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6 things the Amazon Echo can do for you

By: ARRC
November 22, 2016

As I mentioned earlier, Christmas is fast approaching.  And because of this, we’re all gearing up to buy lots and lots of random thangs for all those random people on your shopping list.  For many of us, however, we’ll turn to the ever popular Amazon for assistance.

This year, Amazon is heavily pushing its Alexa-enabled smart devices – the Amazon Echo and the Echo Dot.  The Echo Dot is simply a miniature version of the Amazon Echo and comes to the public at a reasonable price of $49.99.  So, I don’t know about all of you guys, but nearly every person on my Christmas list this year will be getting a Dot… whether they like it or not.  And it’s probably safe to assume that a lot of other people out there have the same idea as I do.

Why?  Because it makes sense and allows you to avoid the Target parking lot.

So, this being said, I thought it’d be a pretty good idea to provide all you people out there with a list of things those Alex-enabled devices are capable of.

Play stuff.

At the end of the day, these particular smart gadgets are all about the music.  The sound quality is superb, and you can even provide Alexa with audible commands when the music is at full blast and you’re halfway across the room.  And asking Alexa to play music is incredibly simple.  Tell her to play a specific artist or a pre-built playlist on your Spotify.  Ask her to turn up the volume, switch to the next song, or add a track to your library.  You can even play music by genre or ask Alexa to turn the music off in one hour.

Track stuff.

With an Echo or Echo Dot, tracking time is almost too easy.  Set a timer, turn on an alarm, ask what the time is, or figure out what day it is.  And language is definitely not a barrier here, which means you can provide Alexa with commands in a variety of ways.  “Alexa, set an alarm for 8 AM.”  Or, “Alexa, wake me up at 8 AM”.  Or, “Alexa, wake me up in 7 hours.”  She understands it all.    

Check stuff.

The time isn’t the only thing you care about.  You want to know the weather, the news, and the results of the game last night.  And with Alexa, this is all possible.  Ask Alexa if it will rain today, what the weather will be like this weekend, what the latest news is, and how the game turned out last night.

Order stuff.

Run out of toilet paper?  Alexa can reorder that for you.  Looking to catch an Uber?  Alexa can call one for you.  Thinking about pizza for dinner tonight?  Alexa has you covered.

Control stuff.

Sooooo… these devices are pretty darn awesome.  Why?  Well, because not only can they track all that stuff we’ve already hit on, but with the help of Alexa, they can also control all those smart gadgets in your home.  From Philips Hue and Wink to SmartThings and Belkin WeMo, Alexa can work with them all.  Turn on your lights, adjust the temperature of your home, or lock your front door.  All it takes is a simple command.

Hear stuff.

Not in the mood for music?  Well, that’s entirely okay.  Alexa can read you a story.  You can ask her to pause, reread a section, or stop reading after an hour has gone by.  You finally have someone willing to read you a bedtime story again.