Amazon Echo, commonly known simply as Alexa, is one of the best selling smart speakers in the world. The commands for controlling Alexa are fairly simple but there is always more to know about controlling Alexa. In this guide, we will be covering all the tips and tricks that make commanding and managing an Amazon Echo simple, easy, and effective.
1. Changing the Wake Word
Alexa may not be the most common name but the name was still in the top 100 of the most common names for baby girls in 2017 and 2018. Differentiating between the human Alexa and the AI Alexa will be horribly nerve-wracking, even the name Alexis can activate Alexa.
Thankfully Amazon allows the wake word for an Amazon Echo to be changed to Amazon, Computer, or Echo. We think Echo would be the best choice of these because the word echo is used far less than computer or Amazon, though some Star Trek and Dexter’s Lab fans would disagree.
In the Alexa app, go to Settings. Tap Device Settings in the menu. Choose the device, scroll down to Wake Word and choose the wake word that best suits you.
2. Play Music Simultaneously on Multiple Speakers
Being able to control the music that plays on multiple Echo speakers simultaneously throughout the home is an excellent feature included with the Amazon Echo.
In the Alexa app, go to the Devices tab in the bottom right corner. Tap the Plus/+ sign to add a group. Choose Add Multi-Room Music Speakers. Make a group name for these speakers and then choose the corresponding speakers you want to add to the group.
3. Turn on Request Sounds
Sometimes, when you’re far away from your Echo device and issue a command, Alexa may not always hear the wake word. A notification sound may be activated to sound whenever Alexa is activated.
To do this go to Settings. Tap Device Settings and choose the device you want. Once in device settings scroll down and tap Sounds. Once in the sound settings, scroll down to Request Sounds. Tap Start of Request. The sound may also be enabled at the end of a request as well.
4. Use Echo as an Intercom
If you have multiple Amazon Echos in your home you can use them as an intercom system. All you have to do is tell Alexa to drop in on a specific room. For example “Alexa drop in on kitchen” and whatever you say will be broadcasted to the corresponding room.
5. Activate Skills
Skills are voice activated functions and games that can be enabled on an Amazon Echo device via the Alexa app. Open the Alexa app and tap the 3 lines in the upper left corner of the screen. Tap the Skills & Games button and choose whichever skill you want to activate.
6. Enable Night Light
The light ring on the top of the Echo device may be used as a night light. Go to the Skills & Games section on the left menu in the Alexa app. Type night light in the search bar. Find the night light skill by labworks.io Ltd and tap ENABLE TO USE.
Once the skill is enabled, activate the night light by saying “Alexa, open night light” and state how long you want the night light on. For example “Alexa, open night light for 45 minutes.”
7. Create a Routine
Routines are a feature that allows Alexa to perform a specific function by being activated by voice, time of day, the location of the owner, and by a button on an Echo device.
To create a routine, open the Alexa app. Open the options menu by tapping the 3 lines in the upper left corner. Tap Routines and choose When this happens. After tapping “when this happens” choose how you want the routine to be activated.
After choosing how the routine will be activated, apply an action to the routine, for example, “Alexa, good night” and Alexa will play the song you’ve chosen to listen to before going to bed.
8. Connect to a Different Speaker
This can either be directly done via an aux cord or via Bluetooth. To connect an Amazon Echo device to a Bluetooth speaker open the left menu and tap Settings. Once in settings, tap Device Settings and choose which Echo device you’d like to pair.
After choosing which Echo device, tap Bluetooth Devices and tap PAIR A NEW DEVICE. Be sure that your Echo is in pairing mode and it will search for available devices. When the desired Bluetooth speaker is found, pair your Echo to the Bluetooth speaker.
9. Add Email & Calendar
Having Alexa access your calendars and email can be very useful if you want her to read your email to you or add an event to your calendar.
To link your calendar and email to your Alexa, go to the left menu by tapping the 3 lines in the upper left corner. Once in the menu, tap Settings, scroll down and tap Email & Calendar.
You can choose from connecting your Google email and calendar, Microsoft email and calendar, Apple calendar, and Microsoft Exchange calendar. Choose which one you’d like to connect. If you pick Google or Microsoft you can choose whether to connect both your email and calendar.
10. Set Default Music Player
Due to Amazon wanting to promote their own services, all Echo devices will be set to play Amazon music by default. Many other types of music players can be added as the default music player.
Open the left menu but tapping the 3 lines in the upper left corner of the Alexa app. Tap Settings and scroll down to Music. If you have not linked the music service you wish to set as default, first tap Link New Service. Choose the corresponding service you wish to link and enter the account credentials.
Tap Default Services. Once inside the default services menu, you can choose your default music library and default station. Choose whichever service you wish to use as default.
Writer and Product Tester
David has been a tech geek and avid gamer since he was young. In his free time, he enjoys reading, traveling, writing and of course gaming. His experience with tech brings an educated opinion to his writing.