Alexa Getting Started Guide: What It Is, How It Works, And What You Can Do With It

If you have been given a device based on the Alexa assistant, such as an Amazon Echo speaker, headphones or a television among others, we bring you a little start guide so you can understand what it is and what you can do with it. We are going to try to explain things to you in a summarized way so that you do not spend too much time on these guides, and you can focus on enjoying your device.

We are going to start the article trying to explain in a brief and simple way what exactly this Amazon program is. Then, we will end by explaining you in a summarized way some of the main functions of this wizard, so you can start asking questions. Although the best thing is always that you dedicate yourself to look for new commands and functions, it may surprise you.

What is Amazon Alexa

Alexa is a virtual assistant created by Amazon. This assistant works mainly by voice, so that you can ask him questions and the assistant will give you back the answers what you asked. If you want to know the weather information of the city, you can ask him what the weather is like there and he will answer you.

The assistant also has another function, and that is to allow you to control accessories and other devices using voice commands. For this, Amazon has been forging together with other manufacturers a wide repertoire of devices compatible with Alexa, ranging from smart speakers to televisions, through light bulbs and other types of accessories.

Therefore, it is a very versatile assistant that you will find in various types of device, allowing control with each other. In addition, it will be used on all devices with the same voice commands, although some may have a screen and offer the extra of displaying images in addition to spoken responses.

How Alexa works

Amazon’s assistant, like other voice assistants, works on the basis of voice commands. You have to say a specific command to ask a question, although some requests for information may have more than one command, since the commands are intended to be natural, and we do not always ask a question in a single way.

But the important thing is that we have to use specific formulas, and depending on how refined we want the result we will have to be more specific. For example, we can ask what time it is going to do so that it tells you the one of the location that it detects as yours, but we can also ask it what time it is going to do on a certain day and in a specific city.

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You always have to add another activation command to these commands. On some devices such as smart speakers, the speaker will always be listening, but the wizard will only be activated if you start the question with the command Alexa. However, it also offers you the opportunity to change its name if you prefer to use another.

This assistant centralizes your information through a personal account, so you have to link your Amazon account. In addition, depending on the device on which you use it, it may need other permissions such as access to your location or your microphone to hear you. But the point is that thanks to using the same account on all devices, Alexa will know that it is you and will offer you the same information on all of them.

Unlike the Google assistant, Alexa does not centralize its searches through a specific search engine, and does not use it as a resource. This means that if it does not find the information you have asked for, it will tell you that it does not know, although it will always try to give you some information about anything you ask of it, even the results of the last game of your 2nd B team.

Config Dispositivo

Alexa setup is pretty straightforward. Although everything is centralized in your Amazon account, first you will need to download the Alexa application on your mobile, which is available and Google Play of Android, and in the App Store of iOS. In this application you can configure the connected devices that you are buying and that are compatible with Alexa.

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What can you do with Alexa

Alexa is going to allow you to do many things, and one of the first ones you are going to play with is with its queries. You can ask almost anything, and the wizard will search for an answer for you. In Engadget Basics we have collected 137 commands for Alexa, with which you will be able to get an idea of ​​all the queries you can make.

You can ask about the weather, sports results, the time in your city or any other in the world. You can also ask who this or another person is, the meaning of words or specific data of what you want. Like Jordi Hurtado’s age. By proxy, you can even ask how far away is the moon or any city, the height of mountains, the inhabitants of countries or cities, or make conversions of coins or units.

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The assistent it will allow you to manage alarms and reminders. You just have to tell him set an alarm specifying the time, the day or even its name, or you can also tell it put a reminder to schedule reminders. Then, you can ask what alarms and reminders you have and manage them, deleting the ones you want or postponing them.

You can also set timers, saying for example set a 10 minute timer for pizza, or add events to your calendar. And speaking of a calendar, you will also be able to synchronize your different calendars, such as Microsoft’s or Google’s, so that all the information is there.

The good thing about this is that notices are centralized in your account, which means that they will ring in the devices connected to Alexa that you have closest to you. Come on, if you have an Amazon Echo speaker in the room and another in the office, you can set the alarm clock in the office and have it ring in the room.

Alexa is able to manage lists, so you can tell him to add things to your to-do list, shopping list, or other list you want to create. Then, you will only have to ask what you have in the specific list that you want to consult, and it will tell you all the products, being able to eliminate the one you already have or add others.

How to connect Alexa to your TV

And if you are an active user on Amazon, Alexa will also help you with your Amazon purchases. For starters, you can tell it to buy a certain product and it will do so automatically. In addition, when that product or others that you have bought from the web or from your mobile are arriving, Alexa will send you notifications indicating that this or that purchase will arrive today.

The assistant can also help you make calls. It has an internal address book with other contacts in your address book that have an Amazon Echo device, and you can ask it to call that contact to make the call through the loudspeaker. If you have multiple devices connected in the Alexa app, you can send content from one device to another through the assistant, or talk to you from one device to another.

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In the event that you have a device connected to Alexa with a screen such as an Echo Show, all the responses you receive from Alexa will be accompanied by images or videos, and you can ask it to play videos from YouTube or other sites. You can also use it as a digital frame, viewing all or a selection of the photos you have in your Amazon Photos account.

And if you can watch or listen to YouTube videos, too you can listen to streaming music on Alexa. You can use Amazon Music, or link Spotify to listen to it from there. Then, you just have to ask him to play a certain group, album, playlist or song. You will also have controls to listen to the next song, the previous one, or pause the playback. It is also good for listening to audiobooks or podcasts.

You will also be able to ask Alexa to tell you a number from 1 to one hundred, to flip a coin, or to roll a dice. You will be able to ask him jokes, to sing you, riddles and other types of games. And even more complicated things, since the Alexa team continues to work on functions such as detect when your washing machine has finished being able to hear its warning beeps. The possibilities are as endless as its hundreds of commands.

Alexa will also allow you to configure routines, which are like programmed actions. You will do this from the app, and you will configure your own voice command and all the things you want Alexa to do when you give it that command. Thus, you will be able to create a little more complex and personalized actions.

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And if all this is not enough for you, Alexa allows you to install skills, which are like third-party applications with which the assistant gains new voice commands and new functions. You have all kinds of skills, such as information services that add new sources of news, even cooking recipes, or even games like trivia or Akinator. There is even to ask the price of light to Alexa.