Fast Tips Friday: How to get sports information from Alexa

Post published 6/21/19 - Most Alexa device owners already know Alexa can answer some basic questions about sports, but her capabilities in that area have expanded considerably over the past year. Here are the types of queries you can use to get sports information from Alexa. Say the wake word followed by any of the types of questions below. Give me my sports update. What are the {league name}...

Special Alexa Music Commands For Use With Amazon Music Services

Post publication date: 2/28/19 - Listening to music is the most popular use for Alexa devices, but many consumers may not know there are some special Alexa music commands created especially for Amazon Prime and Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers. If your music source is Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited or digital music you've purchased from Amazon, you can try commands like these. The...

Fast Tips Friday: How To Find & Start Music From The Alexa App, To Play On Your Alexa Devices

Post Updated: 2/22/19 - I was recently reminded by a reader that when Alexa's struggling to understand your spoken music request for some reason, it's possible---and easy!---to look up and start music from the Alexa Amazon Music app. READERS: This post is no longer accurate because Amazon has moved the function into its Amazon Music app. Please see this newer post, Alexacast Sends Music From the...

Fast Tips Friday: How To View & Clear Alexa History

Post Updated: 3/28/19 - Today's post explains how to view & clear Alexa history. This is useful for addressing privacy concerns and troubleshooting when Alexa doesn't seem to understand what you're saying. Why View, or Delete, History? Viewing the interaction history file is a great way to figure out why Alexa isn't doing what you want, or isn't giving a correct reply to a question. In the...

Alexa Fast Tips Friday: Block Explicit Songs From Amazon Music

Great news! Amazon's rolled out a feature parents have wanted ever since the first Echo shipped: the ability to block explicit songs from Amazon Music on Alexa devices.     Note that as per usual, this feature is being rolled out to Alexa device owners in groups and the Alexa app update is being rolled out bit by bit as well. Those in the US who don't yet have access to this feature...

How Many Amazon Music Simultaneous Streams Are Allowed?

Publication date: 8/31/17 - Ever since Amazon launched Alexa Multi-room Music earlier this week, online discussion groups have been abuzz with conflicting reports about limitations on running simultaneous streams from various sources of Amazon Music: playing the same song, album or playlist on multiple Alexa devices simultaneously. Tonight I did some testing and research, and I'm back to report...

Alexa Fire TV Control Is Here!

It's official: Alexa Fire TV Control is here!     Set Up Per Amazon, all of the following devices are compatible for Alexa control of Fire TV: Echo Echo Dot Echo Look Echo Show Amazon Tap Compatible Alexa-enabled third-party devices Amazon Fire TV Fire TV Stick I've set it up with my Show and Fire TV stick (2nd generation), and it works! Setup was super-easy. Just open the Alexa app,...

Echo Show FAQ and Alexa Intercom FAQ

Publication Date: 6/27/17 - Echo Show starts shipping this week, and Amazon's also been rolling out intercom functionality to Alexa devices via over-the-air updates. The time has come to post an Echo Show FAQ and Alexa Intercom FAQ. The Echo Show and intercom update are not yet available outside the U.S., but don't worry. By the time they get to Europe they're sure to be improved based on what...

Alexa Contact Blocking: It’s A Thing Now!

Publication Date: 6/13/17 - When Amazon first introduced the new Alexa calling and messaging services, it seems there was one major flaw in the new system: Contacts would be automatically synced from your mobile device, and there was no way to block or delete any of them. Yesterday an update was released to the Alexa app, and Alexa contact blocking is a thing now. Alexa messaging and calling are...

How To Disable Alexa Calling

Publication Date: 5/14/17 - Confusion and frustration have been swirling all over the interwebs since Amazon rolled out the new Alexa communication features. A serious privacy flaw has been discovered, and my own tests have proven that the sync between your cell phone's Contacts list and your Alexa contacts list isn't working as it should. Today I'll address the flaw in more detail and explain...