Amazon Alexa Guide: Tips, Tricks and How-Tos

Geting Started with Amazon Alexa

Who, er, what is Amazon Alexa, you ask? Alexa is the brain behind the Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Tap, Amazon Echo Show and the voice-controlled assistant inside the Fire TV. The female voice lives in the cloud, and is thus always up to date. This virtual personal aide learns your voice and preferences as you use her. She also has her own companion Alexa app for Android and iOS devices.

Amazon gave Alexa plenty of smarts, allowing you to control your music, news, weather, alarms, smart home devices and streaming media device with just the power of your voice. Alexa can get you directions, track your calendar, order products off of Amazon, read books, find local businesses and answer your questions by grabbing information off of Wikipedia. She can do so much that you’ll want to make sure you're taking full advantage of this personal assistant.

Which Alexa Is Right For You?

Before you even purchase an Alexa-enabled device, make sure you're getting the one that best suits your needs and budget. READ MORE

Amazon Alexa Setup: Features to Enable and Disable

You just bought an Amazon Fire TV, Echo or Echo Dot. Here are the settings you'll want to adjust before you start using it. READ MORE

How to Make Amazon Alexa Understand Your Voice

By using the Echo in conjunction with the Alexa app, you can train the personal assistant to better understand your vocal patterns. READ MORE

How to Change the Amazon Echo Wake Word

If you'd rather not talk to Alexa, you can change the word that wakes her up to Amazon. READ MORE

How to Delete Recordings from Your Alexa History

Concerned about your Alexa search history? Here's how to delete everything you spoke to it. READ MORE

How to Disable Alexa's Drop-In Feature

If enabled, Drop-In lets other Alexa users call your Echo device unannounced. If that creeps you out, here's how to make sure that feature is turned off. READ MORE

What is Alexa Voice Shopping, and How You Can Use It

Did you know you can order stuff from Amazon just by talking to Alexa? Here's our brief explainer on Alexa Voice Shopping. READ MORE

What to do About Accidental Amazon Orders

Did you—or someone else—order something on Amazon that you'd rather not have? Here's how to cancel the order, if you act fast enough. READ MORE

The Best Amazon Alexa Commands

There are a lot of things that you can ask Alexa to do; here are some of our favorites. READ MORE

Alexa and Smart Home Devices

The Best Smart Home Devices that Work with Alexa

Now that you have an Echo, Echo Dot, or Tap, here are the best smart home devices that will work with it. READ MORE

Every Smart Light that Works with Alexa

One of the most popular devices people use with Alexa is smart LED lights. Here's all of them, and what they do. READ MORE

How to Connect Alexa to IFTTT

Through a free Web service called IFTTT (If This Then That), you can enable the Amazon Echo to do a lot more. Here's how to connect the two. READ MORE

How to Connect Philips Hue Lights to Amazon Alexa

You can automatically change your home's lighting with a word. That's what happens when you connect the Philips Hue Lights to your Amazon Echo. READ MORE

Philips Hue

How to Connect a Nest Thermostat to Amazon Alexa

Voice control your Nest smart home thermostat by connecting the Amazon Echo to it. But first you'll want to connect the Echo to IFTTT. READ MORE

How to Connect Your Ecobee 3 to Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo directly supports the Ecobee 3 smart thermostat right out of the box. READ MORE

Using Music, Video, & Books with Alexa

How to Connect Your Echo or Echo Dot to a Bluetooth Speaker

The Echo puts out pretty good sound, but if you want to boost your audio, here's how to connect it to a Bluetooth speaker. READ MORE

How to Connect an Amazon Alexa to a Harmony Remote

Make your Harmony Remote truly universal and voice controlled by connecting it to the Amazon Echo. READ MORE

How to Make Spotify or Pandora Your Default Alexa Music

You can change the default music service that plays through the Amazon Echo to be either Spotify or Pandora. READ MORE

How to Get Alexa to Read You a Book

Alexa can read select Amazon Kindle books to you. Here's how. READ MORE

Increase Your Productivity with Alexa

How to Order an Uber using Alexa

Uber is just one of hundreds of Skills Amazon has added to Alexa. Now you can order a car simply by talking. READ MORE

How to Link Your Calendar with Alexa

You can sync your Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Microsoft Calendar with Alexa, so you can add events, look them up, and get reminders about upcoming appointments.READ MORE

How to Use Todoist with Alexa

Todoist is a great tool for creating and managing to-do lists. Here's how to sync the service with Alexa. READ MORE

Other Fun Things to do with Alexa

How to Pair Your Fitbit with Amazon Echo

By connecting your Fitbit to the Amazon Echo you can simply ask Alexa how you're tracking without ever checking the app or looking at your wrist. READ MORE

How to Use Amazon Alexa’s Crystal Ball

Everyone wants to know their future. With the Crystal Ball Skill enabled on the Amazon Echo you'll get Magic 8-ball like answers to all your pressing questions. READ MORE

How to Play a Batman Adventure Game on Amazon Alexa

Wanna solve the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents? Simply enable The Wayne Investigation Skill and you can talk your way through this choose-your-own-adventure game. READ MORE

Smart Home Guides and Products:
Smarter Home Guide: What You Need to Know (and Buy)
The Best Smart Speakers
The Very Best Alexa Skills
Top Home Security Cameras
The Best Smart Home Devices
Light Bulb Buying Guide
Best Smart Home Hubs
Easy-to-Use Smart Plugs

Best Smart Light Switches


The Best Smart Thermostats

Tips to Keep Your Smart Home From Being Hacked


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ZigBee, Z-Wave, Thread and WeMo: What's the Difference?
Best Video Doorbells

Smartest Smoke Detectors


The Best Smart Vacuums
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