Whether you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Spot, Dot, Tap, Show, Input, or any of the myriad devices that currently work with Alexa, there are lots of things you can ask your virtual assistant to do for you. And while you likely already know that the assistant can read a couple lines of a Wikipedia entry, we doubt you’ve discovered everything it’s currently capable of doing. To help enlighten you, we’ve compiled a list of the top Echo tips and tricks to help you make the most of Amazon’s Alexa.
Once you’ve got your Alexa device up and running on your Wi-Fi network, there are still a few more things you might want to do before diving in, either using echo.amazon.com or the accompanying mobile app for iOS or Android. First off, if your name is Alexa or something similar (like Alexis), you’ll definitely want to change the “wake” word for the device. To do so, choose your device under the Settings tab online or in the app and select your desired wake word, which can be “Amazon,” “Echo,” “Alexa,” or “Computer.”
If multiple people in your home have Amazon accounts, you can create separate profiles for them in your Alexa household profile. To do so, select Settings in your Alexa app, Alexa Account, and then Amazon Household and follow the on-screen directions. Every profile will need access to their own account to do this.
With more than one account on your Echo, you can not only share content like music and movies, you can also collaborate on shopping lists, to-do lists, and calendars. If you can’t remember whose account is logged in, ask “Alexa, which profile am I using?” To switch to your own, say “Alexa, switch profile.” It’s that easy.
A word of warning, though: You can only have one payment method per household, so adding another accounts means you are authorizing them to use it. Child profiles and/or a password for purchases can help.
If your significant other has drastically different taste in music than you, fear not: Alexa can also recognize your voice and play songs from your very own playlist. You’ll want to make sure to set up a voice profile, which entails completing a series of prompts. After you set that up, Alexa will recognize your voice across all your Alexa-enabled devices.
There are a number of third-party developers who have created skills for Alexa, including games, quizzes, and fitness routines. We’ve compiled a list of Alexa’s most useful Skills in case you’re looking to add oomph to what your virtual assistant can do.
Previously, if you wanted to add a new skill, you had to do so manually. Thankfully, you can now easily add a new skill with just your voice. If you’d like to learn how to be a mixologist in your spare time, for example, you can simply say, “Alexa, enable.” With more than 10,000 recipes to choose from, you’ll be a professional barkeep in no time.
You can create your own skills using Alexa Skills Blueprints. You can do things like create your own quizzes, game shows, or leave directions for your pet sitter or baby sitter. You can even publish the skills you create to the Alexa skills store upon approval, and other Alexa users can use your skills and give them a rating.
And if you ask Alexa something embarrassing, you can delete individual recordings by going to Settings and History in the app. To delete a recording, select it and click Delete voice recordings. If you want everything gone, go to www.amazon.com/myx, choose Your Devices, click on your device, hit Manage Voice Recordings, and delete them.