Using Alexa: The ultimate senior’s guide

  • 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.

TheTechHelper guide to Alexa
TheTechHelper guide to Alexa

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“.

Setting reminders

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

Using Alexa: Reading 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.

Playing games

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

Using Alexa: Amazon Echo Show
Amazon’s Echo Show

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”).

Making calls

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

Using Alexa: Print out commands guide

Most Read

What’s the best device for seniors stuck in isolation?

Technology is key to keeping in touch with parents and others in isolation, but what should you buy? Here's a guide to what's best, and some simple tips for setting it up most effectively.

Coronavirus: How to clean your keyboard and mouse properly

With Coronavirus spreading globally, keeping your gadgets clean is important - particularly your phone screen, keyboard and mouse. Here's what you need to know.

Coronavirus: How to clean your phone properly

Studies have shown your phone’s touchscreen is a magnet for bacteria - so with the global spread of Covid-19, keeping it clean is more important than ever.

The best TV to buy: TCL 6 Series review

TCL 6 Series review: It's got everything - a stunning 65inch screen, a built in Roku and a sleek design that will blend into every living room.

Latest Posts

How to join a Zoom meeting

There are dozens of different ways to make video calls, but Zoom has emerged as one of the most popular. It's simple to use, and we've put together a guide to joining your first Zoom meeting.

iOS 14: All about Apple’s new iPhone software

Apple has unveiled the newest software for its iPhone and iPad, called iOS and iPadOS 14. Coming in September, it's got a new home screen and loads of other new features.

The best broadband deals for Seniors

There are dozens of different ways to get broadband at home, and many providers offer special deals for seniors. Here's how to get them.

Coronavirus shows how ageism is harming the health of older adults

Paul Nash, Associate Professor of Gerontology at University of Southern California and Phillip W. Schnarrs, Associate Professor of Population Health, University of Texas at Austin, say ageism causing massive misconceptions about senior health.

Amazon slashes the price of its Echo Show smart screen

Amazon's Echo Show 8 is the best device out there for people who aren't comfortable with an iPad or smartphone. Amazon has heavily discounted the device, so there's never been a better time to buy.

The Chicago School District relying on donations to get its students online

Teachers were stuffing 800 envelopes with learning packets and mailing them to students’ homes because many families in the area don’t have computers or high-speed internet.

How many Americans really have high-speed internet access?

The FCC says 14 million people don't have broadband internet access. Microsoft says its research shows that it is actually closer to 163 million.

Almost half the world is living through this pandemic without the internet

CNN highlights the digital divide that has torn the world apart during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Latest Posts

How to join a Zoom meeting

There are dozens of different ways to make video calls, but Zoom has emerged as one of the most popular. It's simple to use, and we've put together a guide to joining your first Zoom meeting.

iOS 14: All about Apple’s new iPhone software

Apple has unveiled the newest software for its iPhone and iPad, called iOS and iPadOS 14. Coming in September, it's got a new home screen and loads of other new features.

The best broadband deals for Seniors

There are dozens of different ways to get broadband at home, and many providers offer special deals for seniors. Here's how to get them.

Coronavirus shows how ageism is harming the health of older adults

Paul Nash, Associate Professor of Gerontology at University of Southern California and Phillip W. Schnarrs, Associate Professor of Population Health, University of Texas at Austin, say ageism causing massive misconceptions about senior health.