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6 things you probably haven't tried with your Amazon Echo



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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

You Amazon Echo is your assistant for when you need to turn on the lights set an alarm or even when you lose your phone in the cushions from the bank. But Alexa has so many underused skills that some people don't think they use. For example, did you know that you can actually take Alexa with you in the car? Or that Alexa can say what you want?

Most of these require few settings and are fairly easy to use. Read on to find out what six things you have not yet tried with your Amazon Echo ($ 64 with Amazon) and how to get started.

Create custom Alexa responses

You have probably noticed that Alexa will not answer certain commands, such as when you ask for a curse word or to say something else inappropriate. However, you can certainly let Alexa say what you want by making customized responses. For example, you can set it to true if you ask Alexa who has the best smile, it can say "You, of course."

You must go to the Amazon Blueprints page, select Custom Q&A and click Make your own . Here you can create all the questions and answers that Alexa must answer the way you want.

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Modifying Alexa responses


Screenshot by Katie Conner / CNET

Use it as a speaker for your TV

It can be annoying when you watch a movie that is extremely quiet and you need to turn up the volume on your TV to hear. Fortunately, you can use your Amazon Echo as a speaker for your TV. It is super handy because you can place it on the side table if you really cannot hear what is happening in the show.

Your TV must have Bluetooth capabilities to connect to your Echo device (or you can connect your Fire TV to your Echo ). Place your Echo speaker next to your TV and say "Alexa, connect." Alexa is starting to check for devices that can be connected – right now you need to navigate to the Bluetooth settings on your TV to find the Echo speaker. You must then find the sound settings on your TV and change the sound output to your echo.

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Place the Echo speaker next to your smart TV to connect. [19659013] David Katzmaier / CNET

Put Alexa in your car

Alexa is a great assistant for all your smart home needs, but did you know that you can also use it in your car? This allows you to be hands-free while driving instead of constantly pressing buttons on your dashboard, and there are a number of ways to do this. If you already have an Echo Dot ($ 68 at Walmart) you can connect it to your car via a USB charger. However, you must connect it to your phone's hotspot for it to work. You can then connect it via Bluetooth to the stereo of your car.

Or you can choose the route Amazon Echo Auto the newest way to take Alexa in the car. It has the same capabilities as an Echo Dot, but it is designed to be used in the car. You can connect it to a USB charging port or a lighter port (depending on what your car has). Please note that you must also use your mobile data to power the device Echo Auto .

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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Alexa Cast to other Echo devices

It happens often – you have listened to your favorite playlist in your car, but now you are home and want to keep listening on your Echo device. You can use Alexa Cast to transfer the music from your phone to your speaker so that you can continue to play your favorite music.

Select the playlist you want to listen to in the Amazon Music app on your phone. Pull up the music controls and tap the button on the bottom right of the screen. Then select which Echo speaker you want to cast to.

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Make a to-do list

How often did you remember that you had to buy avocados in the supermarket or pay a bill, but completely forgot to write it down? Instead of telling yourself that you will remember or scramble to find a pen and paper, you simply create a to-do list with Alexa. Say "Alexa, make a list" to get started. You want to name your lists to keep them organized and when you're done, you can open them through the Alexa app or one of your Echo devices.

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Tyler Lizenby / CNET

Make a decision with head or tail

Having trouble choosing between which restaurant you want to go Friday night? Let Alexa make the decision for you. You must download a skill, such as headers or tails, in the Alexa app. Here's how it works – decide which place heads and which tails will be. For example, that cool new pizza restaurant is heads and the sushi bar is tails. Then say "Alexa, ask Heads of Tails to flip a coin." If it says heads, you eat pizza, and if it says tails, Sushi is it.

Ready for more Amazon Echo tips? Check out these surprising ways that Amazon Echo can entertain you when you get bored to tears and the craziest things you can do Amazon Echo .

Originally published earlier this week. [19659046]
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