4/21/17 Alexa Fast Tips Friday

Welcome to LME’s 4/21/17 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.


Allergy Season


First – a brief follow up to Wednesday’s post about stopping Amazon seller emails. Note that from the time you change your communication preferences it may take a few days for the changes to take effect across all of Amazon’s servers. Also note that even after you opt out sellers are allowed to contact you for truly important things like product recalls and unexpected backorders. Some sellers will abuse that system and use it to send more unwanted email. If they do, please report it to Amazon because it’s against the rules, but Amazon has no way of knowing it’s happening if you don’t tell them.

Now, on to the tips!


1. Alexa can help students with some advanced math functions.

For exponents try queries like:
“[wake word], what is [number] to the [number] power?”
“[wake word], what is the square root of [number]?”
“[wake word], what is the cube root of [number]?”

For factoring try:
“[wake word], what are the factors of [number]?”
“[wake word], what is [number] factorial?”
“[wake word], what is the lowest common multiple of [number] and [number]?”
“[wake word], what is the highest common factor of [number] and [number]?”


2. Don’t forget to use the Alexa sleep timer function—it’s not just for music!
This is one that even *I* regularly forget is a thing. It doesn’t matter what audio is playing when you lie down to snooze: Alexa can set a sleep timer to stop music, an audiobook, a podcast, streaming radio, or a Kindle book Text to Speech reading. Just start your audio, then say, “[wake word], set a sleep timer for [number] minutes.” When time’s up, Alexa stops playback.


3. In a surprising twist, Alexa now supports Google’s Gsuite calendar—even though Google Home doesn’t yet.
You can now connect a Gsuite calendar just the same as any other, previously supported calendar and get all the same Alexa commands and functions as for other calendar services. Go to Settings > Calendar in the Alexa app to set it up.


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