How to Use Alexa

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 Device 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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

How to Enable Alexa's Follow-Up Mode

You don't need to keep saying "Alexa..." every time you want her to do something.

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. 

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.

The Best Amazon Alexa Commands

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

Making Voice and Video Calls with Alexa

How to use Alexa on your Android Phone

You don't need an Echo in order to use Alexa; you can access the voice assistant from Amazon's Alexa app, too.

How to use Alexa on your iPhone

iPhone users haven't been left out! Here's how to get Alexa on your iOS device.

How to Change the Background Picture on the Echo Show

Personalize the background of your Echo Show by adding your own photos.

How to Delete Recordings from Your Alexa History

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

How to use Alexa's Drop-In Feature

Did you know you can make voice and video calls from one Alexa device to another? Here's how it works.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

How to Connect Your Ecobee 3 or 4 to Alexa

The Amazon Echo directly supports the Ecobee 3 and Ecobee 4 smart thermostats right out of the box. 

How to Connect WeMo Smart Plugs to Alexa

Belkin's WeMo smart plugs are useful for turning a lamp or light into a smart device. Here's how to control them with Alexa.

How to Create an Alexa Smart Home Routine

You can have Alexa turn on (or off) connected smart home devices at certain times, or when you say a specific phrase. Here's how to set up a routine.

Using Music, Video, & Books with Alexa

How to Play Amazon Music Using Alexa

It's a cinch to connect Amazon's streaming music service to Alexa, so you can request songs, playlists, and more using nothing but your voice.

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.

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.

How to set up Multi-room Music with the Amazon Echo

If you have more than one Echo device, you can set them up to play music throughout your house. Here's how to set it up.

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. 

How to Get Alexa to Read You a Book

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

Increase Your Productivity with Alexa

How to Send a Text Message Using Alexa

You can use Alexa to text someone—if you're using an Android phone. Here's how to do it.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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