How to use Alexa in your daily life
Amazon’s Alexa is highly versatile. It’s much more than a way to buy things from Amazon or watch the latest Prime TV show (FREE 30-day Trial). Of course, you can use it as a voice activated search engine to discover information, but this is a tiny fraction of what it can do to simplify your life.
Here are some basics ideas of how to use Alexa in your daily life to make tasks easier and more convenient:
- Get answers to questions
- Set reminders and alarms
- Make phone calls and send texts
- Play music, TV shows, and Movies
- Control your smart home devices.
Let’s explore how to use Alexa to simplify and streamline your life by handling many tasks in your daily life.
What’s Amazon Alexa?
In short, Alexa is a virtual assistant developed by Amazon that allows you to interact with it using voice commands. You can ask it questions, give it commands, and have it perform a variety of tasks for you.
Alexa is available on a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, smart speakers, and more. If your device doesn’t have it, you can easily download it from the Apple App store or Google Play store.
For a more in depth look, start with our guide: What is Alexa?
How does it compare to other virtual assistants?
Three virtual assistants rule the majority of devices we use daily. Some use Apple’s Siri, others the Google Assistant, but many prefer Amazon’s Alexa. As they are quite similar, it comes down to personal choice when deciding which one to use.
What are some cool things it can do?
It’d be impossible to share all of the cool things Amazon’s virtual assistant can help you with, but here are some ideas to excite you. Not bad for a free piece of software!
You can sync Alexa with your calendar, ensuring you never miss a single appointment or birthday. On that, it can sing you happy birthday on command and doesn’t mind if it’s not actually your birthday!
You can listen to your favourite Kindle books or play audio from SoundCloud. Ideal, if you like to listen to something to relax or fall asleep. Also, it can play your favourite radio station (from the UK and world-wide)!
Elderly family members
Technology should help us stay in touch with family and make it easy for them to communicate and go about their daily lives. There are various ways Alexa can help the elderly live better for longer. Sadly, it can’t call 999.
Sadly, Alexa can’t notify you when your dog barks, but it can help you talk to your dog or pet, control automatic pet feeds, and can even play music while you’re not at home.
Call a friend
Alexa can help you call other devices that also use Alexa using a feature called Drop-In. You can even use this feature to make external calls. Ideal for keeping tabs on elderly family members or friends in need.
Can I customise it to my life?
There are many ways to customise Alexa to you. Compared to Google Assistant in this instance, Alexa is far better.
Help! I’m having issues
After using Amazon’s Alexa for a few months and enjoying the experience, it stops working. Don’t worry. We have several guides that help you get it working. Start by checking your Wi-Fi. Alexa needs an internet connection to work, but it won’t slow down your Wi-Fi when in use.
If it keeps beeping, you want to try one or all of our 7 fixes. Should your device keep flashing yellow, we have a few solutions to help you get back on track. And while it updates automatically, you can easily check if you’re using the latest Alexa software version.
Can Alexa play music?
We’ve already covered that Alexa can play files from Soundcloud. But you can also easily play music using Alexa on your Sonos speakers. You can even use voice commands to get it to play tracks from Spotify.
If it suddenly stops playing music, you should follow our tips. Life’s too short for living without music!
How to use Alexa to control smart home devices
While you can control your smart home devices, it offers a pretty primitive level of control. So as you explore home automation, you’ll want to consider moving to Z-wave or Zigbee. Both systems are built for complete control over all of your smart home devices.
Controlling popular home automation systems
You can control a few smart home devices using Alexa. However, many popular home automation systems work with the virtual assistant.
Professional level systems
How to use Google Assistant with a smart home system
You can use voice commands to activate devices or scenes without needing your smartphone, a remote, or tablet. It makes controlling the basic functions of your system super easy.
You’ll still need other control options to build scenes, add devices, or operate multiple devices. So don’t delete the brand’s app from your phone. However, Google Assistant helps speed up controlling everyday basics.
Alexa can improve your daily life!
You now have a taste of how to use Alexa to improve your life. But we’ve only scratched the surface, and Amazon continues to update the platform and add new features. There’s never been a better time than now to use Amazon’s Alexa.