What can’t it do? The top Amazon Echo tips and tricks to use around the house

From the kitchen to the bedroom, virtual assistants can do a lot of cool things

Amazon Echo Plus review aux plugged in
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Whether you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Spot, Dot, Tap, Show, or any of the myriad devices that currently work with Alexa, there are lots of things you can ask your virtual assistant to do. 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. Such being the case, we’ve compiled a list of the top Echo tips and tricks to help you make the most of Amazon’s Alexa.

Setup

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, 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.”

Smart home bundles

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 directions on-screen. 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 musical tastes 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 oomph up 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 The Bartender skill.” With more than 10,000 recipes to choose from, you’ll be a professional barkeep in no time.

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.

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