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10 things we didn’t know your Amazon Echo could do


Did we only uncover a shiny, new Amazon Echo device? Or maybe we already have one and you’re removing a small sleepy only streaming unconstrained hours of holiday music.

You competence already know that Alexa can modify teaspoons to tablespoons, time a food we put in a oven and tell jokes we can repeat during work. But the digital partner in Amazon’s Echo speakers is able of so most more. It now has some-more than 25,000 skills during a prepared — all from grouping a pizza to engagement a vacation.

Feed a dog

Okay, Alexa can’t indeed feed Fido for you. But Alexa does bond to intelligent dog feeders like Furbo or Petnet, so we can tell it to plate out a treats while you’re stranded in trade or regulating a kids around to propagandize stuff. If we occur to have a Link AKC intelligent collar, Alexa can even tell we how most practice your changed pooch has gotten today.

Just with Alexa alone, though, we can capacitate The Dog Feeder ability and say, “Alexa, ask a dog if we fed her.” Alexa will tell we when she final ate and ask if we devise to feed her. Say, “Yes.” Or “No.” That’s how a app knows when a dog was final fed, so we have to set it adult like this from a start. It’s a small awkward, yet this is a good ability if your dog is a designer during creation everybody trust she hasn’t been fed yet.

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Order cooking and span a good wine

Alexa also orders cooking for your tellurian family from skills like GrubHub, Amazon Restaurants, Domino’s, and Pizza Hut. Add in a MySomm ability and it turns Alexa into Wine Gal, your personal booze sommelier that can give we booze recommendations for your meals. Enable a ability by a app or online and afterwards say, “Alexa, ask Wine Gal to suggest a booze for pumpkin pie.” (It’s a holidays — don’t judge.)

Help we stay on a diet

As shortly as a holidays are over though, this ability competence be your new BFF.  More pie? Pasta? Beer? Wine? Whatever you’re craving, this is a impulse when a few disproportion of support can make a difference. Enable a Talk Me Down ability and say, “Alexa, speak me down.” She’ll afterwards contend one of 31 canned phrases like, “Don’t give in to weakness,” “Fight for yourself. Defend your future.” Or, after when those cookie cravings come job again, “You’re stronger than this. You’re smarter than this. You’re improved than this.” Genius.

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Whip we into shape

Alexa can authority we to exercise, too, with one of some-more than 30 fitness-related skills. My favorites are a 5-Minute Plank Workout, that gives we 6 sets of core several lumber exercises with brief rests in between. After we capacitate a skill, only contend “Alexa, start five-minute plank,” and you’re off. we also unequivocally like a Five Minute Workout: Core and Cardio, for brief blasts of practice via a day, and a 7-minute-workout skill. If we say, “Alexa, start 7-minute workout,” Alexa suggests tip rated exercises formed on several flesh groups. She also helps with yoga, guided meditation, and can now confederate with Fitbit too.

Tell a personalized bedtime story

If we keep descending defunct reading “Goodnight Moon” prolonged before your child even lets out his initial yawn, let Alexa take over with a bedtime story. To unequivocally get this one going, you’ll have to register with a BedtimeWeb site, select a stories we wish Alexa to review (or write your own!) and set adult a name. After that, capacitate a skill, and say, “Alexa, tell a bedtime story to Anthony.” Then we can keep sawing logs and shortly he will be, too.

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Wake we adult to your favorite tunes

Stop waking adult to a same aged blaring-alarm calamity noise. Just ask Alexa to collect some song from your favorite rope and play that as your alarm. This is super easy. Just say, “Alexa set an alarm to “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar during 6am.

Less apparent ways to use this? Practical jokes! Tell Alexa, in advance, to play song to symbol a start of task hour, cooking time, or only to incidentally start personification song when we know someone will be there to wonder, “What a ….”

Check in on mom

If your mom has an Echo device too, this one is awesome. Just say, “Drop in on Mom,” and Alexa will open a review channel, so we can discuss with any other as if she were in a room with you. Or during slightest discuss like she had a orator phone/walkie talkie in her room and we had a same thing in yours. Thankfully, we have to do a small set adult initial for this to work. Because suppose if anyone could dump in on your vital room whenever they wanted.

In a Alexa app on your phone, daub a speak burble idol and daub a chairman idol during a tip of a shade that brings we to your possess profile. Tap on “My Profile.” Under Drop In, we can see if this underline is enabled. If it’s not (it isn’t by default) daub a slider bar to a right so that it turns blue. (Get Mom to do this, too.) The go to your list of contacts and find Mom’s listing. Tap on that. There is another slider bar that says if this hit can dump in on you. Tap it so it turns blue. You can select that of your Amazon Echo inclination can do this so if we have one in a lavatory that we wish to keep private, be certain and check that now.

Get flights. Fast.

Enable a Kayak ability and say, “Alexa, ask Kayak to book a moody to Acapulco.” Or, if we have to hang to a budget, “Alexa, ask Kayak where we can go for $600.” It’s quick and easy and will get we out a doorway and on a vacation before we know it. The ability is good and works with some transport agents and journey lines, too.

Call for a car

Once we have your bags packed, you’ll need a float to a airport, right? If we enabled a Lyft ability on Alexa, and connected your Lyft account, it can do this for you. Just say, “Alexa, call me a Lyft.” The Lyft motorist will know where we are, have your remuneration already, and come get you. This is also a good approach to offer an aged primogenitor or a teen who is mostly home alone, a approach to get out on your dime.

Play games

Say, “Alexa, open Heads Up” and start personification a renouned guessing diversion right with Alexa. Try to theory a word on Alexa’s “card” formed on clues, only like we do IRL. This can get a small delayed if you’re personification with a organisation of people, generally if one happens to scream a lot louder than others. You can also play a garland of other games — like Jeopardy, Teen Jeopardy – all kinds of fun stuff.

Okay,  for a other 24,990 Alexa skills,  go to Amazon Alexa Skills, or only ask, “Alexa, what are your tip skills?”  Integrating calendars, grouping groceries and regulating Alexa to control your whole intelligent home are flattering great, too.

Jennifer Jolly is an Emmy Award-winning consumer tech writer and horde of USA TODAY’s digital video uncover TECH NOW. E-mail her during jj@techish.com. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferJolly.

Article source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/2017/12/25/10-things-you-didnt-know-your-amazon-echo-could-do/971951001/