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SO YOU GOT yourself a modern-day Amazon Echo Dot. Congratulations! You’ll get along notable with it. But before you start yelling at your vibrant new toy, take a quick observe the comprehensive range of what it can do for you. It’s greater than you may have imagined.

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The hints and tricks underneath additionally typically paintings for, correctly, any Alexa-powered device. There are many of them out there, and even as they’ll no longer be as puckish (each within the hockey and Shakespearean sense), they may have all advantage from a quick primer.

The Set-Up


First, ensure you’ve established nurturing surroundings in which your Echo Dot can thrive. Kidding! Just plug that sucker right into a wall outlet and allow it to fly. Next, your Dot will take a seat there, patiently bright orange, at the same time as you download the Alexa app for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire tablets, or anything combination of those suits your set-up if the Echo Dot mild isn’t orange anymore, press and hold the Action button (that’s only with a white dot in the middle) for five seconds to get it returned to set-up mode. Then, from inside the app, signal into your Amazon account and install Wi-Fi using Settings > Set Up New Device and coming into your nearby network’s password.

The Alexa app will display you a video that handholds you thru your Echo Dot introductions. But why watch when you may discover? Just remember, begin every query or command with “Alexa,” or change the spark off under Settings > Wake Word if you’d decide upon “Echo,” “Amazon,” or “Computer.” The Speaker None of Amazon’s Echo lineup has a speaker that you could reasonably describe as “banging.” The Dot, thanks to its diminutive size, has the weakest of the bunch.

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Alexa and Google Home Record What You Say. But What Happens to That Data? If you need Alexa to sound like she’s calling you from inside a tin can, pleasant. If, but you need the entire Alexa revel in, you’re in success: The Echo Dot features an audio out, which means you’re only a 3.5mm audio cable far from making your property’s very excellent speaker a clever one. If you hate lines more than you do latency, it additionally helps Bluetooth. What speaker you hook the Dot as much as relies upon on non-public choice; however, we can advise some for you here. And in case you want to coloration-coordinate—or add a touch flair for your Dot—Amazon offers six colorful protective cases to pick out from as properly. The Basics Power? Check. Wi-Fi? Check. Killer speaker to piggyback off of like an oxpecker on a hippo? Hopefully, check. OK. Let’s boogie. Where you put your Echo Dot depends on the personal choice of the path, and we’d never dissuade you from following your coronary heart. But if this is your first Alexa tool, you want to place it in the kitchen.

Why? Because that’s the room in your own home where Alexa’s innate abilities shine brightest. Out of the field, your Echo Dot can set timers, convert measurements, blast music (or NPR, or podcasts, or anything you’re into), and extra. You’re going to need to do a bit of quick customization earlier than you get going, although. Change your default tune carrier: Echo gadgets default to Amazon Music, which is a perfect choice and has a relatively robust imparting of free tunes if you’re a Prime member. Suppose you’ve devoted to Spotify, Pandora, or heart radio, though. In that case, you can make one of these your default tune participant alternatively with the aid of going to Settings > Music & Media > Link account to Alexa within the app.

Make a smartphone name: Alexa can make smartphone calls with a current replacement—a type of. Specifically, you may need area calls to human beings in your cellphone contacts who also have Alexa gadgets, which means your conversations may be Alexa-to-Alexa, which feels like a compelling need to be a palindrome; however, it isn’t. Family profiles: Maybe you live in a household (or dorm room) where every person has their own Amazon account. Don’t fear! Switching profiles need to help keep away from Alexa-primarily based confusion. By including debts for your family, all of us can get the right of entry to their calendar, content library, flash briefing, and more. Go to Settings > Household Profile and sign in. Then the faucet Continues and lets the subsequent person do the same. Presto! One huge glad Echo family. To transfer money owed—and this need not come as a great deal wonder—say, “Alexa, switch bills.” And to save you unintended (or intentional, in case you stay with a scallywag) purchases on the wrong account, go to Settings > Voice Purchasing > Require affirmation code to set up a four-digit PIN for any acts of consumerism.

Cover Your Tracks: As quickly as you say “Alexa,” your Echo Dot starts evolved listening–and recording. In practice, that’s no longer so different from Google monitoring what you kind into Chrome, but it does experience a small dose creepier while it’s your voice on file. If you visit Settings > History, you can see what Alexa has clocked you pronouncing and delete them one by one. For a bulk cleansing, head right here and visit Your Devices > Echo Dot > Manage voice recordings—a pop-up needs to come up with an option to clean-slate your seek records with one tap.

The Skills

Smart Home of Choice: Got a smart home? I hope that’s working out for you! One manner to make it work a bit higher is to connect it to Alexa, which supports Nest, Control4, SmartThings, Philips Hue lighting, Lutron, Insteon, and pretty much any other hub or platform you can think about. If you’re a competent home beginner, perhaps start with a quick plug from Wemo or TP-Link, low-price, low-stakes entry factors that permit you to turn something’s plugged into them on and rancid with a yelp.

Beatrice Nelson

Explorer. Extreme communicator. Problem solver. Alcohol buff. Beer geek. Twitter nerd. Bacon lover. Food fan. Wannabe tv fanatic. Managed a small team deploying velcro in Bethesda, MD. Spent a weekend working with hobos in the financial sector. What gets me going now is merchandising plush toys in Ocean City, NJ. Garnered an industry award while merchandising dandruff for the government. At the moment I'm short selling Slinkies in New York, NY. Spent 2001-2006 researching terrorism in Salisbury, MD.