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Technology

Tech how-to: Make all your Alexa devices work like a home intercom system

We get it — having Alexa in every room of your house is more convenient than creepy. Installing an Echo device in bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens gives you instant access to music, recipes and more with nothing more than your voice. It’s like living in a science fiction movie!

What’s more, if Alexa is installed throughout your house, you can actually create Google Home routines to automate processes like your security cameras, thermostat and other appliances. Tap or click here to see how to do it.

If your Echo devices are everywhere, it only makes sense that you should be able to use them for chatting with the rest of your family. Until recently, this wasn’t possible right out of the box — but a new upgrade from Amazon lets you turn your Alexa system into a house-wide intercom system. Your kids will have no excuses being late for dinner now!

‘Alexa, drop in on all devices.’

In older editions of Alexa’s software, users had the handy ability to “drop in” to specific devices on their network and communicate by voice. The Drop In feature only worked with one device at a time, but all that has gone out the window thanks to a new announcement from Amazon about Alexa’s killer new features.

Now, instead of using Drop In with a single device, you can now use Alexa as an intercom that plays through speakers across your home. All you have to do is say “Alexa, drop in on all devices.” Once the phrase is spoken, Alexa will broadcast your words to every speaker in the house.

The utility of this feature is massive. Now, you can easily ask all members of the family what they want from the store, or let them know that dinner is ready and to hustle downstairs. It could even be used to awaken sleepy kids on Christmas morning for presents from Santa. Tap or click here to see 6 other surprising uses for Alexa.

This isn’t the only new feature for Alexa, mind you. Users can also now set reminders across all devices in your home, share photos by voice and even hear a curated “Daily Music Pick” from Amazon Music.

How can I get the new update for Alexa?

Updating Alexa requires using the mobile app to verify which version you’re currently running. If you want to get these new features, here’s how you can upgrade your Echo devices:

  1. Open the Alexa app and select Devices.
  2. Select Echo & Alexa.
  3. Select your device.
  4. Select About to see your device’s software version. Tap or click here to see the latest version, and check if your numbers match.

Alexa automatically installs updates at night, so if your numbers match, you’re already good to go. If not, follow these steps to force an update:

  1. Confirm your device is powered on and connected to Wi-Fi with a simple Alexa command. We recommend asking for a joke.
  2. Press and release the mute button, which will feature either a strike-through microphone or circle, depending on your device. The light will glow red once the device is muted.
  3. Within 30 minutes, Alexa will automatically announce it needs to update. Wait for the update to complete before testing the new features.

Once you’re caught up, you’re ready to make your house even more futuristic. Now there are zero excuses for the rest of the family to sleep in late. Finally, you can be the drill sergeant you were always born to be!

Just don’t play Reveille over the intercom. This isn’t summer camp.

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