Fast Tips Friday: Amazon’s Alexa Trade In Program

Post Publication Date: 8/17/18 - If you've got some Alexa devices or Bluetooth speakers lying around that you're not using, you might want to check out Amazon's new Alexa Trade In Program.     Note that as of this writing, the trade-in program is only available in the U.S.   Trade In, Trade Up! In the U.S., Amazon has recently announced a limited-time program that invites customers...

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...

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: Is Amazon Prime Still Worth It?

Post Updated: 6/27/19 - Amazon's annual Prime Day blowout sale starts 7/15/19, offering lots of deep discounts on electronics, home goods, fashion, food and drink, kitchen appliances, digital content, and of course Amazon's own devices. Folks who are already Amazon Prime subscribers are all set to rake in the deals, but given the recent subscription price increase (to $12.99/mo, as of this...

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...

Fast Tips Friday: Alexa Tech Support Scam Alert

About once a month I'll get a message from an LME reader complaining about not being able to get the Alexa tech support they've paid for. But here's the thing: Amazon does not charge for tech support on their own devices. If you're paying for it, you've fallen victim to an Alexa tech support scam.     Amazon Offers Alexa Tech Support FOR FREE Amazon has never charged for Alexa tech...

Alexa Fast Tips Friday: How To View & Erase Alexa History

Post Published 6/1/18 - With all the recent concerns around that incident where an unusual chain of circumstances led to an Alexa device recording and sending a conversation without the owners' knowledge, many Alexa device owners are asking how to view and erase Alexa History for their devices. Good it's easy! Note that the information provided here is accurate as of this writing, on 6/1/18, but...

Alexa Fast Tips Friday: Alexa, Press One

Publication Date: 5/25/18 - Great news for fans of Alexa's voice calling feature: Alexa can now handle automated, touchtone answering systems! You can now say things like, "Alexa, press one," to navigate voice menus! 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...

Alexa Fast Tips Friday: Alexa Recognizes Voices Automatically Now

Alexa's always getting smarter, and the most recent example of this is how Alexa recognizes voices automatically now. Or more correctly, by default, Alexa will now automatically learn to recognize the voices of regular users of a given Alexa device.     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...