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Amazon Alexa is a wonderful service, allowing you to use voice commands for various daily functions, including asking about the weather or setting a timer. But it’s also so much more. If you’re willing to invest in Amazon’s product ecosystem, then the best Alexa devices really can do wonders for your home. But you may not know about some of these features; don’t worry, to help, we compiled a list of nine key things you didn’t know Amazon Alexa can do that will make your life even easier. Just call it a public service announcement from SPY.
If you’re just looking for Alexa to tell you jokes, be sure to check out our guide to the most useful, unique and downright silly Alexa commands.
1. Tracking Your Printer Ink
There are few things worse than needing to print something important, only to realize that you’re out of ink as your printer starts up. That’s why it’s convenient to connect your printer to Alexa. The device can tell when you’re about to run out of ink and will remind you to order new cartridges, so you’re not in a tough spot. Or, if you are, you at least have replacements handy. Whether it’s a last-minute school project for the kids or some form that has to be printed, you probably didn’t know Amazon Alexa could keep you covered.
Amazon Alexa Echo Studio Smart Speaker
2. Monitor Home Air Quality
It seems like a no-brainer, but the air quality inside your home is extremely important, and there are a variety of factors to consider beyond carbon monoxide. Elements like particulate matter, volatile organic compounds, humidity, and temperature can significantly impact how easy or difficult it might be to breathe in your space. With Alexa, you can enable voice control to ask what the overall quality is and create routines so your various Alexa-enabled devices can speak with one another. Of course, you’ll need Amazon’s Smart Indoor Air Quality Sensor. Still, suppose you’ve already got an Alexa. In that case, it’ll be easy to incorporate it into the rest of your existing setup, where it can identify these factors and then notify you accordingly.
Amazon’s Smart Indoor Air Quality Sensor
3. Active Listening to Keep You Safe and Secure
The idea of home is that it’s a place where you feel the most comfortable, safe and secure. However, events can happen wherein something disrupts this ideal — but Alexa can help ensure an added level of protection. By activating Alexa Guard, your Amazon Echo devices can be paired to a Ring Alarm system to detect the sounds of a smoke alarm, CO alarm or even glass breaking. You can use voice control to turn Guard on or off depending on whether you’re entering or exiting the home. Amazon Echo Smart speakers make it easy to pick up on these noises and then convey that information to you through notification if you’re away or by sounding the Ring alarm if you’re at home.
Amazon Echo Smart Speaker
4. Take Care of Your Loved Ones
Amazon Alexa Echo Show + Alexa Together Bundle
5. Watch (and Reward!) Pets
As a pet owner, I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve pulled up my Ring Stick camera feed to check in on my pup while I’m out and about. With the Petcubes Bites 2 Wi-Fi pet camera with Alexa built-in, I can take a step further and not only check in on the dog but reward her accordingly. With the included Alexa functionality, you use voice control to play calming music or even release a treat if they behave well. Oh, and it’s another Alexa device, which means you can use the Petcubes in the same way you’d use a normal Alexa.
Petcubes Bites 2 Wi-Fi Pet Camera
6. Quench Your Thirst
Amazon Dash Smart Shelf
7. Automagically Arm Your Security System
Amazon’s Ring Alarm Pro system can sense when you’ve left your home through geofencing, a feature that uses GPS to define a boundary. And Amazon Alexa will automatically (or, shall we say, automagically) arm your security system. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Alexa can tell when you’re headed through the door and disarm the security system, too, making it that much easier to ensure you’re safe and secure at home.
Amazon Ring Alarm Pro System
8. Help You Save Money
Who doesn’t love a good deal? What about deals that are basically handed to you? With Alexa, you can use voice commands to add different products to your cart or wish list. From there, Alexa will notify you (up to 24 hours ahead of time) when an item you’ve saved will go on sale. Shopping and saving are that much easier.
Amazon Echo Dot
9. Content, Personalized to You
Visual ID on the Echo Show series of devices allows you to see your stuff! Want to see your reminders, calendar invites, to-do lists and more? You didn’t know Amazon Alexa and Visual ID would let you personalize the stuff that matters to you, did you?