Have you recently taken advantage of the popularity and bought an Amazon Echo? If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard a lot of good things about the device and how many people just love their Echo!
Well, I decided to see what it was about and bought myself. I have to admit that the Echo is quite fun to use and is really useful when there are children around. My kids enjoy asking him to play music and I have set some skills so they can play math games, word games, etc.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to quickly set up Echo and how to set it up so that you can get the most out of all of its current features. Amazon continues to add new features to Echo almost every week, so I will be posting new articles when these new features hit the device.
When you take out the Echo and unpack it, you will see three items inside: the Echo, the power adapter, and some instructions. First, you plug it into an outlet. While the device is booting, you can download the Amazon Alexa app from iTunes. or the Google Play Store.
After downloading the app, sign in with your Amazon account credentials.
After logging in, close the app and check your echo. By default, after loading, the ring around the top should light up orange. This means that he is ready to start the Wi-Fi setup process.
If for some reason the indicator does not light orange, simply press and hold the Action button for 5 seconds. The Action button is a button with a single dot in the center. Now go to the phone and go to the Wi-Fi settings section.
When the Echo indicator is orange, you should see an Amazon-WVM WiFi network that you can connect to. Once connected to this network, open the Alexa app on your device. It should automatically detect that you are trying to set up a device, but if not, tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner, then tap Settings and then tap Set up a new device.
A setup screen should appear, reminding you to make sure the light ring is orange before proceeding.
If everything is configured correctly, you should see a Connected to Echo message on the next screen. Click Continue to proceed with the configuration.
On the next screen, you need to select the Wi-Fi network your Echo will connect to. This will be the Wi-Fi network your Echo connects to when you turn it on. Note that you can change your Wi-Fi network or connect to other networks later using the app.
The next screen will display a progress bar while your echo is ready.
Once everything is set up, you can start a conversation with Echo! When you open the app, you will see that on the home screen, you will see a prompt and then only one card prompting you to set up Alexa.
The way Echo works is that whenever you ask something, it responds with a voice, but it also creates a card in the Alexa app that you’ll see on your home screen. For example, if you say “Alexa” and then ask, “What’s the weather?” He will tell you verbally, but will also display the information in the app.
It’s sort of a journal of everything you said to Alexa. To activate the echo, you must say the word “Alexa”. You can change this in the settings later if you like, but only on “Amazon” or “Echo”. However, this may change in the future.
The first thing you probably want to do after the Echo is up and running is to train your voice to understand you better. To do this, go to the app, click on the three lines in the upper left corner, click on Settings, and then click on Voice Training. It is located directly below the “Install a new device” option, which I mentioned at the beginning of the article.
Once you have done that, you should set up music, news, sports, calendar and traffic. To do all this, go back to Settings and scroll down to the Account section.
This is all pretty easy to set up, so I won’t go into details. In terms of music and media, you can play music from Amazon if you have Prime or Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, or TuneIn. In the Flash Briefing section, you can customize many news programs like CNN, NPR, BBC, HuffPost, etc. Don’t go crazy with this section, because your briefing can be 40 minutes long!
In the Sports News section, simply search for all of your favorite teams and Alexa will provide you with updated information on everyone when you ask. At the moment, traffic only allows you to specify the start and end points of destination, so this is only suitable for people who commute to work on the same route every day, that is, home to work. In the Calendar section, you can sign in to your Google Calendar and then use Alexa to add events to your calendar.
So what exactly do you say to activate all these features? Well, there are two ways to learn commands. You can click on the three lines in the upper left corner and then click on “Things to Try” or read all the commands online.
Other built-in Alexa features are timers and alarms, and shopping and to-do lists. To set the timer, all you have to say is “Alexa, set the timer for x minutes.” To turn on the alarm, simply say “Alexa, set the alarm for 4 pm”. You can also say AM or PM if you like.
For lists, just say â€œAlexa, add x to my shopping listâ€ or â€œAlexa, add your-phrase to my to-do list. Alexa can also answer various questions such as simple math or transformations. In fact, the device seems to rely on Wikipedia, so this is either good or bad, depending on who you ask. You can ask him, for example: “Who is the president of country X?” or “What is the capital of State X?” or even something like “Name all continents.”
However, the real strength of Alexa lies in skills. If you click on three lines and then on “Skills”, you get a list of all the ways to improve echo. Basically, these are small applications written for the Echo by different companies or individuals.
There are many skills, but most of them are stupid or useless nowadays. However, the list gets better every day and some of them are really good. For my kids, I use Baby Animals, Spelling, Human Body Test, Mental Math, and Dinosaur Facts. I love my 5 year old daughter’s mental math.
For myself, I use the Capital One skill, This Day in History and Random World Facts. I also have TP-LINK Kasa and SmartThings skills enabled so I can control my switches, etc. via Alexa. In one of the following posts, I will write instructions on how to set up a smart home using Alexa.
For now, that’s pretty much everything you can do with Alexa, which is great because it’s just getting popular. A lot more skills will be written and Amazon is adding many new features to the device. The cool thing is that everything is updated in the cloud, so the device gets smarter and better without the need for a hardware upgrade. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!