The Amazon Echo was first announced in the Fall of 2014 and became available to US residents in the Winter of 2015.  The Echo is a information, music, audiobook, news, weather, traffic and sports digital assistant that is always on, always listening and connect to home and home automation via Wifi.  It is voice controlled and hands-free and uses far-field voice recognition to hear you from almost anywhere in your home.   It connect to Amazon at all times so it is always up to date and Amazon is adding features at a very rapid pace as of this writing.  With a 360 degree omni-directional audio, it fills any room with good sound that can be called on demand from Amazon Music, Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn options available with accounts.  Compatible with select Wink, Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue connected devices, you can connect the Echo to remote control lights and switches with your voice.

If you want to add anything to this list, email jim@theAverageGuy.tv

The Echo at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UWGEbn

We received our Echo on May 16, 2015.

Podcasts:

Home Gadget Geeks 213 –  https://theaverageguy.tv/2015/05/10/hands-on-with-the-amazon-echo-hgg213/

Home Gadget Geeks 217 – https://theaverageguy.tv/2015/06/06/ecobee3-smart-thermostat-amazon-echo-homekit-and-simplisafe-security-hgg217/

 

 Videos:

How to set up your Amazon Echo – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyeRQQXN0NY&feature=youtu.be

 

Social Media Links

Google+ Group – https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/114136919787676357738

Facebook Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/AmazonEchoGroup/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/martinbrossman/amazon-echo/

 

Helpful Links

Getting Started – http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_bc_nav?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201399130

Echo Help Videos – http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201602170

Things to Try – http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201707210&ref=ods_em_dplr_whatsnew&ref_=pe_1840220_143053280

Black not your color? Try a new skin for your echo – https://www.istyles.com/skins/other/amazon-echo/

The Amazon Echo: Everything You Might Need to Know – http://recode.net/2015/07/07/the-amazon-echo-everything-you-might-not-know/

Access you Echo from a PC or Mac – http://echo.amazon.com/

How to turn Amazon Echo into the brains of your smarthome – http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to-turn-amazon-echo-into-the-brains-of-your-smarthome/

How To Echo – http://howtoecho.com/

 

Change Logs

May 6, 2016

Syfy fans, we’ve got you covered—with the new Alexa skill from Syfy, you can get recaps, sneak peeks, and schedule information for Syfy’s original shows like 12 Monkeys, Hunters, or The Magicians. Enable the skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask Syfy, what happens in the next episode of ’12 Monkeys’?
Alexa, ask Syfy, what happened on the latest episode of ‘The Magicians’?
More to try

Alarm.com
If you have an Alarm.com smart home system, you can now add voice control with the new Alarm.com skill for Alexa. Arm your security system, check your locks and garage doors, and control your thermostats, lights, and video cameras. Enable the Alarm.com skill in your Alexa App, link your Alarm.com account, then just ask:

Alexa, ask Alarm dot com for help.

Triby: a new way to enjoy Alexa
Meet Triby—an Alexa-enabled device from Invoxia. Triby is a portable speaker that lets you play music, make calls, or share doodles and messages with your family. And now, Triby owners can enjoy Alexa features like skills and voice control of smart-home devices.
Learn more about Triby.

What’s playing

Songs to celebrate Mom
This Mother’s Day, throw Mom a party with these all-time-great celebration tunes—she deserves it. Just ask:

Alexa, play ’50 Great Songs for Celebrating’ from Prime.
Be sure to listen May 6 – May 19 for the chance to win one of 14 Amazon Tap devices!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes ends 5/19/16.
See Official Rules for details and alternate method of entry.

#AskAlexa

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and thanks so much for all that you do. And now, moms (and dads), we want to hear from you – how do you use Alexa at home? Tweet us a picture, video, or a tip with the hashtag #AskAlexa.

 

April 28, 2016

1-800-Flowers
Just in time for Mother’s Day—you can now order bouquets for your loved ones via Alexa, thanks to the new 1-800-Flowers skill. Choose from among four different arrangements to say happy Mother’s Day, happy birthday, I love you, or thanks.

To get started, enable the skill from your Alexa App and link a 1-800-Flowers account. Then just ask:

Alexa, ask 1-800-Flowers to send Becky flowers.
More to try

Alexa loves Star Wars
Wednesday, May the Fourth is Star Wars Day. Celebrate with Alexa—just ask:

Alexa, give me a ‘Star Wars’ joke.
Alexa, give me a ‘Star Wars’ fact.
What’s playing

Top Pop
Find today’s most popular pop artists, from Kelly to Justin and many more, all in one place. Just ask:

Alexa, play the Top Pop station in Prime Music.

Alexa can help you throw some pretty epic dance parties—of both the human and robot variety. Thanks to user Ron for demonstrating with a video!

April 22, 2016

You can now ask Alexa to add events directly to your Google Calendar, making it even easier to manage your schedule. Go to “Settings” in your Alexa App and tap “Calendar.” Once you’re set up, just ask:

Alexa, add an event to my calendar.
Alexa, add ‘brunch with Mom’ to my calendar for Saturday at 10 a.m.
Alexa can also check your Google Calendar for events—just ask:

Alexa, when is my next event?
Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?
More to try

Get exclusive with The Voice
Fans of The Voice, rejoice: Alexa can now help you stay in-the-know between shows with exclusive interviews with current Voice artists, hosted by Season 7’s Matt McAndrew.

Add “Inside The Voice” to your Flash Briefing, along with content already available from the Huffington Post, ESPN, Discovery, TMZ, and more. Then just ask:

Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?
What’s playing

The Great Outdoors
Earth Day is on Friday, April 22. Celebrate with this nature-themed playlist of enchanting songs by indie and folk artists like Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, and more. To listen, just ask:

Alexa, play ‘The Great Outdoors’ from Prime.
Alexa has some other ideas on how to honor the planet—just ask:

Alexa, what can I do for Earth Day?
#AskAlexa

Last week, we introduced you to Tyeena—a parrot who loves to say hello to Alexa—and asked you to tweet us photos of your Alexa-loving pets with the hashtag #AskAlexa. Thanks to @Socially_Gold, @cmarkevich, and @josephcoughlin for introducing us to Rigby, Ruby, and Mr. Cupcake!

 

April 19, 2016

Go Big Red Skill

To use the GBR skill, try saying…

  • Alexa, ask Go Big Red for Fight Song
  • Alexa, ask Go Big Red for Tunnel Walk
  • Alexa, ask Go Big Red for Touchdown Tommie Frazier

GBR will play various Nebraska Cornhusker songs and sound clips.

Full list of supported clips:

  • Fight Song (There is No Place Like Nebraska)
  • Hail Varsity
  • Tunnel Walk
  • Touchdown Tommie Frazier
  • Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers

 

April 15, 2016

KidsMD has health answers
Parents can now use the KidsMD skill for Alexa to ask children’s health questions and get answers prepared by physicians from Boston Children’s Hospital. You can ask whether symptoms like fever, cough, or headache warrant a call to the doctor, or get weight- or age-specific dosing guidelines for acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

To get started, enable the KidsMD skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask KidsMD about fever.
Alexa, ask KidsMD about dosing.
More to try

Help from HomeAdvisor
Sink backed up? Need an air conditioner installed? The new HomeAdvisor skill for Alexa can connect you with pre-screened home service pros for help on hundreds of home projects. Launch the skill and say what kind of help you need, and HomeAdvisor will have a local expert from its nationwide network of more than 100,000 background-checked pros call you on the phone.

To get started, enable the HomeAdvisor skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, launch HomeAdvisor.
Alexa, ask HomeAdvisor to find me a plumber.

Alexa haikus, do you?
Sunday is the day
Alexa hails the haiku—
That tiny poem.

International Haiku Poetry Day is April 17. Celebrate it with Alexa—just ask:

Alexa, give me a haiku.
What’s playing

Coachella 2016
Get ready for the festival in the desert by listening to artists on this year’s bill, from veterans like Guns N’ Roses and Rancid to hot acts A$AP Rocky and Of Monsters and Men. To listen, just ask:
#AskAlexa

You don’t need hands to enjoy hands-free music and information. Lorrie and Mark of Milford, CT tell us that their African Grey parrot Tyeena loves saying hello to Alexa. Do you have a pet that likes hanging out with Alexa? Tweet us a photo with the hashtag #AskAlexa.

April 8, 2016

Lutron’s wireless dimmers and switches now work with Alexa. Turn your lights on and off, brighten them, or dim them—just ask. To see all of the lighting you can control with Alexa, including LIFX bulbs, Philips Hue kits, and WeMo light switches, visit our Smart Home Store.

To control your dimmers and switches with Alexa, go to “Smart Home” in your Alexa App and link your device. Then just ask:

More to try

Art of War

Start your day with an insightful quote from General Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Enable the skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Poems from Alexa
April is National Poetry Month and Alexa’s getting into the literary spirit. Every day in April, Alexa can introduce you to a new poem. Just ask:

Alexa loves science
Don’t let your right brain have all the fun—Alexa’s also a great partner for exploring the world of math and science. Just ask:

What’s playing

Weezer’s new album
They’re back: Pop-rock nerds Weezer have returned with their 10th studio album—and this time, the SoCal musicians have recaptured the hooky, emotion-filled magic from their ’90s heyday. To listen, just ask:

Catastrophe
Season 2 of the hit series Catastrophe is premiering exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. The show’s creators and stars, Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, have crafted a show-inspired playlist full of songs to help you embrace a romantic calamity. Just ask:
#AskAlexa

Echo Dot lets you add Alexa to any room. But jpsabo didn’t stop there—watch as he sets up an Echo Dot in his car, for the ultimate in hands-free entertainment and assistance. To get an Echo Dot, just ask:

April 1, 2016

Alexa can now make your mornings a little easier, with alarms that repeat daily or on the same day every week. You can also set one alarm for weekdays and another for the weekend, depending on your snoozing preferences. Just ask:

To edit your alarms or set a new default sound—including custom tones by Alec Baldwin and Missy Elliott, and brand-new ones from Jason Schwartzman and Dan Marino—visit the Alexa App.

More to try

Washington Post
election updates
You can now get essential election news as part of your daily news briefing, with a politics update written exclusively for Alexa by Washington Post political blogger Chris Cillizza. Add the Washington Post’s Politics Brief to your Flash Briefing, along with content already available from CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, and more.

To get started, simply go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, choose “Flash Briefing,” and turn on the Washington Post. Once you’ve personalized your Flash Briefing, just ask:

Alexa’s comedy club
This April Fools’ Day, celebrate and laugh with Alexa. Listen to comedy albums on Prime Music, like stand-up albums from Jim Gaffigan or the satirical song stylings of “Weird Al” Yankovic. Or check out popular podcasts on TuneIn, like Marc Maron’s critically acclaimed interview show or the surreal, fake-news program “Welcome to Night Vale.” Just ask:

Alexa is your
April Fools’ assistant
If it just doesn’t feel like April Fools’ without a solid prank or two,
Alexa can help. Just ask:

Order Dash Buttons
Never run out of your everyday essentials. In addition to reordering past Amazon purchases using Alexa, you can simply press a Dash Button, and Amazon will reorder and deliver your favorite items. There are now over 100+ Amazon Dash Buttons available exclusively for Prime members. Buy a Dash Button for $4.99 and receive a $4.99 credit after your first press of the button. See all Dash Button selection here.

If you’re a Prime member, Alexa can help you stock up on Dash Buttons—just ask:

Smart life,
Smart home

Light up with LifX
LifX bulbs now work with Alexa directly. Turn your LifX bulbs on and off, brighten them, or dim them—just ask. To see all of the lighting you can control with Alexa, including Philips Hue kits and WeMo light switches, visit our Smart Home Store.

To control your bulbs with Alexa, go to “Smart Home” in your Alexa App and link your device. Then just ask:

What’s playing

Fool Me Once
As you plot the hoaxes and practical jokes you want to pull on your loved ones, you should have an inspiring soundtrack. Listen to “Fool Me Once,” our playlist featuring tales of fools and foolishness, from the Beatles and Ike and Tina Turner to Elvis Costello, The Strokes, and Natalie Prass.
Just ask:
#AskAlexa

Last week, we announced that Alexa and Nest now work together. Thanks to @manishseattle for demonstrating how you can change the setting of your Nest thermostat using just your voice.

And thanks to actress Allison Williams for demonstrating how great Alexa is for listening to music. We can’t guarantee you’ll get quite the same results that she does, but you can try. Just ask:

 

March 25, 2016
Alexa and Nest keep things cozy

Alexa and Nest now work together. With a Nest Learning thermostat, you can raise, lower, or set a target temperature—just ask. To see all of the thermostats you can control with Alexa, including the ecobee thermostat and the Sensi thermostat from Emerson, visit our Smart Home Store.

To control your thermostat with Alexa, go to your Alexa App and link your device. Then just ask:

Alexa, set my home temperature to 65.

Alexa, increase the temperature upstairs.
MORE TO TRY
More to Try
English Premier League Games
You can now keep tabs on soccer—sorry, football—games in the English Premier League. Just ask:

Alexa, when is the next Chelsea game?

Alexa, what’s the score of the Man United game?

You can also create a personalized Sports Update to get scores and schedules for your favorite teams’ Premier League games, along with teams playing in the WNBA, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NFL, and NCAA. Select “Settings” and then “Sports Update” in your Alexa App. Once you have personalized your update, just ask:

Alexa, give me my Sports Update

March Madness
If you can’t get enough of the NCAA Tournament, Alexa can help. Wondering when your favorite team is playing? Just ask:
Alexa, when do the North Carolina Tar Heels play next?

Alexa, who won the Kansas Jayhawks game?
Alexa’s Favorite Easter Eggs
By hunting messages that Alexa has hidden away, you can celebrate Easter all year long. Here are a few of our favorite Easter eggs. Did we miss yours? Share them with the hashtag #AskAlexa.

Alexa, rap for me.

Alexa, Earl Grey tea, hot.

Alexa, which came first: the chicken or the egg?

Alexa, would you like a chocolate bunny?
WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing

Solid Sounds
Get your vibe on with a 50-song playlist of rock, soul, and roots music by a range of world-class artists, from folk strummers The Lumineers and Ray LaMontagne to psychedelic boundary-pushers My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes, Beck and beyond. Just ask:

Alexa, play the Solid Sounds playlist from Prime.

Thanks to user @magitisa for demonstrating the L Train skill, which can tell you when the next New York City L Train is arriving at your station. You can find a range of other public transportation skills in the Alexa App—click “Skills” to search for them.

 

March 18, 2016
Alexa gets fit

Stay motivated on your fitness journey with the new Fitbit skill for Alexa. This skill works with Fitbit trackers and smart scales to give you updates on your daily activity, weight, and more.

To get started, enable the Fitbit skill in your Alexa App. When you’ve linked your Fitbit account, just ask:.

Alexa, ask Fitbit how I’m doing today.

Alexa, ask Fitbit how many steps I’ve taken.

Alexa, ask Fitbit how I slept last night.

Alexa, ask Fitbit about my exercise.
MORE TO TRY
More to Try
Easter Shopping
Easter is next week—let Alexa help you stock up on some essentials. Just ask:

Alexa, order Easter candy.

Alexa, order a chocolate bunny.

March Madness
Alexa can also help you with another rite of spring: predicting the Madness of March. Want to hear Alexa’s predictions? Just ask:

Alexa, who will be in the Elite Eight?

Alexa, who is in your Final Four?

Alexa, who will win March Madness?

Alexa, who is your favorite college basketball team?
WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing

South by Southwest
It’s time for South by Southwest—aka SXSW—the annual musical mecca for young bands looking to make a name for themselves. To get to know some of the acts we’re most excited to see at this year’s festival, just ask:

Alexa, play the South by Southwest playlist from Prime.

Alexa can help you answer tricky questions, as @nickristiansson discovered, or entertain you with podcasts, as @E_Meds demonstrates by asking Alexa to play the show she hosts, TV Hangover. Sometimes, though, Alexa is just nice to come home to—thanks to @aquino_amy, star of Amazon’s Bosch, for the reminder.

 

March 11, 2016

Mornings with Alexa

Start your day with news from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Huffington Post, now available in your Flash Briefing along with content from CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, and more.

Before you get out of bed, have Alexa turn on your appliances. Alexa now works directly with TP-LINK Smart Plugs—plug your lamp or coffeemaker into one, and you can turn it on or off using just your voice. To see all of the outlets and switches that work with Alexa, visit our Smart Home Store.

To customize your Flash Briefing, simply go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, choose “Flash Briefing,” and turn on Huffington Post. Then just ask:

Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?

To control your smart plug with Alexa, go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, click “Connected Home,” and link your device. Then just ask:

Alexa, turn on the lamp.

MORE TO TRY

New Skill: Capital One

Capital One
Capital One customers can now use Alexa to stay on top of their credit card, checking, or savings accounts. To get started, first enable the Capital One skill in the Alexa App. You’ll be prompted to sign into your Capital One account and create a personal key for extra security. Once you’ve linked your account, just ask:

Alexa, ask Capital One what’s my current credit card balance?

Alexa, ask Capital One when is my current credit card bill due?

Alexa, ask Capital One, what are my recent transactions?

Alexa, ask Capital One, what is my overall account summary?
Alexa Skills
Open the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to use
Email Assistant
Traveling for spring break? Link your email account, and Email Assistant can talk to your mailbox to tell you about upcoming flight, hotel, and rental car reservations. Enable the Email Assistant skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask Email Assistant for my hotel reservation details.

You can also ask Alexa to check the weather at your spring break destination. Just ask:

Alexa, what’s the weather in Honolulu?

Alexa, what’s the weather in San Diego for this weekend?
WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing

Smashing Pumpkins
Happy birthday to Smashing Pumpkins frontman and alt-rock icon Billy Corgan. Celebrate with the band’s finest release, 1995’s Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, featuring their best known singles “1979,” “Tonight, Tonight,” and “Zero.” Just ask:

Alexa, play ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness’ from Prime Music.

 

Last week we introduced two new ways to enjoy Alexa: Echo Dot and Amazon Tap. Thanks to @rossman for demonstrating how to order an Echo Dot, exclusively from Alexa.

To order yours, just ask:

Alexa, order an Echo Dot.

Alexa, order an Amazon Tap.

 

March 4, 2016

Alexa warms up
Alexa now works directly with the Sensi thermostat from Emerson. In addition to the ecobee thermostat, you can use the Sensi thermostat to raise, lower, or set a target temperature—just ask. Visit our Smart Home Store to learn more about devices and hubs from brands like Wink, SmartThings, and Insteon, which let you control lights, switches, and thermostats with Alexa.

To control your thermostat with Alexa, go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, click “Connected Home,” and link your device. Then just ask:

Alexa, when is the next primary?

Alexa, when is the Massachusetts primary?
MORE TO TRY

New Skill: The Wayne Investigation

Batman v Superman
In this new audio game from the makers of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, you play a detective searching Gotham for clues about the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents. Tell Alexa which paths you want to take, and see if you can crack the case at the heart of the Batman myth.

Enable “The Wayne Investigation” skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, open the Wayne Investigation.

Alexa can also help you gear up for the March 25 premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by telling you fun facts about its characters. Just ask:

Alexa, tell me a fact about Batman v Superman.

New Skill: Election Updates
from NBC News

This election season, the new NBC News skill for Alexa will keep you up-to-date on key campaign news. Get top headlines, information about how your favorite candidate is doing, candidate bios, and ongoing election updates. Enable the NBC News skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask NBC News for headlines.

Alexa, ask NBC News how Donald Trump is doing.

Alexa, ask NBC News for Hillary Clinton’s bio.

Alexa, ask NBC News, which candidates are ahead in the primaries?
NEW WAYS TO ENJOY ALEXA

Introducing Echo Dot

Introducing Echo Dot
Echo Dot is a new product from Amazon that uses the same far-field voice recognition as Echo. You can directly connect Echo Dot to your speakers through the included audio cable or via Bluetooth to add voice control to your home stereo system. Learn more about Echo Dot.

Echo Dot is available for $89.99 in limited quantities, exclusively for Prime members through Alexa Voice Shopping. Limit 1 per order, 2 per customer. To order your Echo Dot, just ask:

Alexa, order an Echo Dot.

Introducing Amazon Tap

Introducing Amazon Tap
Amazon Tap is an Alexa-enabled portable Bluetooth speaker that gives you rich, full-range sound powered by Dolby and access to Alexa wherever there’s Wi-Fi. Learn more about Amazon Tap.
WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing

Coldplay
Happy birthday to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. Celebrate by listening to songs from the British pop-rock band’s nearly two-decade career, from their 2000 debut to their most recent release, 2015’s A Head Full of Dreams. To hear their heart-swelling, arena-filling ballads, just ask:

Alexa, play the Coldplay station on Prime Music.
#AskAlexa

#AskAlexa
Thanks, @justJENN, for showing us how you’re using your new Amazon Echo, autographed by Alec Baldwin, to listen to the Nerdist podcast. We think Echo and Wolverine make a nice pair, too.

February 26, 2016

Flash Briefing Updates and
Election News
The Wall Street Journal is bringing headline news along with money and tech updates to Alexa through Flash Briefing. To listen, simply go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, choose “Flash Briefing,” and turn on the Wall Street Journal. Once you’ve personalized your Flash Briefing, just ask:

Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?
With Super Tuesday heating up the election season next week, Alexa can also help you keep up with the primaries. Just ask:

Alexa, when is the next primary?

Alexa, when is the Massachusetts primary?
MORE TO TRY

ecobee and Echo
The Oscars
The 88th annual Academy Awards are this Sunday, and Alexa has a few predictions to help you fill out your Oscar ballot. Alexa can also give you the scoop on who won Oscars in past years. Just ask:
Alexa, who will win an Oscar?

Alexa, what will win Best Picture?

Alexa, what Oscars has Matt Damon won?

Alexa, what won Best Picture in 2006?
Alexa goes to the movies
Alexa can also help you with movie information all year-round. Get showtimes or ask questions about movie stars, writers, and directors.

Alexa, when is Deadpool playing?

Alexa, what romantic movies are playing this Saturday?

Alexa, who stars in Mad Max: Fury Road?

Alexa, is the movie The Big Short a good movie?
Alexa Skills
Open the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to use
Magic Door
The Magic Door is an Alexa-powered adventure game. Tell Alexa what choices to make as you navigate a forest, a garden, or an ancient temple. Enable the Magic Door skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, open the Magic Door.
Lyrical
When you have a lyric stuck in your head but can’t remember what song it’s from, Lyrical is here to help. Enable the Lyrical skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask Lyrical what song goes, we will rock you?
WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing

Macklemore
It’s the return of the Mack. After 2012’s massive hit The Heist, the Seattle rapper and his producer, Ryan Lewis, are back with their follow-up, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made, featuring the single “Downtown.” Just ask:

Alexa, play the album This Unruly Mess I’ve Made by Macklemore

Alexa can help you find the perfect rhyme, as @abustamante discovered. Alexa can give you a weather forecast, as @xeau2 demonstrates. Sometimes, though, when you ask for Alexa’s help, you get more wisdom than you bargained for. Thanks, @juliaclavien, for trying out the Crystal Ball skill and sharing the results.

 

February 19, 2016

Updated Flash Briefing

Love hearing awesome science news about everything from robotic arms to glow-in-the-dark plants? You can now add Discovery News to your Flash Briefing, along with content already available from CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, and more.

To get started, simply go to “Settings” in your Alexa App, choose “Flash Briefing,” and turn on Discovery. Once you’ve personalized your Flash Briefing, just ask:

Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?

MORE TO TRY

Alexa Skills
Open the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to use

RhymeZone

Give RhymeZone an English word and it can give you words that rhyme, as well as adjectives and related words. Enable the RhymeZone skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask RhymeZone what rhymes with banana?

Baby Names

Ask Baby Names about popular names in the U.S. going back to 1880. Enable the Baby Names skill in your Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask Baby Names, how popular was Emma in 2014?

Get to Know Echo
Echo makes it easy to listen to podcasts while you’re cooking or hanging around the house. Explore them in your Alexa App, under TuneIn and then Podcasts.

As the host of the podcast Here’s The Thing, Alec Baldwin interviews artists, celebrities, and policymakers. To listen to it on your Echo, just ask:

Alexa, play ‘Here’s The Thing’ on TuneIn.
WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing

GRAMMY-Winning Pop
The stars of the music world turned out for the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards this week. Check out trophy-taking pop songs from the past and the present. Just ask:

Alexa, play the GRAMMY-Winning Pop Playlist

Last week, Alexa had a few sweet things to say about love and romance. Thanks @kropserkel and @JessicaPark24 for helping Alexa celebrate Valentine’s Day and then capturing it on video.

 

February 12, 2016

Alexa turns up the heat

You can now manage the temperature in your home with just your voice and a simple set of commands. The ecobee thermostat is the first thermostat to work directly with Alexa, allowing you to raise or lower the temperature or set a target temperature, just by asking.

Once you have linked your ecobee thermostat, just ask:
Alexa, set my bedroom temperature to 65.

Alexa, increase the temperature in my home.
MORE TO TRY

Alexa Skills
Open the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to use
Presidential Trivia
In honor of President’s Day, you can now test your knowledge of U.S. presidents, from Washington to Obama. Enable the skill in the Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, start Presidential Trivia.
Valentine’s Day
Wondering what Alexa’s opinions on love and romance are? Just ask:
Alexa, will you be my valentine?

Alexa, who do you love?

Alexa, do you like candy?

Alexa, happy Singles Awareness Day
WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing

Best Music of the Year
The 58th annual GRAMMY Awards ceremony is almost here. Get to know some of the best music from the past year with a selection of artists nominated at the biggest night in music. Just ask:

Alexa, play the GRAMMY playlist from Prime Music.

February 5, 2016

Ordering your favorite pizza just became easier, with Echo and the new skill from Domino’s. Just ask Alexa for your saved Easy Order or re-order your most recent order. Plus, you can easily track the status of an order you’ve already placed.

To get started, enable the Domino’s skill using the Alexa App, then link your Domino’s Pizza Profile account. Don’t have a profile? Create your Domino’s Pizza Profile, and once you’re set up, just ask:
Alexa, open Domino’s and place my Easy Order.

Alexa, ask Domino’s to track my order.
Uber

Ask Alexa for a ride

Alexa can now call you a car. Whether you’re off to the airport or a big night out, get a reliable ride in minutes. Choose among Uber’s various ride options, from low-cost to premium.

To get started, set your Echo’s location under “Settings” in your Alexa App, then enable the Uber skill and link your Uber account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll be prompted to create one. Once set up, just ask:
Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.

Alexa, ask Uber to request an UberX.
MORE TO TRY

Spotify

Spotify is now available on Echo, joining Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Spotify Premium subscribers can listen to their favorite playlists, genres, and over 30 million songs from the Spotify catalog. To get started, simply link your Spotify Premium account using the Alexa App. Once connected, just ask:

Alexa, play ‘jazz’ on Spotify.

Alexa, play the Today’s Top Hits playlist on Spotify.
Big Game Ultimate Trivia Quiz

This skill quizzes you on the history of football’s biggest game. Enable the skill in the Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, start Big Game.

WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing

Missy’s Party Popping Playlist
When Missy Elliott heads to Alec Baldwin’s Super Bowl party, she’s bringing a playlist full of artists she loves and knows can get the party started—artists like Mary J. Blige, OutKast, and Kendrick Lamar. Let Missy DJ your party, too. Just ask:

Alexa, play Missy’s Party Popping playlist from Prime Music.

 

Last week, @AlecBaldwin asked you to share your ideas for making #BaldwinBowl an epic Super Bowl party. Thanks to @TheHungryFan for sharing a delicious-looking set of chocolate footballs that we think will go perfectly with Alec’s cheese footballs. (Thanks for the recipe, too!)

Meanwhile, @MichaelaB1995 suggests pizza and wings and @scrappiedoodle thinks Alec needs “comfy shoes for that touchdown dance.”

Have more ideas for Alec’s party? Tweet @AlecBaldwin with the hashtag #BaldwinBowl.

 

February 4, 2016

You normally hear from us on Fridays, but we couldn’t wait to tell you that Spotify is now available on Echo.

In addition to Prime Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, Spotify Premium subscribers can now listen to their favorite playlists, genres, and over 30 million songs from the Spotify catalog on Echo.

To get started, simply link your Spotify Premium account using the Alexa App. Once connected, just ask:

Alexa, play ‘jazz’ on Spotify.

Alexa, play the Today’s Top Hits playlist on Spotify.

Alexa, play Drake on Spotify.

Alexa, play the album ‘Born to Run’ on Spotify.

 

January 29, 2016

Super Bowl Party Prep

Alec Baldwin is planning an epic Super Bowl party, with a little help from Alexa. Watch these videos to see how Alexa is helping Alec with everything from answering important party-prep questions to ordering essential supplies. What else does Alec need for his party? Tweet @AlecBaldwin your ideas using the hashtag #BaldwinBowl.

Alexa can also help plan your Super Bowl party. Whether it’s adding items to your shopping list, re-ordering essentials from Amazon, or sharing the ingredients for an epic snack stadium—just ask:
Alexa, when is ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ playing?

Alexa, tell me about the movie ‘The Revenant’.

Alexa, what movies are playing?

Alexa, what action movies are playing Saturday night?
MORE TO TRY

New Alarm Tones

What’s Playing

Alexa wants to make sure you’re ready to go on game day. Check out two new alarm tones featuring Alec Baldwin and his friend Missy Elliot—who also knows how to get a party started.

Simply open the Alexa App, tap “Alarms,” change the default sound, then just ask:

Alexa, play the Winter Lodge playlist from Prime Music.
Finding Popular Skills

Finding Popular Skills

Since we first introduced third-party skills last August, more than 175 have been added including skills from Fidelity, StubHub, Huffington Post, and more. In addition to searching for skills, you can now sort them by average customer review, newest arrivals, or alphabetically. Simply open the Alexa App, tap “Skills” from the menu, and sort based on what you are looking for.

Looking for a new skill to try? Here are two of our most popular ones.
Word Master
Alexa, open Word Master.

TV Shows

Alexa, ask TV Shows, when is American Idol on?

WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing
Alec Baldwin has put together the ideal playlist for a swanky football affair. From Bon Jovi to the Beatles, Nirvana to the Beastie Boys, and, of course, classic crooners like Sinatra, Mr. Baldwin has you covered. Just ask:

Alexa, play the Winter Lodge playlist from Prime Music.
#AmazonEcho

#AmazonEcho
Thanks to @WFLApeter for showing us how you use IFTTT (short for “If This, Then That”) and Alexa to change lighting colors. IFTTT is a third-party service that lets you connect your Echo to other devices, apps, or websites using simple programs called “recipes.” Learn more.

Tell us how you use your Echo with the hashtag #AmazonEcho.

 

January 22, 2016

Alexa Goes to the Movies

Alexa can now tell you movie showtimes at theaters near you. Let Alexa help you plan your weekend, with information about films currently in theaters.

To get started, just ask:
Alexa, when is ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ playing?

Alexa, tell me about the movie ‘The Revenant’.

Alexa, what movies are playing?

Alexa, what action movies are playing Saturday night?
MORE TO TRY

Alexa Skills
Open the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to use
Focus Word
Focus Word provides an inspirational word or phrase along with a brief statement to serve as a point of focus you can use during meditation, or as a touchstone throughout the day. Enable the skill in the Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, open Focus Word.
Conversation Starter
Conversation Starter offers discussion topics to help you break the ice—or get to know your friends better. Enable the skill in the Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, open Conversation Starter.

Road to the Super Bowl
There’s one more round of playoffs this weekend, and Alexa has some new predictions for the outcomes. You can also ask Alexa for score updates, during and after the game. Just ask:

Alexa, who will win in the playoffs this weekend?

Alexa, who will win the Super Bowl?

Alexa, who is winning the New England Patriots game?

Alexa, what was the score of the Arizona Cardinals game?
Get to Know Echo
Echo can help you stay on top of all your sports news with a personalized sports briefing. To get started, just open the Alexa App, select “Settings” from the menu, then choose “Sports Update.” With Sports Update, Alexa provides scores and schedules for WNBA, NBA, MLB, MLS, NHL, NFL, and NCAA (men’s basketball & FBS football) games. You can also stream great sports radio via TuneIn. Just ask:

Alexa, play ESPN Radio from TuneIn.

Alexa, play CBS Sports Radio from TuneIn
WHAT’S PLAYING

What’s Playing
Snow is piling up all across the nation, making us dream of cozy weekends in tucked-away cabins. Break out the hot cocoa and get warm with this wintry playlist from Prime Music. Just ask:

Alexa, play the Winter Lodge playlist from Prime Music.

Last week, we told you that Alexa can now read your Kindle Books using the same text-to-speech technology that already reads Wikipedia articles, news articles, and calendar entries. Thanks to @dannysullivan for recommending a great Alexander Hamilton-themed music/eBook combo.

Tell us how you use your Echo with the hashtag #AmazonEcho.

January 15, 2016

Kindle Books by Alexa

Alexa can now read your Kindle Books out loud, using the same text-to-speech technology that already reads Wikipedia articles, news articles, and calendar entries. Relax with your latest book or have Alexa help with bedtime stories for the kids. You can switch seamlessly between listening and reading—start an eBook on your Echo, then continue reading on your Kindle, tablet, or smartphone, right where you left off.

Find out which of your eBooks Alexa can read by opening the Alexa App and tapping “Kindle Books.” Or just ask:
Alexa, read my Kindle book.

Alexa, pause.

Alexa, read (Kindle book title).

Alexa, skip back.
Don’t have any Kindle Books yet? Get started with a free collection of excerpts from Star Wars novels. And don’t forget, you can always listen to professionally narrated audiobooks on your Echo from Audible.

MORE TO TRY

Alexa Skills
Open the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to use
Fortune Cookie
Hear your fortune or, for a chance at the next big jackpot, ask for Powerball numbers. Enable the Fortune Cookie skill in the Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask Fortune Cookie what are my Powerball numbers?
Quick Events
Easily add events to your Google Calendar with Quick Events. Enable the skill in the Alexa App, sign in with your Google Account, then just ask:

Alexa, tell Quick Events to add ‘Go for a walk’ tomorrow at 3:00.

Road to the Super Bowl
The playoffs are off to an incredible start. Keep track of upcoming games, or find out who Alexa thinks will go all the way. Just ask:

Alexa, when do the Seahawks play next?.

Alexa, will win in the playoffs this weekend?

Alexa, who is your favorite football player?

Alexa, who will win the Super Bowl?
SMART HOME, SMART LIFE.
Echo now works with the Vivint Home Security System and the new third-party Vivint Smart Home Alexa skill, allowing you to control a wide range of devices in your home. Watch this video highlighting how it all works. Learn more about Vivint.

Interested in making your home smart, and voice-controlled with Echo? Visit the Echo Smart Home store to see see available products from companies like Samsung SmartThings.
Last week’s Consumer Electronics Show offered a glimpse into Alexa’s future. Ford announced that it plans to include Alexa in future connected vehicles. Watch this video to see what it could be like when you can start your car from the dining table, just by asking Alexa.
WHAT’S PLAYING
Congratulations to the Amazon Original Series Mozart in the Jungle for taking home the Golden Globes for Best Series and Best Actor in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy category. Listen to a playlist from the quirky show about classical music from Prime Music. Just ask:

Alexa, play music from Mozart in the Jungle from Prime Music.
Last week we asked you to share videos using a new Alexa third-party skill. Thanks to @justinsound and @wheelsee for sharing the fun you had with The Name Game!

Have you tried any new third-party Alexa skills? Share a video highlighting your favorite new skill using #AmazonEcho.

 

January 8, 2016

Jeopardy!

America’s favorite quiz show comes to Echo this week with the new skill, Jeopardy! Step up to the podium and get ready for a wide range of categories including sports, pop culture, travel, world history, and much more. Every weekday there are 6 new clues to play—and don’t forget to answer in the form of a question.

To get started, simply enable the Jeopardy! skill using the Alexa App, then ask:

Alexa, start Jeopardy.

MORE TO TRY

New Audible Features
Listening to Audible audiobooks on your Echo just got easier. Now you can ask Alexa to skip back and forth among chapters—perfect for when you’re listening while doing other things, like cooking or chores. Don’t have any audiobooks? Get your first one free. Just ask:

Alexa, ready my audiobook.

Alexa, next chapter.

Alexa, previous chapter.

Alexa, go to chapter 3.
Alexa Skills
You can now rate and review skills. Share your experience with skills, and see what other customers are saying. Simply open the Alexa App, tap “Skills” from the menu, and select any of the third-party skills. Here are some new skills for you to try:
Capital Quiz
Improve your knowledge of the 50 US State Capitals with Capital Quiz. Enable the skill, then just ask:

Alexa, start Capital Quiz.
The Name Game (banana-fana)
Kids love playing The Name Game. Just enable the skill, then ask “Alexa, open The Name Game and use Jenny” and Alexa will say “Jenny jenny bo-benny, banana-fana fo-fenny, fee fi mo-menny, Jenny.” Enable the skill, then try your name!

Alexa, open the Name Game and use Jenny.

On the Campaign Trail
Alexa picked up some more jokes as we start the Presidential election year. Just ask:

Alexa, tell me a Republican joke.

Alexa, tell me a Democrat joke.
Get to Know Echo
Echo can provide a customized Flash Briefing of the latest news from a variety of news sources including CNN, Bloomberg, NPR, BBC, ESPN Radio, The Economist, and more.

To customize your Flash Briefing, open the Alexa App, go to Settings, then Flash Briefing.

Listen to your Flash Briefing:
Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?

Navigate your Flash Briefing:
Alexa, next.

Alexa, what’s new?

Alexa, previous.
WHAT’S PLAYING

Workout Playlists

One of Hollywood’s biggest nights, the annual Golden Globes ceremony, is coming up on January 10. Before your favorite stars hit the red carpet, revisit the music of Golden Globe-nominated Transparent, including beautiful piano selections from composer Dustin O’Halloran, as well as tracks by Nina Simone, Sia, Alabama Shakes and many others. Just ask:
Alexa, play music from Season Two of Transparent from Prime Music
Last week we introduced 7-Minute Workout, a new skill that guides you through short workouts. Thanks @HTLifeHank for sharing a video highlighting how it works!

Have you tried any new third-party Alexa skills? Share a video highlighting your favorite new skill using #AmazonEcho

 

January 1, 2016

If your 2016 resolution includes exercise or finances, Echo is ready to help. 7-Minute Workout is a new third-party skill that includes a set of exercises designed to increase metabolism, improve energy, lower stress, and remove fat. Plus, the new Ask Fidelity skill provides securities information by symbol or company name.

It’s easy to get started. Simply enable the skills you want to try, then just ask:

Alexa, sart 7-Minute Workout.

Alexa, ask Fidelity, how is the NASDAQ doing today?
MORE TO TRY

On the Campaign Trail
Want to know when the next Republican or Democratic debate takes place? Just ask:

Alexa, when is the next Republican debate?

Alexa, when is the next Democratic debate?
Get to Know Echo
Looking to learn more about many of the different ways you can use Echo? Starting this week, we’re featuring questions you can ask Alexa to get tips and tricks on how to best use Echo. Just ask:

Alexa, how do I connect my calendar?

Alexa, how do I connect to Bluetooth?

Alexa, how do I add music?

Alexa, how do I use a skill?
WHAT’S PLAYING

Workout Playlists

Happy 2016! It’s a new year—and time for a new you. If you’re working off those holiday season calories at home, let Prime Music crank up the intensity with workout playlists. Start your workout, then just ask:
Alexa, play the Cardio Dance Workout playlist from Prime Music.
Alexa, play the Modern Country Workout playlist from Prime Music.
2015 was an exciting year for Echo, and 2016 is shaping up to be even better.

Curious about what’s in store for 2016? Just ask:
Alexa, what is your New Year’s resolution?

 

December 26, 2015

The Beatles

Ladies and gentlemen…The Beatles! That’s right: The Fab Four are now in Prime Music. Play select tracks from the Liverpool quartet’s unrivaled, solid-gold catalog, from “Yesterday” to “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “A Hard Day’s Night” to “Let It Be” and beyond.

To hear songs and albums by The Beatles, just ask:
Alexa, ask Santa, where are you?

Alexa, ask Santa for a Christmas fact.
Alexa, ask Santa if I’m on the nice list.

Alexa, ask Santa to read ‘The Night Before Christmas’.

MORE TO TRY
Alexa Skills
You can now rate and review skills. Share your experience with skills, and see what other customers are saying. Simply open the Alexa App, tap “Skills” from the menu, and select any of the third-party skills. Here are some new skills for you to try:
The Bartender
Find out the ingredients, amounts, and instructions for mixing cocktails with The Bartender. Simply enable the skill, then just ask:

Alexa, ask HuffPost for headlines.
Elle Horoscopes
Get daily horoscopes from ELLE + The Astro Twins, professional astrologers whose style and predictions made them popular for astrological devotees. Simply enable the skill, then just ask:

Alexa, open Math Kata.

On the Campaign Trail
Alexa picked up more jokes from late night TV as the campaign heads into 2016. Just ask:

Alexa, tell me a Hillary Clinton joke.

Alexa, tell me a Jeb Bush joke.
WHAT’S PLAYING

2015 Highlights

Revisit the essential songs of 2015 in Prime Music! Our editors hand-picked the must-hear tracks from the last year for a playlist featuring a wide range of artists, including blockbuster Brit singer Adele, up-and-coming Aussie rocker Courtney Barnett, hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd, Britpop vets Blur, indie-folk bard Father John Misty and many others. Be sure to listen December 18 – December 31 for the chance to win one of 14 Echo devices! Just ask:
Alexa, play ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby from Prime Music.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes ends 12/31/15.
See Official Rules for details and alternate method of entry.

Country Music star Ashley Monroe recently had her first chance to use and play with Amazon Echo.

Watch this video to see what Ashley asks Alexa—and who wins at a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

 

December 18, 2015

Santa’s Helper

Introducing Santa’s Helper, a new skill that can have Alexa ask Santa if you’re on the nice list, tell jokes and facts about Christmas, read a Christmas classic, and more. Plus, all throughout Christmas Eve, if you’re wondering where Santa is, Santa’s Helper can tell you!

Simply enable the Santa’s Helper skill in the Alexa App, then just ask:

Alexa, ask Santa, where are you?

Alexa, ask Santa for a Christmas fact.
Alexa, ask Santa if I’m on the nice list.

Alexa, ask Santa to read ‘The Night Before Christmas’.

MORE TO TRY

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases in theaters today. Alexa is joining the celebration and can answer questions about Star Wars, the Jedi code, and more.

To find out which Star Wars movie Alexa thinks is best, hear iconic music from the films, and more, just ask:

Alexa, what is the best Star Wars movie?

Alexa, play Cantina Band from Prime Music.
Alexa, what is the Jedi Code?

Alexa, execute Order 66.

A New Skill: Star Wars Quiz

Test your knowledge of the Star Wars universe with the new third-party Alexa skill, Star Wars Quiz. Simply enable the skill, then just ask:

Alexa, open Star Wars Quiz.

On the Campaign Trail
Alexa picked up some more jokes as the Presidential election heads into 2016. Just ask:

Alexa, tell me a Hillary Clinton joke.

Alexa, tell me a Jeb Bush joke.
WHAT’S PLAYING

A Charlie Brown Christmas

We’re counting down to Christmas by revisiting classic holiday albums all December. Now up: A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio—now celebrating its 50th birthday. As the soundtrack to a 25-minute-long TV special of the same name, the jazzy music accompanied Charlie Brown in his search for the true meaning of Christmas.

Be sure to listen December 18 – December 31 for the chance to win one of 14 Echo devices!

Alexa, play ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby from Prime Music.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Sweepstakes ends 12/31/15.
See Official Rules for details and alternate method of entry

Getting into the holiday spirit is easy with Echo. Watch this video and see how Undateable Live’s Bridget Mendler has been getting into the spirit with a little help from Alexa.

Also, thank you @therealmelroy, and everyone else, for showing us how you turned on the holidays with Amazon Echo!

December 12, 2015

Updated Flash Briefing

You can now hear from more sources in your Flash Briefing. Add updates from CNN, Bloomberg Market Minute, and Bloomberg Featured Interview, along with content already available from NPR, BBC, ESPN Radio, The Economist, and more. Just go to the Flash Briefing settings in your Alexa App to personalize. Once you’ve customized your flash briefing, just ask:
Alexa, give me my flash briefing.

MORE TO TRY

Alexa is keeping up with what’s trending on the campaign trail, just ask:
Alexa, send Donald Trump to space.

Movies and TV Shows
Alexa can now answer questions about all your favorite movies and TV shows, including questions about the stars, writers, and directors. Alexa also knows about your favorite characters, including who played them. Just ask:

Alexa, what are Oprah’s Favorites for tech?

Alexa, what are Oprah’s Favorites for travelers?
Alexa, what are Oprah’s Favorites for kids?

Alexa, what are Oprah’s Favorite for the kitchen?

Enabling Your Skills
You can now rate and review skills. Share your experience with skills, and see what other customers are saying. Simply open the Alexa App, tap “Skills” from the menu, and select any of the third-party skills. Here are some new skills for you to try:
HuffPost
Get headlines from the Pulitzer Prize-winning news source, The Huffington Post. Simply enable the Skill, then just ask:

Alexa, ask HuffPost for headlines.
Math Kata
Play an interactive game to improve math skills and become a math jedi. Simply enable the skill, then just ask:

Alexa, open Math Kata.
Mojio
Mojio connects you with your car in a new way. With always-on 3G and GPS, Mojio helps with maintenance reminders, driving analytics, and real-time location tracking even when someone else is driving the vehicle. Simply plug the Mojio device into your car’s OBD-II port, enable the Skill, and just ask:

Alexa, ask Mojio to locate my car.
Alexa, ask Mojio about my last trip.

WHAT’S PLAYING

Christmas with the Beach Boys

We’re counting down to Christmas by featuring a classic holiday album each week in December. Now up: Christmas with the Beach Boys, the eponymous SoCal surf-rock group’s legendary 1964 yuletide release. The winter season has never felt so toasty-warm, as the Kings of Summer conjure images of sand, surf, and sun with their signature ’60s sound. Get your holiday party hopping with originals, including their hit “Little Saint Nick,” and standards “White Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” and more. Just ask:
Alexa, play Christmas with the Beach Boys from Prime Music.

Best of The Next 2015

As the year comes to a close, discover music from the hottest new artists of 2015. In Amazon Music’s “Best of The Next,” we collect the 20 essential tracks from the emerging names in music. From soul and R&B songbird Andra Day to indie rock outfit Unknown Mortal Orchestra, pastoral folk group Lord Huron to crooner Mayer Hawthorne and producer-DJ Jake One’s electro-funk project Tuxedo and beyond, we have something for everyone. Just ask:
Alexa, play ‘Best of the Next’ playlist from Prime Music.

#EchoHolidays

Smart Home for the Holidays
Controlling holiday decorations in your home with your voice is easy—thanks @ToddBlount for sharing how you used Alexa and WeMo devices to turn on your lights!

Controlling an entire house of decorations with your voice is just as easy. Watch this video and see how Alexa and people from all over town lit up holiday decorations at Candy Cane Lane.

If you use Echo and smart home devices to control your decorations, share a video using #EchoHolidays.

 

December 5, 2015

Alarm Tones

You can now choose from over 10 new alarm tones. Wake up to soothing sounds like Adrift, or let Pulsar grab your attention when an alarm goes off. Simply open the Alexa App, and tap “Alarms” from the menu. There, you can change the default sound for new alarms or set a specific tone for alarms you’ve already created. Once you’ve set a tone you like, just ask: Alexa, ask TV Shows what time is Family Guy on?

MORE TO TRY

Enabling Your Skills
Open the Alexa App > Select “Skills” from the menu > Tap “Enable” for skills you want to use

AOL

Get the information you need to know to keep you informed and up to date. Headlines are curated by AOL’s team of editors to bring you the top stories covering a wide array of categories. Simply enable the skill, then just ask: Alexa, ask AOL for the top headlines.

Campbell’s Kitchen

Enjoy holiday recipes from Campbell’s Kitchen with a daily Top-5 list of triple-tested recipes matched to your taste and time preferences—so you can make meals without all of the hassle. Simply enable the skill, create a Campbell’s Kitchen account, then just ask: Alexa, ask Campbell’s Kitchen for holiday recipes.

Quick Events

Easily add events to your Google Calendar with Quick Events. Simply enable the skill, sign in with your Google Account, then just ask: Alexa, tell Quick Events to add Go for a Walk tomorrow at 3pm.

Beat the Dealer

Beat the dealer in this game of Blackjack. Simply enable the skill, then just ask: Alexa, ask the dealer to play Blackjack.

WHAT’S PLAYING

50 Great Songs for Holiday Entertaining

Holiday Soul Party

Searching for new music to spice up this holiday season? Look no further. Get funky with Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings’ new release, It’s a Holiday Soul Party. Or how about a cappella renditions of Yuletide classics from hit quintet Pentatonix? And don’t forget—every day you listen to Prime Music, between November 28 and December 5, you’re entered to win $25,000 in Amazon Gift Cards. Just ask:

Alexa, play It’s a Holiday Soul Party from Prime Music.
Alexa, play holiday music by Pentatonix.

 

November 20, 2015

You can now use Echo with even more connected devices. Introducing Automatic, the new Alexa third-party skill. It’s easy to find out if you need gas or hear how far you’ve driven recently with the Automatic skill and the Automatic Car Adapter. To use this new skill simply set up the compatible hardware, enable the skill in the Alexa App, and just ask:

  • “Alexa, ask Automatic if I need gas.”
  • “Alexa, ask Automatic how far I drove last week.”

More to Try
The holidays are here and what better way to spend time curled up indoors than a Game Night. Try your luck against Alexa, or play with friends and family. Just ask:

  • “Alexa, rock, paper, or scissors?”
  • “Alexa, flip a coin.”
  • “Alexa, pick a card.”

You can also play any of the Alexa skills games like Bingo, Trivia Alexa, Math Puzzles, and more. Just go to the “Skills” section in the Alexa App and enable the ones you want to try.

Bingo
Enjoy a game of Bingo anytime you like! With the Bingo skill, Alexa will call the numbers for you. Just ask: “Alexa, open Bingo.”

Trivia Alex
Trivia Alex is a fun multiple-choice trivia game to play at home with up to 4 people and your host Alex. Just ask: “Alexa, open Trivia Alex.”

Math Puzzles
Math Puzzles is a fun way to challenge yourself and your friends. You’ll hear a series of numbers and you must guess the next logical number in the sequence. Just ask: “Alexa, ask Math Puzzles to play a game.”

What’s Playing
’90s icon Lisa Loeb, indie rock legend Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices, the bouncing synths of Yacht, and Rock ‘n’ rollers Langhorne Slim—these are just a few of the 27 special artists we curated for Indie for the Holidays, our exclusive seasonal playlist featuring original tracks and covers. Just ask: “Alexa, play Indie for the Holidaysfrom Prime Music.”

 

November 16, 2015

Over the last year, many of you have asked Alexa for information, music, news, sports, weather, and much more. Alexa has responded to nearly 10,000,000 joke requests and has heard “I love you” more than 500,000 times. The top song requested has been “Uptown Funk” more customers have asked for calorie data about doughnuts, hamburgers, and pizza than any other foods. Most importantly, your questions and feedback have helped Alexa get smarter, and as a result, we have introduced 85 new features and third-party Alexa skills since launch—thank you.

More to Try
Tech Crunch News
Hear the latest headlines in tech news and get information on startups. See this skill in action, then enable the TechCrunch News skill, and just ask: “Alexa, ask Tech Crunch News for headlines.”

IFTTT Phrase Triggers
IFTTT stands for “If This, Then That” and is a service that connects your favorite devices, apps, and websites with simple rules called ‘recipes’. You can now choose your own phrases to trigger an IFTTT recipe. For example, you can create a recipe to call your phone, and then if you’ve misplaced your phone, you can say “Alexa, trigger find my phone.” Learn more about IFTTT and the popular recipes for Amazon Echo.

What’s Playing
Bay Area rock vets Train have a special gift just for you this holiday season: Christmas in Tahoe, a 15-song collection of original tracks and covers, including renditions of classics by John Lennon, Slade, The Band, and Joni Mitchell—and it’s only streaming in Prime Music. Just ask: “Alexa, play Christmas in Tahoe by Train.”

Missed any of our previous updates for Echo? You can always ask “Alexa, what new can you do?”, read what’s new, and follow us on Twitter at @AmazonEcho.

 

November 11, 2015

Oprah just announced her Favorite Things for the holidays, and Amazon Echo made the list (thanks, @Oprah). Want to hear more about Oprah’s Favorite Things or need gift suggestions for the holidays? Just ask:

  • “Alexa, what are Oprah’s Favorites for tech?”
  • “Alexa, what are Oprah’s Favorites for kids?”
  • “Alexa, what are Oprah’s Favorites for travelers?”
  • “Alexa, what are Oprah’s Favorites for the kitchen?”

More to Try
Looking for some new games to play with Alexa? Simply open the Alexa App, select “Skills” from the menu, and tap “Enable” for the skills you want to use.

Movie Quotes Trivia Game
Test your knowledge of Hollywood’s great movies by matching five famous quotes with the movie they came from. Just ask “Alexa, start Movie Quotes.”

Word Master
Word Master is an interactive way to learn and challenge yourself with words, while having fun with competing scores. Score higher to win! Just ask “Alexa, ask Word Master to play a game.”

Animal Game
Play guess-an-animal game with Alexa. Think of an animal and Alexa will guess it by asking questions. Just ask “Alexa, start Animal Game.”

What’s Playing
What do Adele, Pharrell, Bach, and Beethoven have in common? They’re all in theEcho Favorites playlist from Prime Music, featuring Echo’s most-played songs. From Sam Smith to Sibelius, it’s a wild ride—and it’s 100% Echo-centric. To hear the most-popular songs on Amazon Echo, just ask:

#AmazonEcho
Thanks @brandoncococurtis for showing us how you use Echo and WeMo to control your lights, fans, and “vinyl”. If you use Echo and connected home devices to control your home, share a video on Twitter using #AmazonEcho.

Missed any of our previous updates for Echo? You can always ask “Alexa, what new can you do?”, read what’s new, and follow us on Twitter at @AmazonEcho.

 

October 30, 2015

Last week, we introduced Local Search with Yelp. Thanks @dannysullivan for showing us how you’re already using this feature for local business hours. This week, we’ve added new third-party skills for you to try.

To use these new skills, you will first need to enable them in the Alexa App. Simply open the app and tap on “Skills” in the menu, and then press “Enable” for the skill you want to use.

  • Hear which politicians are trending with Tweet Poll. Just ask:
    “Alexa, open Tweet Poll.”
  • Get cooking with Campbell’s Kitchen. Just ask:
    “Alexa, ask Campbell’s Kitchen for a recipe.”

Need a Halloween soundtrack to welcome (or frighten) the neighborhood trick-or-treaters? Keep your house haunted with spooky sounds, and have Alexa provide more Halloween fun. Just ask:

  • “Alexa, play the Haunted House Sounds Prime Playlist.”
  • “Alexa, trick or treat?”
  • “Alexa, how do you survive a Zombie Apocalypse?”

This week the Republicans hosted another debate. With so many candidates still fighting for the top spot, it’s time to lighten the mood. Just ask:

  • “Alexa, tell me a joke about Ben Carson.”
  • “Alexa, tell me a joke about Jeb Bush.”

Missed any of our previous updates for Echo? You can always ask “Alexa, what new can you do?”, read what’s new, and follow us on Twitter at @AmazonEcho

 

October 23, 2015

You can now ask Echo for info on local businesses and restaurants and Alexa will give you the details—straight from Yelp. Thanks @pomlovertwo and others for your suggestions about local search—keep them coming!

To get started, go to Settings in the Alexa App, select your device, and add your address. Here are some ideas once you’re set up:

  • Craving cashew chicken? Just ask:
    “Alexa, find me a nearby Chinese restaurant.”
  • Wondering when the pharmacy closes? Just ask:
    “Alexa, what are the hours for a nearby pharmacy?”

View even more details such as star rating, phone number, and a link to Yelp listings in the Alexa App. We will be adding even more local search features in the coming weeks.

Halloween is next week, and Echo can help you stock up on candy for trick-or-treaters. Just ask:

  • “Alexa, order Halloween candy.”
  • “Alexa, order Halloween chocolate.”

To help inspire your #EchoHolidays, watch how Echo and connected home devices can turn on Halloween decorations using just your voice.

Looking for some new music to play on your Echo? Adele released her first new single, “Hello” from her upcoming album “25”, and Prime members can stream it today. Also, you can listen to the new hit album from the world’s most popular a cappella group,Pentatonix—just ask “Alexa, play Pentatonix.”

October 16, 2015

You can now ask Echo for a customized Sports Update for your favorite teams. Sports Update lets you know about your favorite team’s latest games and schedules. And it’s easy to customize. Open your Alexa App, select Sports Update in Settings, and add your favorite teams. Then, just ask “Alexa, give me my Sports Update.”

For the Fantasy Football fanatic, the new Alexa skill “Fantasy Football” gives headlines and updates on any of the Top 300 players in the NFL. Just ask:

  • “Alexa, ask Fantasy Football Nerd for the latest news.”
  • “Alexa, ask Fantasy Football Nerd for updates on Tom Brady.”

Looking for another new skill to try? You can now check availability across calendars and add items to your schedule with FreeBusy Scheduling Buddy. To use Alexa skills, just go to “Skills” in the Alexa App, and press “Enable” for the skills you want to use.

Alexa also has more music updates this week. For listening with the kids this weekend, try Nursery Rhyme Parade!, an exclusive Amazon Originals album from ’90s singer-songwriter Lisa Loeb. She transforms 37 classic nursery rhymes, including “This Little Piggy” and “Humpty Dumpty”, into acoustic ditties for the whole family to enjoy. For listening after hours, you might ask, “Alexa, play Jay-Z”, or “Alexa, what would Jay-Z say?”

 

October 10, 2015
Want to fall asleep to your favorite music, podcast, or audiobook? With the launch of sleep timers for Echo, your nighttime routine can now be even more simple and peaceful.
First, set the mood—”Alexa, play Ocean Waves from Prime Music.”
Next, set the timer—”Alexa, set a sleep timer for 30 minutes.”
Then, turn off the lights—”Alexa, turn off the bedroom lights.”
Finally, don’t forget to say, “Alexa, goodnight.”
You may also enjoy Ultrapure White Noise and Relaxing Classical Music from Prime Music, or in honor of John Lennon’s 75th birthday, ask “Alexa, play John Lennon on Pandora” or “Alexa, what would John Lennon say?” for peaceful inspiration.

If you enjoyed the late night campaign jokes last week, you might be interested to know that Donald Trump is leading Hillary Clinton with 60% of Presidential joke requests on Echo being “Alexa, tell me a Donald Trump joke”. In preparation for the first Democratic debate next week, you can now also ask: “Alexa, tell me a Bernie Sanders joke.”

 

October 2, 2015

You can now listen to hundreds of new artists on Prime Music including Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd, Drake, Lady Gaga, and more. With Prime, you have access to the entire Prime Music catalog and can stream unlimited songs, albums, playlists, and stations—ad free. Just ask:

  • “Alexa, play Katy Perry.”
  • “Alexa, play the Maroon 5 Prime Station.”
  • “Alexa, play the Best of Prime Music playlist.”

Alexa also learned some new jokes from late night TV as the Presidential election heats up. Just ask:

  • “Alexa, tell me a Donald Trump joke.”
  • “Alexa, tell me a Hillary Clinton joke.”

Also new this week, you can now control your home garage with Amazon Echo and Garageio—a new third-party Alexa skill. Garageio is a simple and convenient way to control and monitor your garage door—without needing to replace your existing opener. With the Garageio Smart Garage Controller, and the new Garageio Alexa skill, you can now check if you left the garage open (and close it) using just your voice. To get started, install the Garageio controller, enable the Garageio skill using the Alexa App, then ask “Alexa, ask Garageio to begin setup.” Next, connect Garageio to Alexa by following the instructions in the Alexa App and ask:

  • “Alexa, ask Garageio if any of my doors are open.”
  • “Alexa, tell Garageio to close my door.”

Missed any of our previous updates for Echo? You can always ask “Alexa, do you have any new features?”, read what’s new, and follow us on Twitter at @AmazonEcho.

 

September 25, 2015

Echo now supports Insteon connected devices, including the Insteon Starter Kit,Dimmer Switch, and On/Off Switch—so now you have even more ways to control your lights, switches, and appliances at home without ever lifting a finger. Use Echo to switch on the lights from your bed or dim them from your couch to watch a movie. A full list of Echo compatible devices can be found here.

Getting started with Insteon is easy. Just connect your devices to the Insteon Hub via the Insteon Hub App and name your devices in the Insteon Hub App. Next, link your Insteon account in the Alexa App. Then, say “Alexa, discover my devices.” With aDimmer Switch and On/Off Switch you can control lights and appliances like TVs and popcorn makers with Echo. Just ask:

  • “Alexa, turn on the TV.”
  • “Alexa, turn popcorn on.”
  • “Alexa, dim the lights.”

Also new this week, your Alexa Shopping List is now easily accessible onAmazon.com. When you visit Amazon using your computer or tablet, you will see a link to your Alexa Shopping List on the homepage, and also in the Wish List menu, where you can easily find and purchase the exact items you want. You can also add, edit, delete, or mark items completed. If you’re on your mobile device, just use the Alexa App to view your Shopping List and search Amazon for results.

 

September 18, 2015

This week, we announced the all new Amazon Fire TV family, now with Alexa. WithAmazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote, you can use the remote to ask Alexa for sports scores, weather, music, and more. If you already own a Fire TV, Alexa will be coming to your device through an update this fall. Just like with Echo, we will be adding even more Alexa features to Amazon Fire TV in the future.

We have a new skill for you to try this week, called “Trove”. Trove will read top headlines on any topic you may be interested in. Just go to the Alexa App, tap “Skills” in the menu and enable Trove, then say: “Alexa, ask Trove for headlines about the presidential election” or any other topic.

Finally, setting timers and alarms on Echo just got even better. You can now ask for information about multiple timers or alarms, or even cancel specific ones—just ask:

  • “Alexa, how much time is left on my timers?”
  • “Alexa, cancel my 15-minute timer.”
  • “Alexa, what alarms are set?”
  • “Alexa, cancel my 8:00 AM alarm.”

You can also view, edit, cancel, and set specific volumes for your timers and alarms in the Alexa App.

 

September 11, 2015

Are you ready for some football? Echo is ready with scores and schedules for both NFL and NCAA Division 1-A Football teams—just ask:

  • “Alexa, what is the score of the Ohio State Buckeyes football game?”
  • “Alexa, when is the next Oregon Ducks football game?”

If you’re like @TheAdamWells and are using Echo to DJ your BBQ or kick-off party, we have some ideas for you—just ask:

Do you want to know if your favorite team is going to win or need help deciding which quarterback to start on your Fantasy Football team? Get help from Crystal Ball, one of the early third-party Alexa skills. To get started, open the Alexa App and tap on “Skills” in the menu and then press “Enable” for Crystal Ball.

Not into football? Try some of the latest Alexa skills including Craft Helper for Minecraft, Guess the Number, and Trivia Alex—simply enable them in the Alexa App.

 

September 4, 2015

This Fall, Echo can help you stay on schedule, keep your house stocked with the essentials, or even assist with homework.

Echo now supports shared Google Calendars, so you can hear events from additional calendars you subscribe to such as a spouse’s calendar, school schedules, or holidays. To get started, go to Settings in the Alexa App and link your Google Calendar. Next, select the shared calendars that you want to access when you ask “Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?” Echo will respond with the day’s events from your calendar and any shared calendars you’ve selected.

Echo can also help transition back into school this year—just ask:

  • “Alexa, add pencils to my shopping list.”
  • “Alexa, what is 5 times 22?”
  • “Alexa, what is the capital of Ohio?”

If you’re looking for even more ways to have Echo help during the upcoming school year, read how @Whaskins uses Echo and connected home devices to get bedtime started.

Last week, we gave you another early look at a few more third-party Alexa skills. This week, if you have a Scout Alarm Home Security System, you can try the Scout Alarm skill to control your security system. To use Alexa skills, you will need to enable them in the Alexa App. Simply open the app and tap on “Skills” in the menu, and then press “Enable” for the skill you want to use.

 

August 28, 2015

Echo can now play audiobooks and music from multiple Amazon accounts. To get started, go to Settings in the Alexa App and add another Amazon user to your Household Profile. Once set up, you can switch between accounts whenever you like. Just say “Alexa, switch accounts.” Then, start listening where you left off—just ask “Alexa, read my audiobook.”

New to Audible? Get started with a free trial and you can select from multiple titles to listen to including the 2015 Hugo Award Winning Best Novel The Three-Body Problem.

Last week, we gave you an early look at a few more third-party Alexa skills, including Bingo and Cat Facts. Thanks @abfielden for showing us how your family is enjoying Bingo. This week, we have a few more skills for you to try including BART Times for those of you in the Bay Area and High Low Guessing Game for those of you who enjoy playing games with Echo.

To use any of these new skills, you will need to enable them in the Alexa App. Simply open the app and tap on “Skills” in the menu, and then press “Enable” for the skill you want to use.

Watching the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend? To listen to music from the nominees, just ask:

  • “Alexa, play Kendrick Lamar from Prime Music.”
  • “Alexa, play the BeyoncĂ© Prime Station.”
  • “Alexa, play the Ed Sheeran and More Prime Playlist.”

August 21, 2015

You can now control even more connected home devices with your voice using Amazon Echo. In addition to controlling lights and switches from Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, and Wink, Echo now supports Samsung SmartThings—including the newSamsung SmartThings Hub, the SmartThings Outlet, and the Lightify Smart Connected LED. A full list of Echo compatible devices can be found here.

To get started with SmartThings, connect your devices to your home Wi-Fi and name them in their respective app. Then say, “Alexa, discover my appliances.” After Echo’s confirmation, just ask:

  • “Alexa, turn on the television.”
  • “Alexa, turn on the stereo.”
  • “Alexa, turn off the lamp.”
  • “Alexa, turn on the porch light.”

Last week, we gave you an early look at a few third-party Alexa skills, including StubHub and Crystal Ball. Thanks @CariAL88 for showing us how you used Crystal Ball. This week, we have a few more skills for you to try. If you love playing games, you can try Bingo. If you’re a cat lover, you might enjoy Cat Facts.

To use any of these new skills, you will need to enable them in the Alexa App. Simply open the app and tap on “Skills” in the menu, and then press “Enable” for the skill you want to use.

 

August 14, 2015

Want to control your lights and switches at home without even lifting a finger? Now you can control even more devices using your voice. Echo has added Wink-enabledLeviton and Lightify products to the growing collection of compatible lights, outlets, and switches from WeMo, Philips Hue, and more.

We also wanted to give you an early look at a few of the third-party Alexa skills that are starting to come out of the pipeline. These are from third-party developers using our software development kit to make Alexa better for you. They are still being polished, but we thought you’d enjoy taking a look at StubHub, Math Puzzles, and Crystal Ball.

To use these new skills, you will need to enable them in the Echo App. Simply open the app and tap on “Skills” in the menu, and then press “Enable” for the skill you want to use. For example, enable StubHub, and then try: “Alexa, ask StubHub what is happening in Seattle this weekend.” Enjoy.

Finally, with the anniversary of Woodstock this weekend, here is a Prime Playlist to try—just ask: “Alexa, play the Prime Playlist Woodstock Revisited.” Speaking of playlists, a big thanks to @IamSubstantial for sharing his favorite playlist. Share what’s on your summer playlist on twitter using #AmazonEcho.

 

July 31, 2015

Cooking more than one dish or need another alarm to get up in the morning? Amazon Echo is now ready to help with multiple timers and alarms—just ask:

  • “Alexa, start a timer for 10 minutes.”
  • “Alexa, start another timer for 15 minutes.”
  • “Alexa, set an alarm for 8:30 AM.”
  • “Alexa, set another alarm for 9:30 AM.”

You can also view, edit, cancel, and set specific volumes for your timers and alarms in the Echo App.

Want to take your timers and alarms one step further? @jimwoz uses an IFTTT recipeto trigger his Philips Hue lights when his alarm goes off. Learn more about using Echo with IFTTT and connected home devices.

Once your alarms and timers are set here on Earth, you can also check on the latest lunar cycle—just ask:

  • “Alexa, what’s the current moon phase?”
  • “Alexa, when’s the next full moon?”
  • “Alexa, when’s the next blue moon?”
  • “Alexa, what is a blue moon?”

(By the way, tonight is a blue moon and the next one won’t happen until 2018).

July 24, 2015

Get the most out of your music experience with these tips from our music team.

Learn more about music Echo is playing — Just ask:

  • “Alexa, who is this?”
  • “Alexa, what album is this?”
  • “Alexa, what song is this?”

Let iHeartRadio pick summer music for you — Say “Alexa, play the station Real. Fun. Beach. Radio.

Add your favorite music — You can import 250 songs from your music library for free or up to 250,000 songs with an Amazon Music subscription, in addition to all of your Amazon Digital Music purchases. Learn more about importing your music for playback on Amazon Echo.

Share your music — Echo can play music from multiple Amazon accounts. Go to Settings in the Echo App and add another Amazon user to your Household Profile. Once your Household is setup, just say “Alexa, switch accounts” and use the regular music commands to play music from that account.

Thanks to many Echo users for sharing tips and Easter eggs, like this one about Chuck Norris from @rossman. Have an Echo tip you’d like to share? Send us a tweet with #AmazonEcho and we’ll share the best ones with other Echo customers.

As a reminder, you can always ask “Alexa, do you have any new features?” or find outwhat’s new in the help section for Amazon Echo.

The Amazon Echo team looks forward to your feedback via the Amazon Echo App and on social media (#AmazonEcho). You can also follow @AmazonEcho on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and updates for Echo.

 

July 17, 2015

Listen to live events and concerts with TuneIn on Echo. Just ask, “Alexa, play [station name] on TuneIn.”

Echo now supports the WNBA in addition to the MLB, MLS, NHL, NFL, NCAA, and NBA. To hear scores or find out when your favorite team plays next, just ask:

  • “Alexa, who won the Seattle Storm game?”

 

  • “Alexa, who is winning the Chicago Cubs game?”
  • “Alexa, when do the LA Galaxy play next?”

Last week, we introduced support for additional voice-controlled lights and switches. Thanks to @RyanPratt for showing how he now controls his lights with just his voice. A full list of Echo compatible devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Wink, GE, Lutron, and Leviton can be found here.The Amazon Echo team looks forward to your feedback via the Amazon Echo App and on social media (#AmazonEcho). You can also follow @AmazonEcho on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and updates for Echo.

July 8, 2015

You can now control even more connected home devices with your voice using Amazon Echo. In addition to controlling lights and switches from Belkin WeMo and Philips Hue, Echo now supports Wink.

Wink is a home automation hub that allows you to control devices in your home. Today, we’re introducing support for Wink compatible devices from GE, Leviton, and Lutron—with even more coming soon.

To get started, setup your Wink HUB and compatible devices, then connect Echo to your Wink HUB in the Echo App. Once this is complete, simply say, “Alexa, discover my devices.” After Echo’s confirmation, just ask:

  • “Alexa, turn on the stereo”
  • “Alexa, turn on the office light”
  • “Alexa, turn off the fan”
  • “Alexa, turn off the outdoor decorations”

Echo supports these Wink compatible products:

A full list of Echo compatible devices from Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue, GE, Lutron, Leviton, and more can be found here.

June 12, 2015

This week, we’ve added new ways to use IFTTT and Echo together.

What’s IFTTT? It stands for “IF This, Then That” and is a service that connects your favorite devices, apps, and websites with simple rules called ‘recipes’. For example, customers have created great recipes with Echo that can find your phone or even print your shopping list.

Today we’re adding the ability for Echo to trigger IFTTT actions when you ask for sports scores, sports schedules, or request a song. For example:

Want to share what music you’re listening to?
IF you ask Alexa for a song, THEN the song can be shared on Facebook or Twitter

If you haven’t used IFTTT yet, then you can sign up here, activate the Amazon Alexa channel, and try any of the shared recipes.

Also, we’re glad to be helping @FifthDream and others enjoy their bedtime stories even more with Echo’s new support for Audible audiobooks.

As always, the Amazon Echo team looks forward to your feedback via the Amazon Echo App and on social media (#AmazonEcho). You can also follow @AmazonEcho on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and updates for Echo.

May 29, 2015

Now you can quickly access your Google calendar events with Echo—just use your voice. If you want to know what’s on the calendar for the day or check if you’re free for dinner with friends, simply ask Echo.

To get started, link a Google Calendar within Settings in the Amazon Echo app. Once your calendar has been added, here are some questions you can ask:

  • “Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?”
  • “Alexa, what’s on my calendar tomorrow at 9PM?”
  • “Alexa, what’s on my calendar Saturday?”
  • “Alexa, when’s my next event?”
  • We will be adding even more calendar features over the coming weeks. As always, we look forward to your feedback via the Amazon Echo app and on social media (#AmazonEcho). You can also follow @AmazonEcho on Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest news and updates for Echo.May 8, 2015Prime members can now ask Echo to play hundreds of ad-free, personalized streaming music stations. Like, dislike, or skip as many songs as you wish while you discover songs from the Prime Music catalog. With Prime Stations, the more you listen and rate songs, the more personalized each station becomes.Get started today with the following requests:
    • Play a Prime Station by saying “Alexa, play the Bruno Mars Prime Station.”

     

  • Control playback with “Alexa, next”, “Alexa, pause/resume”, or “Alexa, go back.”
  • Learn about what’s playing by asking “Alexa, what song is this?”
  • Personalize your stations by saying “Alexa, thumbs up/thumbs down.”

Also, because so many of you were interested in IFTTT, we’d like to share some great recipes Echo customers created which can control a Nest thermostat, add Shopping List items to an iOS Reminders list, or even have Echo send an e-mail. Since last Friday, Echo customers have created 10,000 recipes and shared over 100. If you haven’t used IFTTT yet, sign up here, activate the Amazon Alexa channel, and try any of the shared recipes. Thanks to everyone who has created and shared their recipes!As always, the Amazon Echo team looks forward to your feedback via the Amazon Echo App and on social media (#AmazonEcho).May 1, 2015

Many of you have asked to use Amazon Echo and IFTTT together and, today, we’re taking the first step forward — you can now create IFTTT recipes using Echo’s Shopping and To-do Lists.

IFTTT stands for “IF This, Then That” and is a service that connects your favorite devices, apps, and websites with simple rules called ‘recipes’. Below are examples of how you can use IFTTT with Echo.

Someone forget the shopping list?
If you ask “Alexa, what’s on my Shopping List”, then your Shopping List will be emailed to them.

Using Todoist, Evernote, or OneNote to stay organized?
If you ask “Alexa, add [an item] to my To-do List”, then it will also be added to the selected app.

To get started:
1. Sign in to IFTTT.com
2. Activate the Amazon Alexa channel
3. Start using existing recipes or creating your own

Stay tuned – Echo will add more ways to use IFTTT triggers soon.

As always, the Amazon Echo team looks forward to your feedback via the Amazon Echo App and on social media (#AmazonEcho).


  • Tech SpecsSize
    9.25″ x 3.27″ x 3.27″ (235 mm x 83.5 mm x 83.5 mm)Weight
    26.9 oz. (1045 grams)
    Actual size and weight may vary by manufacturing process

Wi-Fi Connectivity
Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks. Does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks.

Bluetooth Connectivity
Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support for audio streaming from your mobile device to Amazon Echo and Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) for voice control of connected mobile devices. Hands-free voice control is not supported for Mac OS X devices.

Audio
2.5 inch woofer and 2.0 inch tweeter

System Requirements
Amazon Echo comes ready to connect to your home Wi-Fi. The Echo companion app is compatible with Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices and also accessible via your web browser.

Warranty and Service
1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year, and 3-year extended warranty available for U.S. customers sold separately. Use of Amazon Echo is subject to the terms found here.

Included in the Box
Amazon Echo, power adapter/cable, and quick start guide