What Can Alexa Do? Amazon Echo Skills, Tips and Tricks
Alexa is one of the most popular smart home virtual assistant and it has found its way to a lot of households. If you are one of those who just got one or planning to have one, you came to the right place as through this article, we shall provide a more detailed guide with useful information about the mentioned technology.
What Can Alexa Do?
Alexa, as mentioned earlier is a smart voice assistant that has been developed by Amazon. It has the ability to do may types of tasks and works through simple voice commands. Through Alexa, you will be able to set alarms, reminders, play music, answer questions, search the internet and control other smart home devices. If you are bored, she could also tell you jokes, interesting facts and even play games. These are just examples of what Alexa could do which is only a small glimpse of the whole totality of Alexa’s capabilities.
Alexa could be triggered by a wake world or a default wake word which is its name followed by a command. For example – Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights.
Though there are a lot of third-parties which could be integrated with Alexa, there are some of Amazon’s creations that Alexa has special focus on compatibility with Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime Music, Audible and many more.
Alexa could be accessed through its house – Amazon’s Echo smart speakers. In fact, Echo and Alexa has become similar to each other. Echo has been called as Alexa instead of Echo. The difference between the two is that Alexa is a software while Echo is a device where Alexa could be accessed at.
What Is An Amazon Echo?
Amazon Echo is a hardware. It is actually a smart speaker and a smart display which is built specifically for Alexa. It comes with an built-in microphone, speaker and has the ability to access internet. It is a tool which you could communicate with Alexa.
Types of Amazon Echo Products
Amazon Echo – 4th Generation
This one is the original Alexa smart speaker’s fourth generation. It is powered by Dolby audio which ensures that it would provide you excellent surround sound quality. Its microphone is huge and it is more sensitive compared to its previous versions. This echo hub comes with an inclusion of built-in Zigbee hub which could give permission to Alexa to do tasks right away without having to go through third parties.
Echo Dot – 4th Generation
This one is a miniature version of Echo 4th generation. It is basic and value-oriented and it is 4th generation which is an improved version of the the 3rd gen. It comes with faster processor and fast response. Though that is the case, this one is a smaller version with the ability to handle the things that Echo could do.
This speaker is perfect for entry level users and it is perfect as an ideal gift.
Echo Flex is a simple one. It could be plugged into a wall and it has the ability to control your smart home through your voice commands. It could be used hands-free or through intercom. This Echo flex comes with USB port which allows you to charge your mobile devices and add accessories. Lastly, the Echo Flex is the most affordable option.
Echo studio is a premium device which provides audiophile-grade music listening experience and at the same time it is also a smart speaker. In fact, it has the same functionality as the regular Echo and Alexa. Though that is the case, this one, we could say provide five high- definition speakers and Dolby Atmos support.
This one is considered as a Smart Display. It could be utilized as something to view with. It also comes with countless features such as smart calendar/clock, digital photo album, cooking shows, culinary courses and many more. Its display comes with 5.5″ display.
Echo Auto – Alexa in Your Car
This Echo allows you to bring Alexa to your car. It operates through a USB port or 12V charging socket. It is compact and it comes with 8 microphones. It could also be connected to your speakers through Bluetooth.
Through Alexa, you will be able to enable new skills by teaching it a new skill. Here are some of the tasks that Alexa could do.
Spotify – You could actually connect Alexa to your Spotify account. You will be able to ask Echo device to play specific songs, albums, genre, playlists and podcasts.
Plex- You could also use Alexa with Plex Media Server. This skill has the ability to playback music directly from your Plex library. Alexa could also play specific genre, artist, album and custom playlists.
Sleep and Relaxation Sounds – If you are having some troubles sleeping. Alexa could provide you sounds of nature which could definitely help you relax, calm down and eventually sleep.
News and Weather
NPR – You could also listen to NPR through Alexa.
ESPN- for sports lovers, this channel is the best go to. Through Alexa, you could get to access hourly sports news updates. You could also listen to discussions from ESPN talk shows.
The Weather Channel – Through Alexa, you will be able to get reliable updates and weather forecasts. This includes temperature, humidity levels, rainfall statistics, UV levels and Air Quality Index.
Calendars, Scheduling and Productivity
You will also be able to integrate Alexa with calendars such as Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and Outlook. All you have to do is to open Alexa app and set up permissions on your phone.
Any.do – you could also access reminders and to-do lists or shopping lists.
Birthday Countdown – you could also use birthday countdown which allows you to track birthdays.
Alexa Calling – this skill allows Alexa to trigger phone calls, text messages and even playback music.
Announcements – you could make announcements and broadcast a message to all of your family members.
Drop In Feature – this is just like announcements but it connects to another Alexa enabled device which makes it work like an intercom.
Remember the built-in shopping list that was discussed previously? This skill allows Alexa to recommend gifts and load your Amazon shopping cart.
Best Buy -You could add products to your cart, check out products. It also allows you to locate stores and access special offers and discounts.
Popular Devices Alexa Could Control
Smart bulbs – Alexa could turn your lights on and off for you.
Smart Sockets – these are perfect for electronic devices which are not digital. If you left the power on the device and you were to plug it, it would turn on.
Video Doorbells and Cameras – You could also integrate Alexa which allows you to view you video feed from cameras and doorbells through simple voice commands.
Alexa allows you to chain together different Alexa commands. All you have to do is use a trigger phrase or trigger event. For example, turn the lights on and lock your smart door locks. You could even use Good Morning and Good Night Routines.
Funny Things to Try With Alexa
Alexa could be fun too. You could ask Alexa to speak like Yoda and even ask her to make a sandwich and definitely you would be getting funny replies. You could also have fun conversations with Alexa as well or if you wish ask it to tell you a joke or sing you a song.
We hope that through this article, you were able to find useful information which you could use as a guide on Alexa.