Welcome to LME’s 3/24/17 Alexa Fast Tips Friday. You may have heard some of these before, but hopefully, at least one will be totally new and helpful to you.
1. Play music by the year. I learned about this some time ago but was only recently reminded of it on an Amazon discussion board. You can ask Alexa to play music by the year if any of your music sources is from Amazon (Amazon Prime (Amazon UK customers click here), Amazon Music Unlimited (Amazon UK customers click here) or purchased Amazon Music (Amazon UK customers click here)). Just say, “[wake word], play music from [year].”
2. You can set multiple Alexa timers. Yup, you can set more than one timer. This is a huge help in the kitchen. Just ask, “[wake word], set timer for [number] minutes,” or “[wake word], set timer for [number] hours,” and Alexa will add each new timer to her queue. Ask, “[wake word], check timer,” to have Alexa tell you how much time remains on each timer you’ve set.
3. Using a smart plug will turn virtually any lamp into a “smart” lamp. Pick up a TP-Link smart plug (Amazon UK customers click here) and Alexa can control on and off for any lamp plugged into the smart plug. Leave the lamp switch in the “on” position, and use Alexa to turn the smart plug off and on.
4. Couples, families and other roommates who use the Alexa shopping list feature: put a reminder on the fridge, telling people to add things that run out to the Alexa shopping list. It’s easy to forget about this Alexa convenience in the moment when you’re rushing around the kitchen, cooking, cleaning or packing lunches. A simple sticky note on the fridge door may be all it takes to keep the Alexa shopping list up to date.
5. Alexa doesn’t do open-ended internet searches, but she DOES do Wikipedia searches. Many a new Alexa device owner has tried asking Alexa general questions in the same way they’d enter a search into a search engine, and when it didn’t work, assumed Alexa can’t answer factual questions at all. This is not true. There are many factual questions Alexa can answer when asked, and for answers requiring a little more detail or context, she can access Wikipedia. Just ask, “[wake word], Wikipedia [person, place, thing, event].”
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Curious about all the special music features Alexa can offer via Amazon’s music services? With the Try Amazon Music Unlimited: 30-Day Free Trial offer (Amazon UK customers click here), it’s easy to try Amazon Music Unlimited and see how it stacks up against competitors like Pandora and Spotify before you commit to an ongoing subscription. At $9.99/mo for a single membership, $14.99 for a household membership, $79/yr or $7.99/mo for Prime members and $3.99/mo for a single-device Alexa subscription, and with tens of millions of tracks available, AMU may be exactly the music streaming service you’re looking for.
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