Here are some helpful tips and tricks for your Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices: handy features you may not be aware of.
Reset Your Echo
If your Echo’s acting weird and turning it off and back on isn’t doing the trick, try a reset. There’s a tiny reset button at the bottom, in the well where the A/C power cord plugs in. Click here for Amazon’s help page with full instructions.
Change Your Alexa-Enabled Device Settings, Or Start Audio, On The Go
Many consumers aren’t in the habit of using the Alexa mobile app, but it can be pretty handy. It’s also great for remotely turning on music to surprise a loved one or colleague, keep pets company, or as a prank. Download the free Alexa app for mobile devices (Android, iOS and Fire OS versions available) or access the web app at http://alexa.amazon.com.
Make Alexa Stop Listening
If your chosen wake word is likely to be spoken a lot for some reason, such as while watching a movie in the same room as your Echo or when hosting a guest named “Alexa”, you can temporarily mute Alexa’s microphones by pressing the mute button on top of the Echo. It looks like a microphone with a line through it. The top ring will show red while mute is in effect, to remind you to press the button again when mute is no longer needed.
Learn What’s In The Latest Software Update
Amazon maintains a page called Alexa Device Software Updates and that’s where all software version numbers and contents are listed. This is the place to go if it seems like something’s different with your Alexa-enabled device, but you’re not quite sure what. You can verify your own device’s software version in the Alexa app (Settings > Device > Device software version).
Force A Software Update
Software updates are rolled out to Alexa-enabled devices automatically, but since it’s usually done in batches there can sometimes be a lag between the release of a new version and your device receiving the update. If you’ve compared your device’s software version number to the one on the Software Updates page and found a mismatch, you can force your Echo to update by pressing the mute button and leaving the Echo in mute mode for 30 minutes.
Let Alexa Do Math For You
Alexa can answer math questions and do conversion calculations. Try requests like these:
Alexa, two thousand seven hundred eighty three (2,783) divided by eight.
Alexa, two point three seven five (2.375) times sixteen.
Alexa, convert 16 inches to centimeters.
Alexa, convert 3 cups to milliliters.
Alexa, convert 32 Celsius to Fahrenheit.
Alexa, how many kilometers in thirty five miles?
Let Alexa Do Cooking Conversions
Alexa’s great at helping out in the kitchen, too. Try requests like these:
Alexa, how many teaspoons in a tablespoon?
Alexa, how many tablespoons in eight teaspoons?
Alexa, how many pints in a gallon?
Alexa, how many cups in three quarts?
Listen to the Radio
Alexa has access to radio stations all around the world, thanks to TuneIn integration for streaming across the internet. There’s no skill to enable, just ask:
Alexa, play [radio station call letters].
Note that not all radio stations have internet streaming set up, but most of the majors do. This means it’s no problem to tune in to a favorite station from another city, state, or even country! You must request the station by its call letters however, NOT by its number on the radio dial.
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