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Top 5 Alexa Tips And Tricks Of 2016

By Monica U Santos , Dec 28, 2016 04:32 AM EST
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Amazon's Alexa has really grown a lot this year, in both the number of devices the smart home assistant powers and in what she's capable of. (Photo : Tested / YouTube Screenshot)

Amazon's Alexa great performance and reviews give people a hint to buy it. Many people are having fun using it and they said Alexa is very reliable.

What Is Alexa?

Alexa, named after the ancient library of Alexandria, is Amazon’s intellectual voice control system. As described by the Wire Cutter, Alexa can respond to voice commands from almost anywhere within earshot. And there’s no activation button to press. Simply say the trigger word (either “Alexa,” “Echo,” or “Amazon”) followed by what you want to happen, and it will be done.

Just like Apple's Siri, using Alexa feels much more natural and responsive than speaking to a phone-based voice assistant. An Amazon Echo answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service.

Top 5 Alexa Tips And Tricks Of 2016

Aside from the voice services of Amazon Echo, Alexa can also be controlled by the Amazon Tap and Amazon Echo Dot. If you own one of these gadgets, you probably know the basics by now, at least. Here are ten ways to get the most from your virtual, voice-powered assistant, the Alexa.

Listen To News And Podcast

According to Computer World, Alexa is probably best known for its music acumen and can sing tunes from a variety of sources, but it can also serve up podcasts. This is possible because of TuneIn, a service that's place not only to live radio stations but also to a large library of podcasts.

Alexa delivers the news to you via short audio snippets from your favorite new report sources. CNET said it will give you the weather forecast for your location, a traffic update for your commute to work and some news depending on your customized feeds.

Make Your Audio Book

The good news is Alexa can read the text of any book in your Kindle library. It can also pick up wherever you left off, which is nice if you stopped reading at bedtime and want to resume reading the book. Just say, "Alexa, read the Kindle book [Title of Book]."

The bad news is, although the reading abilities of Alexa is decent, for now, it's no substitute for professional narration. Fortunately, if you own the audiobook version of that same title, you can play that instead. Just change the phrasing: "Alexa, read the audiobook [Title of Book]."

Set Your Default Music Provider

If you ask Alexa to play a music, it defaults to Amazon's own Prime Music library. If you're a subscriber to another music provider, such as Spotify, iHeartRadio or Pandora, you might prefer to make that the default service. To set it up, do the following steps:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone or tablet.
  2. Tap the Menu button in the upper-left corner, then tap Settings.
  3. Scroll down to the Account section and tap Music & Media.
  4. Tap Choose default music services. Under Default music library, tap the pull-down and choose Spotify or Amazon Music (or under Default station service, choose Amazon Music, iHeartRadio or Pandora). Then tap Done, then Done again.

Find Your Phone

If you sign up for TrackR, you can simply ask Alexa to make your phone ring so you can locate it. Tell Alexa to find your phone, say "Alexa, trigger find my phone" to have her call you.

You can also use the online service IFTTT to call yourself using Alexa. If you are an Android user, you can tell Alexa to have IFTTT set the volume to max and call or play music to help you find your phone.

 

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