With “tens of millions” of people purchasing Amazon’s Echo (aka Alexa) over Christmas last year, those individuals got to experience what Amazon’s Echo can do for the first time.
These days it’s known as Alexa because the main function is the virtual assistant feature Amazon Echo has. Through this feature, you will be talking to a woman by the name of Alexa and you can begin to discover what she can do for you.
Below are a few things Alexa can do.
It makes sense to start with the basics right? By saying “Alexa, what can you do?” Alexa will go out of her way to tell you exactly what she is capable of. Below are but a few commonly used and simple features Alexa can do:
• Create reminders and alarms.
• Adding events to your calendar.
• Adding items to shopping lists or to-do lists.
• Checks the weather.
• Provides traffic info.
In order to configure that info, you’ll need the Alexa app, but from there you get access to a plethora of other things. If you purchase one, it’s a good idea to explore it more.
Playing With Skills
This is where Alexa truly shines and that is skilled. Skills are essentially apps that Alexa can perform. Today there are well over 25,000 voice apps that you can get for Alexa. Although some of them are pointless and/or silly like fart apps or listening to people sing with turkeys, there are some more practical skills as well.
By saying “Alexa, play [name of skill]” Alexa will go through with that skill and play it with no problem. If you aren’t interested in browsing through the store, you can also ask Alexa to help you get started by saying “Alexa, help me get started with skills.” From there, Alexa can recommend you some to try out.
Alexa is much like Siri in the sense that you can ask a question and Alexa can pull out information from sites like Wikipedia to answer any question that’s on your mind. Alexa is pretty smart for what she can do.
Any Prime members can place orders through Alexa along with reordering or cancel orders as well just by talking to her. Alexa retains recent purchases as well so you can always tell her to reorder something if you need it. For the longest time this feature was available for non-food items, but with Prime Now being integrated, Alexa can now accept orders placed through that too.
Access To Music, News, Or Audiobooks
Because Alexa is an Amazon product, you have access to streaming services like IHeartMusic, Amazon Music, and Spotify. As such you can get access to a variety of information and you can request Alexa anything.
Making Phone Calls And Sending Messages
Available to users in Mexico, Canada, and the US, Alexa can now make free phone calls to those areas. The only real limitation is that you can only make calls through numbers you’ve gotten through the Alexa app or any other Alexa-enabled device.
Also, it can’t send text messages directly but sends messages through the Alexa app. So you’ll have the same situation as calling.
Custom Voice Commands
This is where you can get very creative. The idea with this is when you utter a single phrase, Alexa does a variety of things. For example, saying “Alexa, I’m home” the lights can turn on and the news or music starts playing. You can also connect a variety of other skills to Alexa that can play during certain things as well.
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