The Amazon Echo is a great device, there is no doubt about it. While Alexa’s plethora of commands and compatibility with a variety of smart devices make it even better, there are certain hidden features and tricks in Alexa’s smart speaker that you may not be aware of. So, here are 7 Amazon Echo tricks that you should definitely try on your Amazon Echo, Tap or Echo Dot device :
1. Use echo outside the USA
As beautiful as Amazon Echo is, it is a pity that it is not available anywhere other than the USA and the United Kingdom (at least so far …). However, if you just can’t wait for Amazon to release the Alexa powered smart speaker in your country, you can change the location for your city and country, too. This requires a certain amount of tweaking in the API, but it’s not a lot of work. If you want to change the location on your Echo device, read our detailed article about this.
2. Sort skills by release date
If you enter the Skills section of the Alexa app, you will find that there is no way to classify skills (almost 3,000). However, if you want to sort the skills by, say, the release date, you can easily do that using a simple solution.
- Simply go to Skills section in the Alexa app (you can also access it at alexa.amazon.com on your laptop) and look for «Skills».
- The application will display all available skills and you can sort the results by «Release date of» and much more.
3. View command history
Let me just say that I am absolutely impressed by the accuracy of Alexa’s recognition on Amazon Echo. It is incredibly accurate and listens to my commands correctly (almost) all the time. However, as with every piece of technology, there are problems, and sometimes Echo doesn’t respond exactly as you would expect. In such cases, there is an easy way to see exactly what Alexa heard when you issued the command.
- Simply go to Settings -> History . Here you can see everything Echo heard and what he recognized in his speech. You can even reproduce recording what you said to Alexa, or delete the recording completely.
4. Force software updates
Amazon Echo updates automatically whenever you have time to do it, however, if you don’t always keep it connected to the internet, or use it so often that it doesn’t have enough time to update, chances are it’s still running old software.
- You can check the current version of the software on your Alexa device by going to » Settings -> Your Echo «.
- Here, scroll down and you will see the “ device software version ”Writing.
- To check the latest version of the software available for your device, you can go to the Amazon help page.
- If you are running old software on your Amazon Echo, you can simply silence the device and leave it like that for 30 minutes, to force you to update.
5. Configure the content of the Briefing Flash
Alexa ensures that you are up to date on the weather and the latest news every day through a Flash Briefing, which can be activated by saying a command like “ Alexa, what’s up? “. However, if the content that Amazon Echo reports in your Flash Briefing is not important (or useful) enough for you, there is an easy way to set it up.
- Go to Settings -> Flash Briefing, and you’ll see a list of all the sources that Amazon Echo uses for Flash Briefing. You can simply switch the switches next to each source to the position on / off of according to your will. There are also many other skills that work with Flash Briefing, and you can also activate them to add some content daily Flash Briefing.
6. Short commands
While it may seem more natural to say things like “ Alexa, add take the trash to my to-do list ”, Or“ Alexa, how is the weather? “There are situations when you don’t have time to say the whole sentence and just want to schedule things or get information in a hurry. Fortunately, Amazon Echo can also understand short commands. So, the next time you want to add “take the trash” to your to-do list, simply say “ Alexa, take the trash ”, And Alexa will add it to your to-do list. Likewise, for weather updates, you can simply say “ Alexa, weather ”And Echo understands that you are really requesting an update on the weather.
These short commands are extremely useful when you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, and you just want Alexa to do the job, without having to speak the entire command.
7. Teach new responses from Alexa
If you’re using Amazon Echo, you probably want Alexa to respond to custom commands as well. Fortunately, you can! Using a skill called «Everyone Around «, you can create custom commands for Alexa and have him respond to them the way you want.
Note : The real name of the skill is « Teach new Alexa answers – Prank your friends «, but I used your» invocation phrase «for clarity.
- Just activate the skill by saying «Alexa, enable all to around «.
- You will need to set up personalized phrases and responses in a web application. To do this, say » Alexa, open Everyone Around «and you will receive an email with the link that you can use to create personalized responses for your Amazon Echo device. After setting them up, you can start using them right away.
There are many other useful and fun skills for Amazon Echo, and you should definitely check them out.
Use these tricks to get the most out of Alexa
Well, those were the 7 Amazon Echo tricks that we really liked. You should definitely test them with your Amazon Echo, Tap or Echo Dot devices. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on these tricks and your experience with Amazon Echo as a whole. Also, if you know of a great Alexa trick that we didn’t include in this article, let us know in the comments section below.