What can Alexa do? How to get the most out of your Amazon Echo

What can Alexa do? How to get the most out of your Amazon Echo

Even if you don’t own a device Amazon Echoyou’ve almost certainly heard the name of her virtual voice assistant, Alexa. Alexa has become so ingrained in popular culture that she is regularly mentioned on late-night talk shows and on prime-time television.

Alexa is the software that runs at the heart of every Amazon Echo device, from the miniature speaker known as the Echo Dot to the large Echo Show 8 touchscreen, plus more unusual devices like the Echo Auto.

In fact, Alexa support is built into many smart home products from other companies as well. Facebook Portal + and Portal Go, for example, are primarily designed to allow Facebook Messenger video conversations, but they also have Alexa built in.

Here’s an overview of what Alexa can do and what devices you can find it on.

What can Alexa do?

Alexa is a “smart” virtual voice assistant, which means it understands your voice and answers questions and commands with its own voice.

Using simple commands in English (or about eight other languages ​​and half a dozen dialects for non-English speakers) you can ask Alexa to perform a large number of common household chores such as setting timers, telling the time, reading weather and news. intelligently control home devices, play music and tell jokes. Additionally, you can ask Alexa knowledge-based questions she will search online.

To get Alexa’s attention, you must prefix any question or command with the “wake word”, which by default is “Alexa”, but can be one of many other options including “computer”, “Amazon” or “Echo.” “.

A large number of other smart products integrate with Alexa, which means you can send them commands using your voice.

What can the Amazon Echo do?

In the Amazon Echo family of devices, primarily smart speakers and displays, Alexa is the voice interface you primarily use to control it.

Echo Dot (4th generation)

While the Amazon Echo was the first Alexa-powered speaker, the miniature Echo Dot is generally more common because it’s cheaper and has a smaller footprint, but does the same thing as the larger Echo. The third-generation Echo Dot in the shape of a hockey puck has been replaced by a fabric-covered globe in the fourth-generation model.

Amazon Echo Dot 4th generation

Regardless of its size and shape, the Echo Dot is almost exactly the same as the larger Echo; Alexa has the same features and capabilities. The only real difference is that the Echo Dot doesn’t offer the same sound quality, as the Echo has larger audio drivers for better music playback.

Eco Flex

For people who want the ability to control Alexa but don’t need high quality audio for playing music in a particular room, Echo Flex it is an affordable device that can meet this need in an economical way. It’s a small device that plugs into an electrical outlet, similar to a plug-in air freshener. It has a microphone to process voice commands and a very small speaker to respond, as well as a USB input for charging a mobile device.

There have been rumors going on in the industry that Amazon is discontinuing the Echo Flex and it hasn’t been available on Amazon in some time. The Echo Dot is likely to replace Flex as an entry-level Echo device.

Echo Studio

While the Echo and Echo Dot are the smart speakers most people turn to, depending on the size of your room and the kind of audio quality you want, the Echo Studio is Amazon’s high-end smart speaker with audio components. premium. It features five full-range speakers and supports Dolby Atmos 3D audio that can simulate surround sound.

Amazon Echo Studio sidetable

Like the other Echo speakers, the Echo Studio offers no additional features over the standard Echo aside from improved audio quality. For the best audio quality, however, it can be paired with a standalone wireless subwoofer.

Eco Show

Unlike Echo devices, the Echo Show they are smart displays: they combine Alexa software with a touchscreen display and sit on a counter or desktop. This means that the Echo Show (available in a number of sizes from five inches to 15 inches) is optimized for tasks like viewing photo slideshows, playing video, and conducting video calls. The Echo Show 5, for example, is a good size for the kitchen, where it can help with meals by playing cooking videos.

An Amazon Echo Show, which shows the time.

The Echo Show has a handful of smart features not found in other devices. Setup is easier, for example, because you can do all the initial setup on the touchscreen and not use the Alexa mobile app. And the Echo Show 10 is mounted on a motorized stand that allows the display to rotate to follow you around the room during a video call.

Echo Auto

As the name suggests, Echo Auto adds Alexa to your car. It is a small and slim rectangular gadget with built-in microphones designed to hear voice commands while driving despite the noise of the road and the car. It connects to your car’s audio system via an AUX or Bluetooth cable and receives power from the car’s cigarette lighter socket. Finally, it connects to the internet via a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone.

Echo Auto, Lifestyle 1

This allows you to send questions and commands to Alexa while driving. You get the same standard features as an Echo speaker at home, including the ability to remotely use smart devices at home from the street.

Apps, services, and products that work with Alexa

As mentioned earlier in the article, Alexa works with a number of apps, services, and other products. Amazon has created a huge platform for Alexa that allows Alexa-based products to be at the heart of almost any smart home.

According to Statista, by 2020 there were over 100,000 products bearing the “Works with Alexa” logo. Common products include smart lights, smart alarm systems and locks, smart kitchen appliances, TVs, speaker systems, and more. Likewise, Alexa integrates with services like music streaming apps – Spotify and Pandora are two obvious examples.

Additionally, third-party companies and developers are able to create custom Alexa skills. Users can easily enable these skills, while also adding them to Alexa’s feature set. There are over 100,000 of these additional skills.

With so many ways to use Alexa, no two people can have the same virtual assistant experience. Common commands include:

  • Alexa, wake me up at 7:00 tomorrow.
  • Alexa, tell me the news.
  • Alexa, set a 30 minute timer.
  • Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?
  • Alexa, play the Beatles.
  • Alexa, what’s the weather like?
  • Alexa, tell me a joke.

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