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3 genius ways you’re not using your Amazon Alexa

Who says Alexa is only helpful on your kitchen counter? She’s a smart cookie, and chances are, there’s more you could be doing with her.

Did you know that Alexa can improve home security and check in on elderly relatives? Tap or click here for five clever ways to use your Echo and Alexa.

But wait, there’s more. We put together three Alexa life hacks that improve her functionality and save you time, frustration and brainpower best expended elsewhere.

1. Sync your personal accounts

If you and your family like to listen to different music, why not personalize your session by ensuring she’s linking up with your Amazon Music account? 

Here’s how to set up Alexa Profiles:

  1. In the Alexa app, tap More at the bottom.
  2. Select Settings, followed by Your Profile & Family.
  3. Add each individual profile using Add someone else — you should see any Amazon-related accounts listed here, such as your Prime Video account.
  4. For accounts already listed, you can add the appropriate labels by tapping Enter their name.
  5. Confirm and enjoy!

After adding your profile, you’ll need to ask, “Alexa, which profile are you using?” If it’s someone else’s, say, “Alexa, switch profiles.”

2. Create an interactive grocery list

Say goodbye to that magnetic notepad on the fridge. Alexa is most helpful when she’s there for you right when you need her. You can build a shopping list throughout the week as you find new things you need to stock up on.

This Alexa tip is also great for the planners among us. You can create multiple lists by adding new ones in the Alexa app (you’ll find the option under Lists & Notes) or by saying, “Alexa, create a new list.” That way, your party supplies and regular grocery shopping stay separate and manageable.

Amazon Fresh patrons can also ask Alexa to add goods from the platform directly into their shopping carts. You’ll need to reserve your pick-up or delivery time in the Fresh app or in-browser, but the shopping itself will be taken care of.

3. Try Follow-Up Mode for complex commands

Alexa, do this. Alexa, do that. Her name is called a “wake word,” and while the word itself is customizable, it can be annoying to say it repeatedly while you walk the device through any multistep process.

You can enable Follow-Up mode by:

  1. Tapping into the Settings section of the Alexa app.
  2. Choose the speaker you want to modify.
  3. Scroll to General and switch Follow-Up Mode on.

You can also enable Follow-Up mode by saying, “Alexa, enable Follow-Up mode.” Do this for each speaker you want to enable it on.

Now, after each command, she’ll stay active for a few seconds waiting to hear another request. You don’t need to repeat the wake word unless you wait too long.

Keep reading

Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook are always listening unless you change these settings

Seven ways tech can solve life’s little annoyances, from missing emails to forgetting something at the store

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