There’s no doubt that an Alexa-powered smart speaker is useful. After all, the ability to control your smart home, play games, and choose music with your voice is phenomenal — but did you know there are a lot of abilities that go overlooked?
Alexa is jam-packed with features that don’t get as much time in the limelight. Some will keep you entertained, while others can help you give back to the world around you.
If there’s one thing the past year has made abundantly clear, it’s the importance of looking out for one another. Alexa can simplify that by making charity donations for you — just say, “
The voice assistant will then ask what charity you wish to donate to. While every charity is not available, there are hundreds that are. Say the name of the charity and confirm the action, and Alexa will automatically debit the funds from your account. Just make sure you have Amazon Pay set up first.
Alexa’s ability to walk users step-by-step through a recipe is well-known; after all,
The Allrecipes Skill allows you to ask, “Alexa, ask Allrecipes what I can make with eggs and rice” (or whatever ingredients you happen to have in the pantry.)
For as much as we love our four-legged friends, you never quite know what they will get into while you’re away from home. The good news is that Alexa can help try to keep them out of trouble, although a determined pup won’t be stopped.
There are two Alexa skills that can help: Woof! for dogs, and Meow! for cats. All you have to do is say, “
Everyone wants to sleep better at night, and for some people that means using a white noise machine. There’s no reason to spend hundreds of dollars on a dedicated device, though — not when Alexa can do the same thing. You can play white noise straight from your
The first is Amazon Prime Music, the in-house music service included as part of your Prime subscription. Just ask Alexa to play white noise through Prime Music and you’ll hear thunderstorms, ambient sounds, and more. (Or you might hear the Josh Turner album if you don’t specify.)
You can do the same thing through Spotify if you aren’t a Prime subscriber. If neither of those options work for you, there are dedicated Amazon Skills for ambient noise that include sounds like babbling brooks, birds, crickets, and more.
On those nights when you really don’t want to cook, order a pizza! Rather than picking up your phone or going to the website, let Alexa order for you. You’ll first need to enable the relevant Skill, though — Domino’s, Pizza Hut, or Papa John’s. Or enable all three if you want options!
After you’ve done this, all you have to do is say, “Alexa, order a pizza,” or “
Do you find yourself trying to quietly issue commands to Alexa at night while your spouse sleeps beside you? The last thing you want to do is wake them up. The good news is that
Just go into your Alexa app, open Settings > Voice Responses, and turn on Whisper Mode. When you speak in a normal voice,
Your home security uses motion sensors and a variety of other tools to watch out for illicit activity, but Alexa can act as the first line of defense by listening for the sound of breaking glass through
Alexa Guard offers both a free version and a paid version. When enabled, it listens for the sounds of breaking glass, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and more. You can even use smart lights with
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