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}...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa’s more like Star Trek’s computer than she used to be

Post published 6/14/19 - When the original Echo was first released I spent a lot of time cautioning readers, family and friends that Alexa wasn't like the talking computers they'd seen in sci fi movies and TV shows. It's been just about four years since then, and based on my own recent tests I can say Alexa's more like Star Trek's computer now. A LOT more. Over the past 4+ years, thanks to lots...

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...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa is Free to Use

Post publication date: 1/25/19 - Obviously anyone who already owns and uses an Alexa device is already aware, but most other consumers don't know that Alexa is free to use. As it turns out, this misunderstanding keeps a lot of people who would find Alexa devices very useful from getting one. There's an assumption that the Alexa service cannot possibly be free, because it does so much.Spread the...

1/4/19 Alexa Fast Tips Friday: Amazon’s Alexa User Guide

Post publication date: 1/4/19 - Some consumers are surprised to learn their Alexa devices don't come with a detailed user guide, but there's no need for concern: you can get the most recent and accurate information online, in Amazon's Alexa User Guide. Why No Manual? The reason why Alexa devices don't ship with detailed user guides or manuals is because the feature set and functionality of these...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa App Redesign, Where Did Everything Go?

Post Publication Date: 10/19/18 - Amazon's been rolling out an Alexa app redesign over the past few weeks, and I finally got it. I must admit: I'm not crazy about it. Today's post explains where everything went in the redesign, what the different icons and menu items are for, and which new features have been introduced.     Note that as with all Alexa features, services and Alexa app...

Fast Tips Friday: New Music Services for Alexa

Post Publication Date: 8/31/18 - If you haven't checked out the list of available options in the Alexa app lately, give it a go! You'll find there are several new music services for Alexa. Maybe your preferred service is among them!     Note that as with all Alexa features, services and Alexa app screen views may vary from geographic region to region (e.g., Alexa in the US vs. UK,...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa Routines Aren’t Just For Smart Home Devices Anymore!

Post Publication Date: 8/24/18 - When Alexa Routines first launched, they were only used to launch a series of smart home actions with a single command (e.g., turn on lights, set thermostat, etc.). Which was great for people who had a lot of smart home devices but not so useful for the rest of us. Finally, Alexa Routines include options to chain music, news, weather, traffic and other commands,...

Fast Tips Friday: The Alexa Equalizer Is Officially Here!

Post Publication Date: 7/27/18 - Amazon's engineers are constantly making changes behind the scenes to add and improve functionality. This week, they've dropped an update consumers have been asking for since the very first Echos shipped: the Alexa equalizer for adjusting treble, bass and midrange in audio is finally here!     Note that as of this writing, the new feature is still being...

Alexa Fast Tips Friday: Smart Bulbs & Plugs Have Gotten A Lot Cheaper

When the first Echo devices launched there were few smart bulbs and plugs to choose from, and each one could easily run you $50 or more. In the past couple years many more devices have come on the market, and they're priced far lower than the early smart device listings.     Easy Smart Home On The Cheap Smart bulbs and plugs are the easiest, least expensive way to get a smart home setup...