Whether you are a long-time Echo user or are just getting started, half the fun is finding new entertaining and practical uses for it. There are a variety of skills and features built into the Echo — many more than can be quickly be listed — but there are certain features that many Echo owners cannot go without.
For the uninitiated, the Amazon Echo is a smart home device that allows you to do certain tasks using a voice-controlled artificial intelligence called “Alexa,” in the same vein as Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Siri. Here are five of the most popular features of the Amazon Echo that reinvent how users can do things in their homes.
Timers, Alarms, and Reminders
The Amazon Echo is a godsend that completely changes how people can keep track of their busy lives. For example, you can use your Echo to set a timer for the food you are cooking or to remind you that your favorite show is about to come on. You can also use your Echo as an alarm clock, with both traditional alarm sounds and special alarm messages from the likes of Alec Baldwin, Missy Elliott, Dan Marino, and Jason Schwartzman. You can even sync your Google Calendar profile with your Echo, helping you to remember important dates and times, like doctor appointments and friends’ birthdays.
This is one of the greatest features of the Echo. The Echo allows you to access popular music-streaming apps like Pandora and Spotify to play whatever music you like. You can access your own music library as well through Amazon Music, which can play both music you purchased on Amazon.com and music uploaded to Amazon Music’s cloud storage. If you are a fan of audiobooks, you can also play those purchased through Audible.com.
Weather and News
With only a little bit of setup, the Echo can give you weather and news reports tailored to your location and interests. You can check the weather forecast for the coming days, and you can get news reports for your Flash Briefing from outlets like:
- The Associated Press
This gives you quick and convenient access to the news and weather, ensuring that you are able to keep abreast of the important things that matter most to you.
Amazon users are able to shop online through the Echo, though it takes a bit of work to get a feel for it. Amazon emphasizes this feature by offering exclusive features to people who shop through the app. It’s also a great tool for ordering a pizza at Domino’s. More retailers and restaurants are sure to jump on board in the near future.
Syncing with Other Tech
Once you get more accustomed to your Amazon Echo, the next step is to start expanding its capabilities by adding on other tech products to work with it. There are a number of voice-activated home products already on the market, including:
- Philips Hue – Light system
- TP-Link Smart Plug – Power outlet
- Logitech Hub – Television remote
The Amazon Echo is still in its earliest stages of development and inter connectivity throughout your home. More options are soon to be on their way as the device continues to grow in popularity.