The Multi Alexa Household: What’s Shared, What’s Specific To Each Device?

Many consumers find after purchasing their first Echo or Dot that they love Alexa so much, they’ve just got to have another Alexa device. Initially Amazon didn’t plan for this situation, but they’ve caught up with software updates that address the needs of the multi Alexa household. Now, if you own more than one Alexa device there are some functions and settings that are shared across all devices and some that remain tied only to one specific device.

 

Alexa Jealous

 

From Amazon’s help topic on this, as of 4/24/17:


If you have more than one Alexa device registered to your Amazon account, some of your content and settings are shared between the devices. In the Settings menu of the Alexa app, all of the content under the Account section is the same for all your Alexa devices, including:

– Music and media
– Household profiles
– Smart home devices
– Flash Briefing
– Shopping and To-do lists


Music & Media
This one means once you connect a given music or media account, such as a premium Spotify account or Audible account, you cannot limit it to one specific Alexa device. Every Alexa device that’s registered to your Amazon account will have access to that content.

Household Profiles
If you have more than one profile set up to use your Alexa devices, that other profile will have access to use all the Alexa devices registered to your Amazon account. For example, I have profiles set up for myself and my son, and each of us can switch to the other’s profile on any of the Alexa devices in our household: I cannot make any of the devices off-limits to his profile.

Smart Home Devices
When you connect smart home devices in the Alexa app, those devices become available to all the Alexa devices registered to your account. Think about this if you’re using security-sensitive smart home devices like smart locks, and have a Dot or Echo in the kids’ room.

Flash Briefing, Shopping & To-Do Lists
As of this writing, you only get one Flash Briefing, one shopping list and one to-do list per Amazon account, which means you only get one of each regardless of how many Alexa devices are registered to that Amazon account. These three items are all shared across all the Alexa devices registered to your Amazon account.


Some content is not common between devices on the same account, including:

– Alarms and timers
– Sounds
– Bluetooth connections

Note: At this time, you cannot customize which content is available on specific devices. For example, music, skills, shopping lists are available on all Alexa devices registered to the same account as the content.


Alarms & Timers, Sounds
Alarms and timers are set on individual Alexa devices, and will only go off on the device on which they were set. Along those same lines, custom ring tones you select are assigned to specific devices: changing the ring tone on one device will only change it for that one device.

Some Alexa device owners wish the alarm would sound on all the Alexa devices they own once a timer or alarm is set, so they don’t have to stick close to the device they used to set the alarm or timer, and maybe this will become an option in the future. For the time being, I think everyone in my household is pretty happy that when the alarm goes off on my bedroom Echo each morning at 5:45am none of our other Alexa devices make a peep.

Bluetooth Connections
This one’s important, and easy to forget about. Pairing a given speaker, set of headphones, tablet, cell phone or other item to an Alexa device via Bluetooth only pairs the item to that specific Alexa device. If you want the item to pair with all your Alexa devices, you’ll need to pair them individually. The good news is that once you’ve paired, the connection is generally remembered and will re-connect automatically as soon as the Bluetooth item comes within range of the Alexa device—so long as Bluetooth is enabled.

 

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