Amazon Alexa has become a staple in popular culture. As one of the first digital virtual assistants on the market, she has revolutionized our relationship with everyday tasks and the gadgets we use to complete them. You’re probably aware of many common Amazon Alexa commands including “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” and “Alexa, play Beyoncé’s latest album on Spotify.” These are useful commands, no doubt about that. But they’re just scratching the surface of what this home voice assistant is capable of.
Get through the day a little easier and maximize the potential of your Alexa by using these lesser-known but super convenient voice commands.
“Alexa, tell me a random fact.”
Alexa can do way more than read your to-do list or check your email, she can teach you a thing or two. If you’re cleaning, organizing or just bored, ask her to tell you a random or interesting fact. You never know what you might discover! You can also add a qualifier. Try saying, “Alexa, tell me an interesting fact about whales.”
“Alexa, ask Guided Meditations to play meditation.”
Every Alexa comes equipped to lead you in a mindful meditation activity at any time, day or night. Simply find a comfortable seat or place to lie down, take a few deep breaths and enjoy the calming practice of meditation whenever it fits into your schedule.
“Alexa, sing me a song.”
Did you know Alexa can sing? It’s true! Use this command and see what you get. She has a few songs in her back pocket ready to go. You can ask her to sing happy birthday, rap or even beatbox to make things more exciting.
“Alexa, find me a recipe for dinner.”
At a loss for what to cook? Alexa’s one of the most helpful virtual companions in the kitchen you could ask for. She’s got access to an extensive library of recipes, can read out cooking instructions, tell you the right temperature or measurement and even set a timer for you.
Don’t be shy! She might not be able to assist in actual cooking tasks but she’ll make sure you’re on the right track no matter what dish you’re preparing. You’ve just got to ask.
“Alexa, play rock, paper, scissors.”
Want a new gaming buddy? Alexa knows a few fun ones including rock, paper, scissors. She might not have hands, but she’ll give you a choice between the three to go up against her with.
She’s also pretty good at trivia if that’s your thing. Simply say, “Alexa, play trivia” to start a match. Warning — she’ll be doing the questioning, and since she’s a super computer she’s pretty hard to beat in a regular match.
“Alexa, I want to make a donation.”
Doing a good deed has never been easier now with Alexa’s charity donation option. She’s got more than 300 charities in her database and can donate to any of them using Amazon Pay. Be sure to set it up beforehand to make the process as seamless as possible.
“Alexa, do you love me?”
This is where things get a little saucy. You can ask Alexa questions all humans ask of each other — including, “Alexa, do you love me?” and “Alexa, will you be my girlfriend/boyfriend?”
You’ll push the boundaries and deepen your relationship, maybe. She won’t replace an actual romantic partner, but it’ll be entertaining nonetheless.
“Alexa, what do you think of Google Home/Siri?”
You may think they’re enemies, but they can become fast friends with the right commands. Introduce your Alexa to your Google Home and you’ll get insight into how these companies feel about each other.
You can also have the two talk to each other, which is guaranteed to take you down some weird rabbit holes.
“Alexa, tell me a joke.”
If you’re in the mood for some comedy, Alexa is your gal. She can tell you knock, knock jokes, dad jokes and other cheesy variations to keep you or your kids entertained.
“Alexa, Open Writing Motivation.”
If you’ve ever experienced writer’s block, you know it’s the worst. That essay or report is due tomorrow and you can’t seem to get a string of words together, let alone a few pages. Need a boost of motivation? Alexa’s got you.
Using the skill Writing Motivation, she’ll berate you until you get your work done with phrases like “in one hour you could’ve written 1,000 words instead of having a blank piece of paper.” After each bit of supportive sass she’ll ask if you need more help, to which you can respond yes or no.
Again, she can’t do any actual writing for you, but she can get you most of the way there.
“Alexa, enable Meow or Bark.”
Rid yourself of the guilt of leaving your pet home alone all day, now they’ve got a friend! Download the Meow! and Woof! skills in the Alexa app and enable it in the morning. Alexa will talk to your pets using a “meow” or “woof” throughout the day and if your pet responds, they’ll continue the “conversation” by mimicking your animal’s sounds.
Pretty cool, huh?
You can also talk to your pets through Alexa during the day using the drop-in feature available on the Echo Plus.
“Alexa, find my keys.”
Is there anything worse than losing your keys? You’re almost out the door and can’t leave until you find them, delaying your whole day by 20 minutes.
Well, Alexa yet again saves the day. Attach an RFID device to your keychain, pair it with Alexa and she’ll tell you where they are.
Need To Upgrade Your Alexa?
If your current Echo isn’t working quite as well as it used to, then it may be time to upgrade Alexa’s hardware. The latest version of the Amazon Echo Dot has a sleek fabric cover that comes in a variety of colors.