Fast Tips Friday: Alexa Knows Area Codes, Zip Codes, State Abbreviations

Post published 3/29/19 - It's yet another feature consumers have wanted from the beginning: Alexa knows area codes, zip codes and state abbreviations now, and can do some related searches. Make Alexa Your Partner In Address & Phone Lookups Unfamiliar area code showing on your caller ID? Forgot the state abbreviation for Mississippi and need to send a package there? Need to know the zip codes...

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...

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Helps From Alexa

Post updated 2/22/19 - Uh oh. It's the big day, and you lost all track of time! Don't worry, it's not too late to do something thoughtful for your special someone thanks to these last minute Valentine's Day helps from Alexa. None of these ideas will cost you anything, but they're all very thoughtful and memorable, and sure to be appreciated by your sweetie. Create a Custom, Virtual Hallmark Card...

Fast Tips Friday: Add or Subtract Alexa Timer Minutes

Post date: 2/1/19 - Most Alexa device owners agree the Alexa timer feature is among the most useful functions. The timer began as a very basic, single timer but Amazon added the ability to set multiple, named timers last year. Did you know you can now shorten, extend or restart those timers with a voice command? Alexa Timer Commands Most people already know you can use commands like these to set...

Buggy smart home devices? Here’s how to reset them.

Post publication date: 1/31/19 - Because there are so many parts to the smart home puzzle, from your WiFi connection to the software inside individual devices, it's pretty much inevitable that once you get started with smart home it's only a matter of time before you start thinking you've bought some buggy smart home devices. In most cases, the devices are fine but need to be reset from time to...

When To Look For Alexa Device Deals

Post publication date: 1/22/19 - One of the most common questions I get from friends and family members is when to look for Alexa device deals. Everyone knows Amazon discounts them from time to time, but most consumers don't notice there's a pretty consistent pattern to the timing of those discounts. When Does Amazon Put Its Own Stuff On Sale? Most consumers already know about Amazon's Prime...

The Alexa App Can Answer Many Questions

Publication date: 1/11/19 - From time to time most Alexa device owners have a random question about whether this or that thing they want to do will work, but it's not urgent enough to bother Amazon tech support. In many cases you don't need to go that far, because the Alexa app can answer a lot of questions for you in a matter of seconds. Can You Do X, Y or Z? Just Try It! The most common...

Fast Tips Friday: Ask Alexa For Help

Post Publication Date: 11/30/18 - In the years since Alexa's initial release, she's gotten a lot smarter. Amazon's doing a great job of making Alexa better at figuring out what consumers need, and giving it to them. It's now possible to get a lot of the technical support you need directly from your device: just ask Alexa for help.     No Need To Hit Amazon's Help Pages It's pretty short...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa Hunches Help You With Smart Home Devices

Post Publication Date: 11/16/18 - The new Alexa Hunches feature tells you if you've left something on or off, or if any smart home settings are unusual. Note that while this doesn't yet appear to be available outside the US, like most Alexa features it should be coming to Alexa's international family soon.     With Hunches Alexa Can Remind You If You've Left Devices on Or Off, Alert You...

Echo Show Alexa Accessibility: Tap To Alexa

Post Publication Date: 11/13/18 - Amazon realizes it's not possible for everyone to use Alexa devices in the standard way. Sometimes it's inconvenient to speak commands aloud, and for some people it's simply impossible to do so. Others may have a thick accent or speech impediment that makes it difficult for Alexa to understand them. Thankfully, in the Echo Show Amazon has provided a solution for...