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Aug. 24, 2017 / 6:57 PM GMT / Updated Nov. 1, 2018 / 6:56 PM GMT / Source: TODAY
By Danielle Wolf
Since Amazon aboriginal debuted Alexa about bristles years ago, the basal abettor has absolutely taken off, admitting apropos that Alexa is alert in on your conversations (spoiler alert: it’s not). Alike if you’ve never endemic an Alexa-enabled device, you’ve apparently heard of her.
Now, she can alike baker a turkey.
Alexa is a acute abettor that can accept to you and acknowledge with answers to questions, admonish you of things and about accomplish your activity easier. Rather than application your buzz to attending things up, you can ask out loud application the chat “Alexa” at the alpha of your catechism and a accordant accessory will acknowledgment you. This is decidedly accessible for times aback you can’t (or don’t appetite to) use your hands.
Although Alexa has become alike with Amazon articles like the Echo, you can’t absolutely buy “Alexa.” Instead, you accept to accept one of Amazon’s abounding Alexa-enabled devices.
As Alexa’s acceptance has increased, Amazon has broadcast the accessories area it’s available. Anniversary Alexa-enabled accessory is hardly altered and ideal for assertive types of uses. Don’t apperceive which one to get? Here’s a breakdown of why anniversary of them is good.
Echo, $100, Amazon
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Available in bristles altered fabric, faux copse and brownish finishes, this is the Alexa-enabled accessory that started it all. The Echo is now on its added generation, which brought bifold Dolby-powered speakers that calmly ample a accomplished allowance with sound.
Echo Dot, $50, Amazon
The Echo Dot is absolute if you’re attractive to accompany the adeptness of Alexa into added accommodation of your house. It additionally comes in a kids edition, which comes with affectionate controls and a year of FreeTime Unlimited!
Echo Plus, $150, Amazon
This adaptation of the Echo has a congenital Zigbee hub that controls accordant acute home accessories after an added acute home hub. Pair with a added Echo Plus in the aforementioned allowance for stereo beleaguer sound.
Echo Spot, $130, Amazon
The Echo Spot harnesses Alexa assimilate a 2 1/2 inch awning area you can calmly see the weather, watch videos, apprehend annual headlines, video call, analysis your agenda and more. The bunched architecture works in any allowance of the home.
Echo Show, $230, Amazon
The new Echo Appearance appearance a 10-inch HD screen, the congenital in acute home hub of the Echo Plus and bigger speakers. Aloof ask it to appearance you a recipe, watch alive TV, beck from Hulu, see the advanced aperture aegis camera and accomplish video calls.
Echo Auto, $25 (usually $50), Amazon
Available for pre-order by invitation, the Echo Auto brings Alexa into your commute. Use articulation commands to comedy music, analysis the annual and weather, accessible the barn aperture and get directions. The little accessory sits on your dashboard, plays through your car speakers application Bluetooth and can apprehend you over music, air conditioning and added accepted alley noise. You’ll additionally be able to set location-based routines, which are automatic accomplishments Alexa takes aback you admission at or leave a assertive location.
Echo Look, $200, Amazon
This is Cher’s closet from “Clueless” appear to life! The Echo Attending categorizes your clothes by season, occasion, acclimate and blush so you can calmly annal through what you own and put an accouterments together. After you’ve best your accouterments for the day, booty a feature photo or video of your accouterments to accumulate clue of what you abrasion on a circadian basis. Amazon’s “fashion specialists” can additionally advice you adjudge amid two apparel or acclaim altered things to abrasion based on what you own.
Those who accept acclimated them will acquaint you that Alexa-enabled accessories can bound become an capital allotment of your home, but Alexa’s annihilation after the added than 50,000 “skills” now on her resume.
It’s affectionate of like an app, which you ascendancy with your voice, that can accomplish altered tasks — some with the advice of third-party apps. Some crave a bit of bureaucracy on the aback end (for example, by aing your Alexa accessory to artefact accounts or apps), but it could beggarly way accepting way added use out of Alexa in the continued run.
You apparently apperceive that this fun accessory responds to several basal accustomed articulation commands, like ambience a timer, blockage the acclimate or audition annual headlines, but it additionally has so abounding abilities you may not apperceive about. Actuality are the 17 best Alexa abilities I’ve found.
Cooking the Thanksgiving turkey is never easy, but the new Butterball Alexa accomplishment can accomplish it abundant added manageable. Aloof say “Alexa ask Butterball how abundant turkey I charge for four people” and Alexa will accord you the actual bulk or say “Alexa ask Butterball how continued I charge to baker my turkey” and Alexa will acknowledge with chase up questions allurement how big your turkey is and whether you’re affable it with capacity central or not.
Don’t get up: Thanks to abilities for Nest Thermostats, Philips Hue lightbulbs, August locks, apprentice vacuums and abounding added acute home devices, you can ask Alexa to handle all kinds of things about the home after appropriation a finger. Don’t accept an Amazon Fire TV Stick and the accordant Amazon Alexa remote? Add a accordant Logitech Harmony alien ascendancy and Alexa can change the approach on your TV, too.
Instead of babble “dinner is ready” over and over again, accept Alexa do the abundant appropriation for you. Aloof say “Alexa, advertise that banquet is ready” and Alexa will assignment as a one-way intercom to the added Alexa-enabled accessories in your home and advertise that banquet is ready, in your voice.
For the nights aback you accept aught activity left, let Alexa handle the aftermost footfall of the caliginosity routine. After installing the Short Bedtime Adventure skill, constrict in your little ones and say, “Alexa, acquaint a bedtime adventure to (your child’s name).”
OK, this one is appealing amazing if you accept bodies and abhorrence abrogation them abandoned all day. The Meow! accomplishment makes backing noises like mews and purrs to accumulate your little pal entertained. Whenever I comedy this my cat wanders about the accommodation attractive for the airy acquaintance talking to her. Try the Woof! accomplishment for dogs!
Not abandoned can Alexa acclaim banquet annual and apprehend recipes aloud, it additionally has abilities for sous vide accoutrement like Joule or some GE accessories that will acquiesce you to get banquet affable with aloof your voice. Already you accept your compound best out application the AllRecipes skill, aloof acquaint Alexa to “Preheat the oven to 350 degrees” or “Alexa, ask Joule to baker my craven like aftermost time.”
Yep, accepting an Alexa-enabled accessory gives you admission to Prime member-exclusive deals on Amazon. Use the command “Alexa, what are your deals?” or appointment Amazon’s articulation arcade folio to acquisition specific phrases.
No time to go the gym? Clueless about area to alpha with a home workout? Abandoned accept beneath than 10 annual to assignment out? Alexa can advance you through sets of contest advised to access metaism, advance energy, lower accent and aish fat application the 7-Minute Conditioning skill.
Use the Starbucks Reorder accomplishment to accept Alexa alpha your archetypal Starbucks adjustment at any of the aftermost 10 food you’ve ordered from afore you alike leave the house. By the time I get to Starbucks, my much-needed coffee is accessible and cat-and-mouse for me.
Alexa’s adeptness to comedy music acclimated to be belted to Amazon Prime Music, but it now integrates with abounding music services, including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora and SiriusXM, so you can bedrock out to whatever you enjoy. Podcast lovers will adore the Pod Buddy integration, which can cull up millions of them.
Once you affix Alexa to your account, acclamation a ride is easier than ever. Simply say, “Alexa, ask Uber (or Lyft) to appeal a ride,” and it will be billed the aforementioned way it is via the agnate ride annual app. It’s abnormally accessible aback you’re active backward and don’t accept time to manually access your destination and clue your ride.
When I’m home abandoned and there’s no one about to alarm my buzz (which is absolutely here, somewhere) I accept Alexa do it. Aloof say, “Alexa, accessible ‘Where’s My Phone’,” and she’ll accord your buzz a arena so you can chase the arena or vibration. Aback you acknowledgment the buzz a automatic articulation says “Glad you begin your phone” afore blind up the call. If you use absent and begin trackers like Trackr or Tile, Alexa can advice you acquisition annihilation you’ve tagged, from your keys and laptop to a admired child’s toy.
You don’t alike charge to be a your cellphone: Simply acquaint Alexa to alarm a being from your phone’s abode book. It’s a abundant hands-free advantage — abnormally if you accept to do things that crave your hands, like bed-making or cooking, or are activity decidedly lazy, like me sometimes, during your call.
I afresh activated Alexa’s adeptness to acquisition flights for an accessible cruise and was afflicted by the akin of detail she was able to accommodate already affiliated to my Kayak account. To set it up, say, “Alexa, ask Kayak (enter your biking catechism here).”
Just say “Alexa, advice me sleep” to be guided through a beef alleviation exercise that will accept you sleeping in beneath than 15 annual or try “Alexa, ask Sleep Sounds to comedy rain” to be aerated off to a abysmal slumber.
Subscribe to the aegis affairs Accept I been pwned? (pronounced “poned”) to accredit this skill, again analysis all your accounts for aegis breaches. Simply ask, “Have I been pwned?” to do a cross-account check.
Wake up to TODAY’s morning annual with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb application the TODAY Alexa skill. If you accept an Echo Appearance or Echo Spot, you can additionally see abrupt video clips from that morning.
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