Amazon’s Echo was one of the hottest items this past Holiday season as all three of its iterations (Echo, Tap, Echo Dot) were in demand by consumers. Some just wanted to try out the hot new thing and some had some legitimate reasons for wanting a voice companion to their home.
I received an Echo Dot for Christmas and use it almost every day asking Alexa to read me the latest news or play some music from my Spotify playlist. Along with that, it can do much more such as make to-lists, get the latest weather forecasts, listen to audiobooks, play games, etc.
We’ve decided to compile a list of ten things that you can do with your Amazon Echo.
1. Change the wake word
When you first set up your Echo, the default wake word is “Alexa” but you could change it to “Echo” or “Computer” (for you Star Trek fans) if you have multiple devices in your home
2. Ask for new features
Amazon is constantly adding new features and functionality to it so you can get an update by asking “Alexa, what new features do you have?”
3. Play music
The Echo is able to play music from Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and radio stations from TuneIn. All you have to do is connect your accounts in the Alexa app on your phone and you’ll be able to play your Spotify playlists and Pandora stations.
4. Home automation
More and more people are starting to get into home automation especially with Google Home and iOS’s HomeKit. Echo is able to integrate and work with smart devices such as Belkin, WeMo, Ecobee, and the Philips Hue Lighting system. Amazon has a full list of smart devices that are compatible with Echo.
5. Get the latest news
Echo is able to read the latest news (you can add different sources like NPR and TechCrunch in the Alexa app), weather, sports scores, commute time (need to put in the start/end points in the Alexa app), and tell you the time. This is great if you want to get some information without having to pull out your phone or go to your computer.
6. Connect to IFTTT
You can open up a wider range of possibilities with IFTTT. Once you hook up the Echo to your account, you can use it trigger different things such as finding your phone (IFTTT will call your phone), controls smart home devices, add to to-do lists, and much more. This is a great feature if you already use IFTTT in your daily life.
7. Make the perfect cocktail
Want to play bartender? Ask Echo how to make certain drinks and it will walk you through it.
8. Order a pizza
Want to impress your friends? Order a pizza from Domino’s after you add that integration within the Alexa app. Domino’s likes to make ordering its pizza as easy as possible—and it doesn’t get much more convenient than this.
9. Workout with Alexa
If you are feeling guilty from the pizza, you can use Alexa to do the Seven Minute Workout skill to burn off some calories.
10. Call an Uber
Running late? You can use your Echo to call an Uber while you are getting ready. It will even let you know if surge pricing is in effect before you confirm the ride.