Amazon has four Alexa-enabled smart displays: the Echo Show 5, the Echo Show 8, the Echo Show 10, and the Echo Show 15, which has a large 15-inch screen you can mount on a wall. These displays have features not available on Amazon’s other Alexa-enabled devices.
From making video calls and checking your security cam feed, to singing along with lyrics and enhancing your shopping, here are some of the coolest things you can do with the Echo Show. Better yet, many of these features will also work on Fire TV devices, too.
Amazon also offers widgets for the Echo Show 5, Echo Show 8, and Echo Show 10. Widgets, which were first introduced with the Echo Show 15, let you further customize the look and functionality of your Alexa smart display. Widgets include controls for smart home devices, music streaming, calendars, and to-do lists.
Be sure to check out our complete guide on how to use Alexa for more tips, tricks, and how-tos, as well as the best Alexa skills for getting the most out of your smart speaker and smart displays.
1. Make video calls
You can use the Echo Show’s camera to make video calls to other Echo Show owners, or to anyone with the Alexa app on their smartphone. For this to work, the person you want to call has to be in your contacts list. You can even “drop in” on other Echo Show owners, but some may find that creepy. The 3rd-generation Echo Show 10 has face-tracking technology, and will actually turn on its base to follow you around the room. Currently, you can make voice and video calls using Alexa, Skype, and even Zoom.
Here's our full guide on how to make calls using the Echo Show.
2. Watch movies
You can get your Echo Show to start playing movies, trailers and videos merely by asking Alexa. For example, you can say, “Alexa, play the Justice League trailer.” To narrow your query, Alexa will present several options on-screen, which you can then select by voice, or by tapping the display.
Video streaming services available on the Echo Show include Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, NBC, CBS All Access, HBO, and Starz. In addition, there are Alexa skills for other channels such as Bloomberg, the Food Network, and FX.
3. See your security camera and video doorbell
A great feature of some of the best video doorbells and the best home security cameras is that you can see what they're seeing on an Echo Show. What's more, you can also use the Echo Show's microphone and speakers to hear and talk to the person on the other end. It's especially handy if someone rings your doorbell, but you can't get there in a timely fashion. This skill works with video doorbells and security cameras from Arlo, Blink, Ring, Nest, and more.
4. Sing along with song lyrics
The Echo Show can be your personal karaoke machine. Ask Alexa to start playing a song, and as the tune cranks out of the Show’s stereo speakers, the lyrics will be displayed on its screen. It also works when playing audiobooks, too. If you want to know how to connect music services, check out our guides on how to play Amazon Music using Alexa, how to play Apple Music on Alexa, and how to play Spotify on Alexa.
5. Use it as a digital photo frame
Thanks to its large display, the Echo Show 15 is one of the best digital photo frames — albeit an expensive one — but all of Amazon's smart displays can be used to similar effect.
By default, the Echo Show displays random background photos. In the settings menu, though, you can change the background photos to ones you’ve uploaded to Prime Photos, or through the Alexa app on your smartphone. If you have an Amazon Prime account, Prime Photos is one of the best photo storage and sharing sites, as it lets you store an unlimited number of photos at full resolution.
6. Look up recipes
The Echo Show can be your sous chef in the kitchen. Ask it for a recipe, and it will pull up a bunch of options for whatever you're trying to cook. It will then provide you a list of ingredients and step-by-step directions, which you can navigate by voice—so you don't have to get your sticky fingers all over the display.
7. Find a restaurant
Don’t feel like cooking? The Echo Show can present a list of restaurants based on your Alexa query, along with ratings from Yelp. Selecting one of the options gives you the address, phone number and hours the restaurant is open.
8. View and edit your calendar
Saying “Alexa, show my calendar” will bring up a scrollable daily planner, displaying your events for each day. Using your voice, you can also add events to your calendar by specifying the date, time and the name of the event. It will also show you the current weather for the day and week when asked. Here's how to link your calendar with Alexa.
9. Use it as a baby monitor
Alexa’s Drop-In feature lets you instantly start viewing a live feed from another Echo Show. By placing it in your child’s room, you could pop in, virtually, to make sure everything is OK. Just make sure that the kid’s Echo Show is set so that only you can use Drop In. You can also view feeds from the Arlo Baby monitor and others on the Echo Show's display.
10. Get your sweat on
If you say "Alexa, show me workout videos," it will bring up a list of exercise videos it finds across YouTube, Tubi, and other sites; you can also use the browser to search for specific trainers. We're big fans of Pamela Reif workouts on YouTube. However, it's a lot easier to view workout videos on the larger screens of the Amazon Echo 10 and Amazon Echo 15 than it is the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5.