I recently purchased an Amazon Echo. I love it. In fact, you can read my full Amazon Echo Review here.
What can you ask Amazon Echo? “Alexa…”
There are literally thousands of things that you can ask the Amazon Echo. Here’s an ongoing list of some of the cool things you can Ask Alexa for.
This is what I use the Amazon Echo for the most. Here’s how to use some of your favorite music services.
- Amazon Prime Music
- This is the default Music service on your Amazon Echo. If you say anything music related, like “Alexa, play some country music.” It will play from Amazon Prime Music.
- Amazon Prime Music has both curated playlists and you can create your own playlist. You just have to then say, “Alexa, play Zac Brown Band and More.” It will play this Amazon Prime Playlist.
- If you don’t know what to listen to, you can just say, “Alexa, play me some music.” Alexa will respond, “Here’s an Amazon Prime Playlist you might be interested in” and select something based on your past listening habits.
- I have full instructions for Spotify/Amazon Echo Integration here. Luckily, Spotify is now native on Amazon Echo.
- The key to using Spotify on Alexa is adding “on Spotify” to your request. So, you need to say, “Alexa, play Zac Brown Band on Spotify” for it to work.
- You can use it for playing any other playlist or artist, just like Amazon Prime Music.
- To control Spotify on your computer and listen on your Amazon Echo, read how to use Spotify Connect on your Echo.
- Just like Spotify, you need to add “on Pandora” to the end of any request. You also need to make sure you have connected Pandora to your Amazon Alexa App on your iPhone or Android.
- To create a station, or listen to one you already have, say, “Alexa, listen to Zac Brown Band on Pandora.”
- You can also say things like, “Alexa, next” to skip the song.
- TuneIn Radio
- Want to listen to a specific radio station? Simply say, “Alexa, play 97.3 FM on TuneIn.”
- You can also say something like, “Alexa, play the station NPR.”
News + Traffic on Amazon Echo
This is probably what I use Amazon Echo for the second-most. Here’s how to use it:
- Want to see how the traffic is on the way into work, just set up your addresses in the Amazon Echo app and ask, “Alexa, how’s traffic to work?” Amazon Echo will give you an ETA.
- One of the quick ways to see what’s happening in the news is ask, “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” This gives you a quick run-down of the news.
Listen to Books
You can listen to both you Kindle Books and Audible books on the Amazon Echo.
- To listen to your Kindle Book, Amazon Echo uses text-to-voice technology. Simply say, “Alexa, read [Kindle book title].”
- To listen to your Audible Audio Books, it’s just that simple: “Alexa, read my audiobook.” The great thing about both ways to listen to books is that it uses Amazon Whispersync to make sure you are on the same place across your Kindle and different apps on different devices.
I like to use my Amazon Echo as bit as an encyclopedia. You can ask it things like:
- “Alexa, how many feet is 30 inches?”
- “Alexa, how many ounces in a cup.”
- “Alexa, what is the capital of Mexico?”
- “Alexa, how far is it from here to New York City?”
- I haven’t been able to stump Alexa yet!
I thought I’d use the Echo for more shopping on Amazon that I actually do, but that’s because it’s a little complicated to actually buy something on Amazon.
- The easiest thing way to order something is to technically re-order something. “Alexa, reorder AA batteries.”
- Or something like, “Alexa, reorder Toothpaste.”
Smart Home Automation
That’s what this site is all about, right? I’m working on an upcoming post about how to use the Echo for home automation, but here are some of the devices that Amazon Echo works with right out of the box:
- Samsung SmartThings
- Philips Hue
- And much, much more home automation that works with Amazon Echo
Here are some of the things that you can ask Amazon Echo for home automation:
- “Alexa, turn on the front porch light.”
- “Alexa, turn on the coffee machine.”
- “Alexa, set the house temperature to 80 degrees.”
I’m working on a longer post, so stay tuned about how to use home automation with your Echo.
New Random, Random Stuff
You can now use Amazon Echo for some really, really random stuff now:
- “Alexa, ask Uber to request an Uber X.” You need to enable the “Skill” on the Amazon Alexa app.
- “Alexa, open Domino’s and place my Easy Order.” You’ll need to enable the Dominos “Skill” on the Amazon Alexa App.
- If you’ve connected Google Calendar, you can ask Alexa, “Alexa, tell me my agenda today.”
- “Alexa, Ask Mindfulness for a minute meditation.” This allows you to take a break and do a one minute sound meditation.
- “Alexa, Ask For A Fart” – You guessed it – you’ll get a far noise.
- “Alexa, start seven minute workout” – The famous 7-minute workout, now on Amazon Alexa.
- “Alexa, ask Age Calculator, how old is someone born on [insert date here]” – it will give you their age back!
- “Alexa, ask Automatic where my car is.” Obviously, you’ll need an Automatic Adapter, but you can ask questions about the device.
- “Alexa, ask the Bible App to read [insert Bible Verse]” and it will read the bible verse to you.
- “Alexa, tell Dice Bag to roll for me.” It will give you a random dice roll!
- “Alexa, ask Famous Quotes to tell me quote” – it will give you a random, famous quote.
- One of my favorites: “Alexa, ask Guitar Tuner to tune my guitar.” Alexa will then help you tune your guitar!
- “Alexa, open Hacker News.” She’ll read you the newest headlines.
- Pointless, but fun: “Alexa, open Hey Dad and tell me a joke.” You’ll get a dad joke.
- What Huffington post headlines? “Alexa, ask HuffPost for headlines”
- Need a good laugh? “Alexa, open laugh box.” You’ll get random laughs…and you’ll be laughing!
- Are the next millionaire? “Alexa, ask Lotto Now for Powerball numbers” and you’ll get the powerball numbers.
- “Alexa, ask Magic 8-Ball if [Suzy likes me]” – you’ll get he famous Magic 8-Ball Answers.
- Are you a rock-paper-scissors master? “Alexa, open lizard spock.”
- It’s not Christmas everyday…but you can ask, “Alexa, ask Santa where is he?”
- “Alexa, open Shower Thoughts”
- “Alexa, tell SkyBell to turn on quiet mode”
- “Alexa, ask Woot what is the deal on electronics?” Get your deal on!
- “Alexa, Ask Zip Code What city is Zip Code [insert zip code]” – It will tell you the city.
The best part about Amazon Echo is that they are always updating the skills. I’ll update this page with more information about how you can use you Amazon Echo and ask Amazon Alexa cool stuff.
Not sure if you should get an Amazon Echo? Read my Amazon Echo Review.