Fast Tips Friday: Set Up Two Alexa Devices for Stereo Sound

Post Publication Date: 11/9/18 - The most recent Alexa software update makes it possible for newer-generation device owners to set up two Alexa devices for stereo sound!     At Last, Alexa Delivers Stereo Sound! Amazon has written some directions of its own and where possible, I like to provide information that comes straight from Amazon. Here it is: For stereo sound, pair two supported...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa Birthday Deals!

Post Publication Date: 11/2/18 - Alexa turns four years old next Tuesday, and in honor of the occasion Amazon's offering some special Alexa birthday deals.     US readers can definitely access these deals but I can't be sure if they're available outside the US. Readers outside the US can contact Amazon via the Help department on their local Amazon sites to inquire about these offers....

Smart Home Showcase: New Alexa Celebrity Alarms

Post Publication Date: 10/23/18 - Alexa alarm functionality has gotten considerably better since the first Echos shipped, with the addition of wake to music and an expanded library of built-in alarm tones. When researching the Alexa app redesign for this post, I was surprised to find a whole bunch of new Alexa celebrity alarms in the alarm tone list.     Football, Sharknado, Hotel...

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: Alexa Device Maintenance

Post Publication Date: 10/12/18 - Alexa devices are high tech machines, just like your computer, printer, tablet or cell phone. And like any high tech device, they will perform and look their best if you follow these Alexa device maintenance tips.     Canned Air: Keep This On Hand For All Devices Those tiny microphone and speaker holes on your Alexa devices tend to accumulate dust. An...

Fast Tips Friday: Router Problems With Alexa

Post Updated: 10/27/18 - If you've been experiencing speed or connectivity problems with the devices on your home or office network, router problems with Alexa probably aren't the cause. It's very likely that your router is overloaded with too many connected devices. Nobody's talking about it, but routers do have their limits.     Reader Gary G.W. Hicks wrote to tell me about problems...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa Device Reset Fixes Many Issues, Won’t Delete Your Content

Post Publication Date: 9/28/18 - When your Echo, Dot, Show or other Alexa device is misbehaving, an Alexa device reset fixes many issues and won't delete content the way resetting a smart phone or other tech device can because all your content (music, audiobooks, game skill progress, etc.) is stored in Amazon's cloud servers.     An Alexa device can start acting up just like any other...

Fast Tips Friday: Four Alexa ‘Try This Now’ Tips

Post Publication Date: 9/7/18 - Today I've got four fast, and hopefully helpful, tips you can try on your Alexa device right now!     Note that as with all Alexa features, services may vary from geographic region to region (e.g., Alexa in the US vs. UK, Canada, etc.), and between app versions (e.g., Android vs. iOS). If the features described in this post aren't yet available in your...

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,...