Amazon Echo is one of the coolest new gadgets to hit the stores lately. Recently on the Amazon Prime day many of the people bought Amazon Echo as the prices were quite reasonable. However once they have it in their homes, they took a little advantage out of it other than asking it silly question and enjoying the fun responses from it.

According to Amazon, Amazon Echo as around 3000 varied functionalities. For full functionality details you can look up its manual or read online on their website. However here we are sharing top 10 uses of Amazon Echo that can help you to a great extend in your everyday life. I am sure you can make use of many of these features even if not all.

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Turn the lights on/off

There will be no more fighting about who is going to turn off the lights before going to sleep. You can tell Alexa to do the work using the Amazon Echo. But you must own the Samsung Hue lights. Of course the functionality is increasing to include other lights too but until then, own the Samsung Hue lights and make your life very convenient.

Listen to the morning news

No more pouring over the newspaper. You do not even need to go through the news websites. Now you can tune Alexa to tell you all the morning news. Just say the magic words “Alexa read me the news” and Alexa will read to you all the news. You can set up the news sources for Alexa. The bulletin by Alexa finishes with weather report.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Another helpful feature is when install the Guardian Skill. Alexa can read full at articles ill. Once you have this App, the articles on Guardian will all be just a phrase away.

Work out sessions planned by Alexa

If you need a lot of motivation to go to work out, Alexa is the answer to all your laziness. You can have a workout session planned with the Amazon Gadget and have it run over and over again. Alexa will have a round of exercises ready for you that you can then practice the number of times it will tell you to. If you do not know what the exercises that Alexa has called out are, look them up in your phone first and then run Alexa for workout again. It is sometimes even better than having a live instructor because you do not feel ashamed about the number of times you fail.

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Find your smart phone

Okay this is extremely useful. How many times do you just forget where you placed your smart phone. Now you are looking everywhere and you are getting really late from your work, class etc but you cannot find the mobile phone. Here is where Echo will swoop into help. For such situations you must have an app TrackR Account and say Alexa Find my phone. This will result in Alexa making your phone buzz at a full volume even if it was on silent. Now how useful is that.

Set Spotify as the default music playing app

You could have had Alexa to play your music from Spotify earlier too but it was not the default music player. The default one was Amazon Music and it had a very limited amount of music library. Now you have Spotify as your default music library. In order to set it as a default library just open the Alexa app, and go to the settings. Than go to music and media and there select the Spotify option as the default music service. Now you can play music by saying “Alexa, play Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen” instead of saying “Alexa, play Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen on Spotify” using the amazon music was also quite annoying because many of the songs you wanted to play were not on the list but with Spotify you do not need to worry about this.

Smart shopping with Alexa on Amazon Echo

Alexa can tell you about exclusive deals that are available on Amazon prime. You just need to say “Alexa, what are your deals?” and the cool speaker will tell you about all the deals that are available for amazon prime members. However there is more to it too. If you have synched you Amazon account with Alexa and you payment methods, you can ask Alexa to place an order for you too. Shopping has never been this easier.

Prevent accidental purchases using a security code

As you have just seen buying stuff is really very easy on Alexa. So in order to avoid that you can put a code on it to avoid accidental purchases. Now Alexa will not make any purchase unless you give it a code. This will also prevent kids or other unauthorized people to make any purchases from your Amazon Echo. In order to set the code go to voice purchasing. Add the option of 4 digit code and enter the code. Here is a complete Amazon guide to do this.

Read audio books with Echo

This is really interesting and soothing feature. If you have the app Audible and also books downloaded in your Audible library, then you can ask Alexa to read them to you and you just relax and enjoy the story.

Here is how you can do that.

  • Alexa, play audiobook Animal Farm. (If you have a copy of George Orwell’s Animal Farm in your library, it’ll play. Swap for any book you have in your library.)
  • Alexa, resume my book. (Whatever book you were last listening to—probably Animal Farm—Alexa will resume it for you with this command.)
  • Alexa, go back. Alexa, go forward. (If you want to go forward or back in the book by 30 seconds, these commands will do that for you.)
  • Alexa, stop reading the book in 30 minutes. (This will set a sleep timer and the book will stop after 30 minutes, or whatever amount of time you specify.)

However the fun does not stop here. There are many other interesting audible commands too that you can find over here. 

It can also read Wikipedia articles for you. Here is how you can do that

  • Alexa, wikipedia Lifehacker. (You can also say wiki if you prefer, but I find the full name less cumbersome to speak aloud. Either option will give you a short description of whatever topic you asked for.)
  • Alexa, read more from Wikipedia. (She’ll tell you to say this if you want to know more about a topic you requested, but I’m telling you in advance.)

So yeah you can have a full time bedtime story teller that can read to you any number of times you want.

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Make Amazon Echo your kitchen assistant

Okay so now for every small thing you need not to call your mom or to log on to the internet. Alexa through Amazon Echo can be a great virtual assistant. You can ask it for normal everyday questions that usually stump you while you are busy cooking in the kitchens. It can tell you little important things like these

  • Alexa, how many cups are in a quart?
  • Alexa, how many tablespoons are in a stick of butter?
  • Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes.

It can also read to you from the ultimate lazy cooks cookbook, Dump Dinners: The Absolute Best Dump Dinners Cookbook with 75 Amazingly Easy Recipes. So even if you are not a good cook, with the help of Amazon Echo and Alexa you can make a dinner.

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Get new features update

Now you do not need emails to know about the new features. Just ask Alexa nicely and politely that

Alexa, what new features do you have?

She will surely have answer to that because whenever Amazon adds even smallest of features it updates information about it in Alexa. So Alexa will have updated information about it.

So were 10 great ways in which you can use your Amazon Echo. However this is definitely not an exhausting list. There are so many more things that you can do with Amazon Echo. Do check out the amazon page for more detailed features about Alexa and Amazon Echo.

Currently there is a mad rush among the tech giants to develop the best and most reliable virtual assistant. So you can be assured that Alexa will be updated regularly and there will be more and more features added to it all the time.

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So do you have Amazon Echo or any other smart home device? If yes then what is your experience with it. Let us know by commenting below.

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Zahra Hassan
A passionate blogger with a penchant to write on almost any topic under the sun. After completing her Software Engineering from FAST University she pursues her passion for writing. Apart from writing on hardware and software, Zahra loves to help newbies in the field of blogging. She shares her expertise in Blogging and SEO with them.

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