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The best Alexa commands to try with your new Echo

(Credit: Reuters)

No matter how much Amazon Echo commercials you see, it takes a little time to adjust to Alexa. Putting a virtual assistant in your home detects a change in lifestyle, sort of like adopting a puppy. There will be a lot of trial-and-error, but once you find your rhythm, that you almost forget how life was without her.

The Amazon Echo listens for the wake word, “Alexa.” But, to be honest, I was surprised how many conversations were recorded by my Echo, which are not included in the wake word. You would be too.

Click here to learn how to listen to everything that Amazon Echo has ever heard.

The device is programmed to respond to almost unlimited commands and variations, and there are tens of thousands of individual “skills” that you can add to her repertoire. But the journey of a million commands begin with a single wake sense.

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The basis

Alexa, play Maroon 5.

Lest we forget, the Echo is a speaker, originally designed to play audio. You can use Echo to play your own music, Amazon Prime playlists to browse Spotify or Pandora, search on the internet for a song and even in the worldwide radio stations.

Related: Have you heard of the Amazon Echo? Click here to learn how this virtual assistant wants to dress.

Alexa, set the volume to six.

You can change the volume without leaving your chair or even at a distance. You can also skip tracks, pause the music and “like” of a song. You could spend days just playing with the music features, which are more extensive when you subscribe to various services.

Information

Alexa, what time is it?

If your phone or watch is not convenient, you can ask Alexa what time it is. But that is just the tip of the temporal iceberg: You can also ask what time it is in another city, or what’s going on in 37 hours, or even a set a timer for the cake in the oven.

Alexa, Wikipedia: toilet paper orientation.

With the help of the Echo is to find information is like discovering Google. The experience feels very different. Most of us are

accustomed to typing on our questions and reading the results, not only on our questions and hearing the answers dictated to us. If you asked Alexa to this question, you want to hear the Wikipedia-article about the over or under social consequences.

Alexa, what’s the score…?

If you are in the near of your Echo, why aren’t you watching the game? There are a million reasons why you can be separated from your favorite game, but now you can score (verbal) when you want to. This may be particularly important when family obligations tear you away from the TV, but you still want to know how your team is set.

Alexa, how many liters in a gallon?

One of the best surprises for Echo users is how convenient the machine in the kitchen. You don’t even realize how much time you have to wipe of your fingers before consulting a cookbook or iPad. Your virtual assistant is a kind of sous-chef, look up recipes, set timers, and, yes, making fast conversions.

Alexa, pick a number between one and 57.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve almost never cash. This is less than ideal if you want to flip a coin. Alexa may be random results for you, from flipping a coin or choosing a number. You’d be surprised how often this skill is useful, especially when you have to delegate tasks, and you don’t want to refresh yourself on the rules of Rochambeau.

Shopping

Alexa, buy more dental floss.

After two solid months of shopping malls and virtual shops, the last thing you want to think about is shopping. But you should still regularly provisions to your household to rinse, and the Echo makes that routine shopping infinitely easier. Once you get your Echo Amazon Pantry, you can tell Alexa to refresh household items when you want. This can be just as useful for a small company, when you need to replenish the pantry.

Click here for three common Alexa problems and how to solve them.

Alexa, buy this song.

Amazon Music is not as popular as iTunes, but it has become a strong competitor. The subscription service combines some of the best parts of streaming platforms, like Pandora, and the traditional iTunes model.

Travel

Alexa, ask Uber for a ride.

For the millennial adult, it doesn’t get better than this: sitting at home, to play with you Echo and the decision to meet someone for a hot toddy on a nearby gastropub. But you don’t want to drive. You don’t have to get the futon, or lift your hand or even your eyes open for a call

Uber or Lyft. Once you have plugged in Alexa ride-share app, you can use the local travel in seconds.

Alexa, what the weather is going to be in Boulder, Colorado, this weekend?

In the hustle and bustle of life, we often forget to check the weather, which can be downright dangerous if we drive six hours through freezing rain. Alexa can be almost anywhere on the planet, so that you know how to dress and whether to eventually invest in the snow tires.

Alexa, ask Flight Tracker Delta 162.

It is hard to believe that the airline passengers used to have to physically arrive at the airport to find out that their flight was delayed. Today, Google can give you real-time updates of individual flights that rival anything on a control tower of the screen. Alexa makes this even faster, so that you have a question about a flight on a major airline. This can be a real time saver when you are on the point to zoom out from the door, and your sister’s plane is delayed for two hours.

Other gadgets

Alexa, turn the Fire TV.

Beginners usually a lot of one-on-one time with an Echo, out of all the wonderful things it can do on its own. But you may also be interested in the numerous smart devices that Alexa can check. One of the simplest gadgets to sync is Fire TV. Oral request of a specific movie, fast forward to a favorite scene, or skip to the next chapter, without so much as a remote control.

Click here for a list of amazing new Alexa gadgets.

Alexa, raise temperature to 78 degrees.

Smart homes are already designed for easy operation and energy-efficiency. But many devices also connect to the Echo, and you can manipulate many aspects of your environment using only your voice. With a smart thermostat, then you can ask Alexa, the temperature of the room.

Alexa, read me my Kindle book.

Audible is the reigning champion of audiobooks, and Amazon customers often enroll in the program and fall in love with the recorded books. But this function takes that idea a step further: If you have a Kindle, Alexa is reading the book for you. Not everyone will like the robotic voice, especially if they would prefer a flesh and blood narrator, but it is useful for people with a visual impairment.

Echo Show

Alexa, I will show you pictures of puppies.

The revolutionary new device, the Echo Show, that a combination of speakers with a TV screen as that adds a new dimension to the virtual assistant genre. If you are already proficient in the Echo, the use of the Show

requires an adjustment. To test its possibilities, try something simple, like asking for a certain type of image. I recommend cute, fluffy animals.

Alexa, show me a recipe for chicken soup from AllRecipes.

As I said, the Echo is great for cooking, and many users will Echo in their kitchens, either to consult recipes or to watch a program on Hulu, while they chop carrots. AllRecipes is just one of the many culinary archives, you can pore over; you could look at a number of Tasty videos or Food Network shows.

Alexa, show me the front door of the camera.

Many people develop their smart homes with security in mind, and Echo Tones can be connected to your digital CCTV system to let you see images from different parts of the house. If you hear a bump in the night and want to check out the garage without actually going there (and thus put yourself in danger), you can scan the screen for intruders.

Alexa, show me the trailer for ‘Blade Runner 2049.

Echo Show is suitable for all kinds of videos and watching movies, especially if you want something in the background.” Strangely enough, Amazon has been pushing the ability to display movie trailers. This may sound strange to some — why should you have a small TV to watch the commercials? But it is a fun way to kill time and find out what you want to stream next on Prime Video.

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Copyright 2018, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Learn about the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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