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New Amazon Echo? 5 important tips you need to know now


These tips will help you from the moment you unpack your Amazon Echo.

Chris Monroe / CNET

You just took yours new Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock or Echo Show 8 out of the box, but what are you doing right now? You already know that can play music, tell yourself the weather forecast and set alarms – but Amazon’s Alexa does so many things that it can be overwhelming to try to figure out where to start.

For example, Alexa can learn who it’s talking to, order supplies for the whole house and even turn on the lights. Not to mention, you can call and call send texts using the echo sounder – or drop in on someone else’s speaker (with their permission, of course).

Right out of the box, Alexa will not tell you how to do these things, but we have you covered. Read on for important Amazon Echo tips that you need to know.


Find the perfect place in the house for your new Amazon Echo.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Find a good place for your echo in the house

The first thing you want to do after removing the box for the new Amazon Echo is to connect it. And when you only have one Echo speaker, you will not just pick it down anywhere in the house – in fact it is four places you should never place the device. You should make sure that it is in a centralized place where your voice can carry from most rooms, as in kitchen or living room. (Here is four best uses for Amazon Echo in every room of your house.)

Get the basics taken care of first

Now that you’ve got Echo connected and set up, it is time to learn the basics. This includes downloading the Alexa app and configuring your location to get an accurate weather forecast.

We also recommend that you take your time from the beginning create a voice profile for everyone who lives in the house. While you can configure this at any time, allowing Alexa to recognize the voices of different users will give each user a personalized experience. For example, when Alexa recognizes your voice, it plays music and news you enjoy listening to, and wants to call or send messages to people in your address book.

You may also want to set up voice purchases so that you can quickly order an item you often buy, such as paper towels. To do this, you must also activate 1-Click ordering in the settings app. Remember to set up a password so that only you can make purchases this way. You will find this in Settings > Account settings > Purchase of votes.


Once Echo is connected, you can start with the basics.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Use voice commands to get things done

Every action you want Alexa to perform will requires a voice command. For example, turn on music, control the volume of the smart speaker, and create lists or reminders. You just want to say something like “Alexa, turn down the volume” or “Alexa, add coffee to my shopping list.”

You can also communicate with Alexa through texts, instead of talking. Just open the Alexa app and press Keyboard top left.

Don’t want your watchword to be Alexa? You can change it to Echo, Computer or Amazon. Just say “Alexa, change the watchword” and make your choice.

Read more: We tested all four Amazon Echo watchwords. Here’s what we learned about Alexa

Control your smart home devices from the Echo speaker

Do you wish you could come home at night with the lights already on? Well, if you have smart lights, smart plugs ($ 25 on Amazon) or switches, you can control them using the Alexa app, so you never have to climb the stairs to the front porch again.

Other devices you can control include smart locks (in case you forget to lock your door before you travel), thermostats, robot vacuum cleaners and more


Connect all your smart home devices in the Alexa app.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Call, send text and send to your friends using Alexa

Lost your phone in the house again? No worries – you do not need it because Alexa can call and send texts for you. Just say something like “Alexa, call mom,” or “Alexa, send a text to Katie.” The contacts must be in your address book for this to work.

You can also use the Echo speaker to enter on friends and family who have added you as an accepted contact. To do that, just say something like “Alexa, get on with Dad.”

Oh, and about the lost phone – Alexa can help you find it in your home.

Now that we have the most important thing out of the way, it’s here Five Surprising Things You Didn’t Know Amazon Echo Could Do, 10 weirdest things Amazon Echo can do and how to make Fire TV a bigger Amazon Echo Show.

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