Welcome to LME’s 3/10/17 Alexa Fast Tips Friday. Hopefully, at least one of them will be something you’ve never heard before.
1. Use Alexa on your Dot or Echo to set a wake-up alarm only you will hear. I mentioned this one in passing in Wednesday’s post, but you may have missed it. Now that both Dot and Echo can pipe their audio to a Bluetooth speaker, and some very small Bluetooth speakers are available, you can get Alexa to literally play the alarm right in your ear. Here’s the how-to:
b. Set your wake-up alarm on a Dot or Echo that’s within Bluetooth range of your pillow.
c. Pair the Dot or Echo to the Bluetooth speaker.
d. Plug the Bluetooth speaker into an outlet so it will be powered all night, then tuck it into or under your pillow.
e. Test it by asking (the paired Dot or Echo), “[wake word], check alarm.” Alexa’s confirmation message should come through the speaker in your pillow. And when the alarm goes off in the morning, only you should hear it.
2. Did you know Alexa’s native functionality includes dictionary and spelling features? Just ask, “[wake word], what is the definition of the word [word]?” or “[wake word], how do you spell the word [word]?”.
3. Thanks to IMDB integration, Alexa can give you the current average IMDB review rating of any movie that has a review rating on IMDB. This can be a big help when you’re trying to decide between a few streaming movie possibilities. Ask, “[wake word], is the movie [movie title] good?” Remember that if there’s more than one movie with the same name, or if there’s been a remake, Alexa may not select the correct version.
4. Counting calories? Alexa can help. Ask, “[wake word]”, how many calories are there in [food item]?” This won’t work for every possible food item in the world, but she’s got the basics covered. She can tell you how many calories there are in an egg, a potato, cup of rice, can of Coke, Hershey bar, or cup of coffee, for example. She can give you the carb count for quite a few common foods too.
5. There is a web version of the Alexa app you can access in a browser. Apologies to those for whom this is old news, but I provide this tip at least once a week to someone who can’t access the mobile app for some reason, so it must be unknown to a lot of people. You can access the Alexa app online at http://alexa.amazon.com in the US or http://alexa.amazon.co.uk in the UK.
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