Fast Tips Friday: Alexa, Manage My Content

Post published 7/26/19 - While searching for a specific title in my Kindle book library on the Amazon site, I noticed a new tip at the top of the screen: "Try saying Alexa, manage my content." It works, sort of... I gave the new command a try, followed Alexa's response prompts, and discovered three things.First, per Alexa's response, as of this writing the new command only enables Alexa to send...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa privacy voice commands are here

Post published 6/28/19 - Consumers are increasingly concerned about tech privacy issues, and Amazon's paying attention. Amazon's just announced a new pair of Alexa privacy voice commands that make managing the voice recordings Alexa uses much easier. No more need to hit up the Alexa app or Amazon website: now you can delete Alexa voice recordings using voice commands To delete the most recent...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa and Playstation Vue

Post published 4/19/19 - I'm moving at the end of this month and my preferred cable service isn't available in my new town. Fortunately I've discovered the joys of cord cutting, and that Alexa and Playstation Vue play very nicely together. Why Cut The Cord? I avoided cord cutting for a very long time. It seemed there was no way to get all my favorite channels and DVR recording via streaming...

Flash briefing too brief? Now Alexa delivers long form news, too.

Post published: 4/11/19 - Alexa's Flash Briefing is a popular feature, but as its name implies it only offers brief summaries. If you've been wishing to hear the full stories you're in luck, because thanks to a new feature Alexa delivers long form news from multiple outlets. As reported by TechCrunch: Amazon says that voice commands like “Alexa, tell me the news,” “Alexa play news” or...

Medical Alexa Skills Keep Doctors and Patients In Touch

Post published 4/4/19 - Boston Children's Hospital released its first Alexa skill for patients and caregivers in 2016, but there haven't been many more due to the privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Thanks to Amazon's new HIPAA-eligible developer tools, you're going to start seeing many more medical Alexa skills. Amazon takes its customers'...

Fast Tips Friday: Get Amazon Prices From Alexa

Post published 3/15/19 - Amazon has implemented yet another feature Alexa device owners have wanted from the start: you can now get Amazon prices from Alexa! Just Ask---But Be Specific! I stumbled across this new feature while trying to test Alexa's ability to give stock quotes, and since then I've played around with it a bit. I've found that Alexa's answers are most accurate if you can provide...

Fast Tips Friday: Ask Alexa For Medical Advice

There's a new feature Alexa device owners have wanted for years: thanks to integrations with the Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Disease Ontology Database, you can now ask Alexa for medical advice and get some good, medically accurate information in response! Queries To Try You can ask Alexa about symptoms, or get information about...

Alexa In The Car: Built In and Device Options

Post publication date: 3/1/19 - Once consumers get some experience with her in their homes or offices, many start asking how they can get Alexa in the car. Good in the US, there are now LOTS of cars available with Alexa built in, as well as numerous Alexa skills for car control and third party devices to take Alexa on the road with you. Cars With Alexa Built In It's not just Audi and Lexus...

Alexacast Sends Music From the Amazon Music App to Alexa Devices

Post Published 2/22/19 - It's been possible to remotely start music playing on your Alexa devices for a long time, and this was previously accomplished within the Alexa app. With the release of Alexacast, Amazon has moved that function over to its free Amazon Music app for Android or iOS. Screenshots Tell The Story These screenshots are from the latest version of the Amazon Music app for...

New Alexa Blueprints for DIY Skills

Publication Date: 1/18/19 - Following its release of this feature in the UK and Canada late last year, Amazon has now added many new Alexa Blueprints that let regular consumers create custom skills with no programming needed. Available Blueprint templates include such things as a customized workout, household chore chart tracking, flashcard quizzes, vacation checklists, personalized stories,...