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How to text a question to Alexa when you can’t (or don’t want to) use your voice

All right, stop us if you’ve heard this one: You try to talk to Alexa, but there’s too much commotion around. Maybe your neighbor is blaring music, or the TV in the other room is too loud. You try to talk to her, but she can’t hear you over all the noise.

Or maybe your friend just gave you a great gift idea, and you want to add it to your shopping list before you forget. Of course, you can’t just call out to Alexa in front of your pal — that would ruin the surprise. Tap here for three secrets to protect your privacy while you’re using Amazon Echo.

Luckily, you’ve got another option: Just text Alexa! All you’ve got to do is use your Amazon app on iPhone or Android. There, you can send commands to your Alexa-enabled devices. You can play music, control lights, or — you guessed it — add gift ideas to your shopping list.

Here’s how the new Type with Alexa feature works

If you have the Amazon Alexa app, you know you’re able to send commands to your Echo devices. First, you have to tap on the blue icon in the app. This starts your conversation. From there, speak to Alexa like normal.

Watch out, though: If you ping Alexa this way, she’ll respond by voice. To make sure you’re not overheard, there is now a way to text Alexa that you can take advantage of through the Amazon Alexa app.

This cool new option comes from the Type with Alexa feature. It’s very simple to use. First, open the Amazon Alexa app and tap the blue icon at the top of the screen. Then, instead of speaking, tap the keyboard icon that appears. Once you do that, you’ll see this screen:

This new feature is a “public preview,” which means Amazon is still working out the kinks. In other words, it may require a little patience. You can still use it to make your life easier, though.

(Note: The Type with Alexa feature just started rolling out, so you might not see it for a few days.)

To begin, type your commands into the textbox and hit send. It’s just like texting a friend — although they may not respond as quickly as Alexa!

From there, you can ask Alexa to share headlines, play songs or even turn your connected devices on and off. That’s right: You don’t need to use your voice to start devices you’ve connected to your Echo.

Now you can turn your devices on or off with a few thumb strokes. There’s a lot more you can do with an Amazon Echo, too. Tap or click here for five cool ways to use your Echo that most people don’t know about.

Thanks to the new Type with Alexa feature, you can get things done around the house — all without using your voice. Whether you’re in a noisy room or you’ve got a sore throat, this new feature is perfect for getting things done quickly.

It’s also perfect for the holiday season, too. Tap here to see how to keep your Amazon purchases a secret. After all, nobody wants to spoil a surprise gift!

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