Alexa is always getting smarter, but there are a few settings you need to change to get the most out of your Amazon Echo.
With each new generation of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker and each subsequent software update, Alexa gets a little better. It can perform more tasks, answer more questions, and generally make your life easier.
But even if you’ve been using an Echo for years, there are probably a few settings you’ve never changed. And some of these settings are worth looking into because they can make your Echo experience even better.
1. Enable Brief Mode
If you find Alexa’s speaking style a bit too chatty for your liking, you can turn on Brief Mode. When Brief Mode is enabled, Alexa will respond to your requests with shorter, less verbose responses.
Brief mode doesn’t change everything about how Alexa speaks, but it does reduce the number of “OK” responses you get when making requests, like adjusting the volume or changing the temperature.
To enable brief mode, open the Alexa app for iOS or Android and go to Settings in the After tongue. Tap Voice Responses so what enable brief mode.
Users of the Amazon Alexa ecosystem will find this mode particularly useful because it eliminates many of the annoying “OK” responses you get when making requests, like turning off the lights or changing the temperature.
2. Activate voice purchase on your Amazon Echo
One of the handiest features of owning an Echo is the ability to add items to your Amazon cart just by voice.
But by default, this feature is disabled for all Echo devices. That’s because Amazon doesn’t want you to accidentally order things you don’t want or need.
If you want to be able to buy things just by asking Alexa, you’ll need to enable voice buying in the Alexa app. To do this, open the app and go to Settings in the After tongue. Select Voice purchase and select the preferred setting in To buy controls.
If you have young children at home, it’s probably a good idea to keep Voice Purchasing disabled or change the default settings for Child Skill Purchasing to Approval Required. This way, you’ll have to confirm any purchases your kids try to make with their voice.
There are plenty of ways to stop accidental Amazon Alexa voice buying, so you can find the one that works best for you and your family.
3. Create a voice profile for each person in your household
If you share your Echo with other people in your household, you can create separate voice profiles for each person. This way, Alexa can track each person’s individual preferences and provide a more personalized experience for everyone.
To create your voice profile, open the Alexa app and go to Settings in the More tab. Select Your profile and your family and tap Your Profile. Faucet Add your voice and follow the instructions to create your profile.
Once you’ve created your voice profile, Alexa will be able to recognize you when you speak and customize your experience accordingly.
To set up a family member’s voice, they will need to download and open the Alexa app on their mobile device. They must sign in to the Amazon account used to set up the Alexa device and select i am someone else. They can enter their contact details or select their name from the list. After that, they have to go to SettingsPress on Your voice and follow the instructions.
4. Choose your default music service
The Amazon Echo can play music from a variety of sources, but by default it will use Amazon Music. If you’d rather connect to another service like Spotify or Pandora, you can change your default music provider in the Alexa app.
To do this, open the app and go to Settings in the After tongue. Select Music and podcasts and press the Default music service. From there, you can select the service you want to use by default.
If you don’t see your preferred service listed, you can activate it by tapping Associate a new service. You will be able to choose from a list of available music and audio services
5. Listen to Alexa’s hunches
One of the coolest new features in the Alexa app is called Hunches. Basically, it’s how Alexa gives you suggestions based on your current behavior.
For example, if you usually turn off the lights in your living room at night, Alexa might sense that you want to do the same tonight and offer to turn them off for you.
To enable Alexa Hunches, open the app and go to Settings in the After tongue. Select hunches and activate the function.
No need to worry about forgetting to turn off the lights or lock the front door. With Alexa insights, you can relax knowing your Echo has your back.
6. Check your Amazon Echo privacy settings
One of the great things about Amazon Echo is that it always listens to your voice commands. But that also means it’s constantly recording audio in your home.
Amazon takes your privacy seriously and gives you a lot of control over what data is collected and how it is used.
To view and change your Echo privacy settings, open the Alexa app and go to Settings in the More tab. Select Alexa Privacy and review the settings.
From here, you can change things like whether Amazon can use your voice recordings to improve its services or whether you want to review and delete your voice history.
7. Choose your favorite Alexa Flash briefing
A flash briefing is a quick update on news, weather, or other information you might be interested in. By default, Alexa will play a pre-selected flash briefing from NPR when you request your daily briefing.
But if you’d rather hear something else, like the latest sports scores or traffic report, you can change your default flash briefing in the Alexa app.
To do this, open the app and go to Settings in the After tongue. Select New and press Flash briefing. From there, you can choose from a variety of different sources of information.
To add a new source, press Add content and find the source you want to add. Once you find it, press the Activate skill press and follow the instructions.
8. Connect your calendar
If you want Alexa to be able to track your schedule, you can connect your calendar to the Alexa app.
To do this, open the app and go to Settings in the After tongue. Select Calendars and press Add a calendar. You can then choose from a variety of different calendar providers, including Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook.
Once you’ve selected your provider, follow the instructions to sign in and grant Alexa access to your calendar.
You will now be able to ask Alexa about upcoming events and she will be able to add events to your calendar. Don’t forget important appointments and meetings.
The power of Amazon Echo and Alexa
These are just a few of the things you can do with Amazon Echo. With so many features and settings, there’s a lot to explore.
So take some time to play with your Echo and see what else you can do. You might be surprised at how much this little device can do.
From music playback to organization, Amazon Echo is a powerful tool that can make your life easier. So make sure to take advantage of all the features and settings it has to offer.
7 Creative Uses for Amazon Echo and Alexa