6 things you probably haven't tried with your Amazon Echo – CNET,

6 things you probably haven't tried with your Amazon Echo – CNET,


                                                    Tyler Lizenby / CNET                                                 

YourAmazon Echois your go-to assistant for when you need toturn on the lights,set an alarmor evenwhen you lose your phonein the couch cushions. ButAlexahas so many underutilized skills that some people don’t think to use. For example, did you know you can actually bring Alexa with you in the car? Or that Alexa can say whatever you want it to?

Most of these require little setup and are pretty simple to use. Read on to find out these six things you haven’t tried with yourAmazon Echo($ 64 at Amazon)yet and how to get started.


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Create custom Alexa responses

You’ve probably noticed that Alexa won’t answer certain commands, like if you ask it to say a curse word or something else inappropriate. However, you can certainly get Alexa to say whatever you want by creating custom responses. For example, you can set it up to where if you ask Alexa who has the best smile, it can say “You, of course.”

You’ll need to go toAmazon’s Blueprints page, selectCustom Q&Aand clickMake Your Own. From here, you can create all of the questions and responses for Alexa to answer however you want.

customize alexa responses

Customize Alexa responses.

                                                    Screenshot by Katie Conner / CNET                                                 

Use it as a speaker for your TV

It can be annoying when you’re watching a movie that’s extremely quiet and you have to turn way up the volume on your TV to hear. Fortunately, you can use your Amazon Echo as a speaker for your TV. It’s super convenient because you can place it on the side table when you really can’t hear what’s happening on the show.

Your TV will need to haveBluetoothcapabilities to connect to your Echo device (or you canconnect your Fire TV to your Echo). Place your Echo speaker next to your TV and say “Alexa, connect.” Alexa will start checking for devices to connect to – at this point, you’ll need to navigate to the Bluetooth settings on your TV to find the Echo speaker. Next, you’ll need to find the sound settings on your TV and change the sound output to your Echo.

Amazon Fire TV echo alexa

Place the Echo speaker next to your smart TV to connect.

                                                    David Katzmaier / CNET                                                 

Put Alexa in your car

Alexa is a great assistant for all of yoursmart homeneeds, but did you know you can also use it in your car? It’ll allow you to be hands-free while driving rather than constantly pressing buttons all over your dash, and there’s a couple of ways you can do it. If you’ve already got anEcho Dot($ 68 at Walmart), you can plug it into your car using a USB charger. However, you’ll have to connect it to your phone’s hotspot for it to work. Then you can pair it to your car’s stereo using Bluetooth.

Or, you can choose theAmazon Echo Autoroute, the newest way to take Alexa with you in the car . It has the same capabilities as an Echo Dot, but it’s designed to use in the car. You can plug it into a USB charger port or a lighter port (depending on what your car has). Be aware that you’ll also have to use your mobile data to power theEcho Autodevice.


Echo Auto works as your assistant in the car.

                                                    Tyler Lizenby / CNET                                                 

Alexa Cast to other Echo devices

It happens often – you’ve been listening to your favorite playlist in your car, but now you’re home and you want to continue listening on your Echo device. You canuse Alexa Castto transfer the music from your phone to your speaker so you can keep playing your favorite tunes.

From the (Amazon) Music app on your phone, select the playlist you want to listen to. Pull up the music controls and tap the button on the lower right side of your screen. Then select which Echo speaker you’d like to cast to.




                ***********                         Now playing:                        Watch this:                                        Amazon Echo Studio and new Echo Dot are big on sound …                                 ***********                         2: 09                                                 



Create a to-do list

How many times have you remembered you need to grab avocados at the grocery or need to pay a bill , but completely forgot to write it down? Instead of telling yourself you’ll remember or scrambling to find a pen and paper, just create a to-do list with Alexa. Say “Alexa, create a list” to get started. You’ll want to name your lists to keep them organized and when you’re finished, you can access them from the Alexa app or one of your Echo devices.


Alexa can remember your to-do lists.

                                                    Tyler Lizenby / CNET                                                 

Make a decision with heads or tails

Having a hard time deciding between which restaurant you want to go to on Friday evening? Let Alexa make the decision for you. You’ll need to download a skill, likeHeads or Tails, in the Alexa app. Here’s how it works – decide which place will be heads and which will be tails. For example, that cool new pizza restaurant is heads and the Sushi bar is tails. Then say “Alexa, ask Heads or Tails to flip a coin.” If it says heads, you’re eating pizza, and if it says tails, Sushi it is.

Ready for more Amazon Echo tips? Check out thesesurprising ways Amazon Echo can entertain you when you’re bored to tearsand theweirdest things your Amazon Echo can do.

Originally published earlier this week.


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