. For instance, if you are trying to get fit this year, Alexa can give you helpful suggestions on how to accomplish this.
22. Never forget anything.
Everyone has, at some stage in their lives, forgotten about an important event, task or item.
If you own an Alexa device, forgetting about simple and common things could be a thing of the past.
Using Alexa’s Remember This function, you can ask her to remember a whole host of things, from birthdays and someone’s favorite color to when you need to take the trash out or leave for a doctor’s appointment.
Just command Alexa to remember a specific item and it will be logged in the Remember This feature.
If you’d like to see what Alexa has stored up for you in this feature, you can have a look at the Alexa app.
23.Ask Alexa to find your phone.
Lose your phone often? The next time this happens, just ask Alexa to ring your phone and find your phone more easily!
24. Enlist Alexa’s help to become more mindful
Life in these modern times can be stressful, far too busy and extremely busy.
Dedicating even 5 minutes per day to mindfulness can help you to feel calmer, happier and more in control of your life.
Alexa can help you to do this by guiding you through 5 minutes of mindfulness which includes deep breathing exercises and calming exercises.
25.Find a recipe substitute.
In the process of making a delicious recipe, only to find that you’re missing a key ingredient?
Alexa to the rescue! By using the “Ingredient Sub”feature, Alexa will immediately let you know what the missing ingredient can be replaced with.
26.Use Alexa’s night light.
Forget buying a separate night light if you have an Alexa device!
By using an Amazon Echo speaker and activating the “night light” function, you can leave a dim light on for as long as you need it.
27.Debunk false information.
The internet is chock full of fake news and false information but how do you know what is true and what is not?
Alexa can help you to bust false information by asking her if something is true or not in the myth buster feature.
28. Be more positive.
It can be difficult to remain positive in today’s negative world but Alexa can help you to develop a more positive mindset.
All you need to do is tell Alexa a positive thought every day and she will store them up for you in the Daily Affirmation function. Then, whenever you need some extra positivity, you can ask Alexa to open the Daily Affirmation app and she will give you some positive vibes.
Originally posted 2020-02-06 05:00:09.