- Alexa is used by a number of devices, some with screens and some without
- The commands are the same whatever version you have
Hello! Learning to use Amazon’s Alexa can be intimidating, so we have found the most useful commands to get you going, and even created a print out list of commands you can put next to your speaker.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to say say the word Alexa before asking anything, to wake her up so she can listen to you.
And if you’re on the fence about buying an Echo, Amazon has some great deals right now – we recommend the Echo Show 8.
You’ll know if she’s listening, because the right light on the speaker will glow, or if you have a device with a screen, a glowing blue bar will appear
Try it now – one good command to start off with is to say “Alexa, what’s the weather?“.
If she is too quiet, simply say “Alexa, turn up the volume” and if she’s too loud, say “Alexa, turn down the volume“.
You can ask Alexa to remind you of anything.
Simply tell Alexa what you want her to remind you of, such as “Alexa, remind me to walk the dog at 5pm“
Alexa can even remind you to take your medication – simply say “Alexa, remind me to take my medication” and she’ll talk you through the steps.
Listening to music
One great feature of Alexa is being able to listen to music and radio stations.
To listen to a radio station, simply say “Alexa, play” and the then the name of the station you want to listen to – for instance, “Alexa, play BBC Radio 2”
You can also ask for any song, singer or even type of music – for instance, “Alexa, play The Beatles” or “Alexa, play country music”.
When you want to stop the music, simply say “Alexa, stop”.
If you have a music service such as Spotify, you can set Alexa to use it – see here for more instructions.
Using Alexa to Read books
Alexa can also read books to you, using a service called Audible.
If you already use Amazon’s Kindle system to read books, you can simply say “Alexa, read my Kindle book” and she’ll start reading what you were reading last.
If you don’t have any book reading services set up, Amazon has some free titles available – just say “Alexa, what’s free from Audible”
For more book reading options, Amazon has a good guide here.
Alexa can also play games with you. Simply say “Alexa, let’s play a game” and she’ll walk you through the options.
There are also some big names games on Alexa – try saying “Alexa, let’s play Pointless” or “Alexa, let’s play Jepoardy”.
For more games, you can visit our guide to the best Alexa games here.
Using Alexa as a picture frame
If your Alexa device has a screen (like the Echo Show on the right), you can easily turn it into a digital picture frame.
It’s really simple to do, and you can even get your family members to upload pictures to it remotely.
We’ve put together a full guide to turning your Echo Show into a picture frame here.
Search the internet
Alexa will try her best to answer any question by searching the internet.
She can also do math, and even makes jokes (try saying “Alexa, tell me a joke”).
Although the Echo Dot doesn’t have a screen, you can still make voice calls to people. You’ll first have to make sure that the person is in your address book – if you’re not sure how to do that, there’s a guide here.
Then, simply say “Alexa, call” and the name of the person you want to talk to.
To end the call, say “Alexa, stop”.
For more on making calls, visit Amazon’s page here