10 Alexa Features You Should Be Using on Your Amazon Echo

echo plus on the kitchen table

Alexa in your Amazon Echo device you can do much more than you think. You can use it to protect your home, get traffic details, set reminders, and more. Here’s how to get the most out of Amazon’s virtual assistant.

1. Manage Alexa from your desktop or mobile device

In case you don’t know yet, you can control the various functions of Alexa directly from your desktop, iPhone or Android smartphone. This allows you to modify various settings for your Echo without requiring physical access to your device. You can manage everything from reminders and alarms to connections smart home devices.

The Amazon Alexa website.

On your desktop, you can use the Amazon-Alexa website to do that, though it’s worth noting that the web implementation isn’t as robust as it used to be. You will have a better experience using the official Alexa mobile app at iPhone Y Android.

RELATED: How to control your Amazon Echo from the web (instead of a cluttered smartphone app)

2. Prevent Alexa from hearing the word Wake

Alexa keeps her ears open all the time so she can hear the wake word and respond to your queries. However, this could be problematic if you have someone or something named Alexa around you. You will end up accidentally activating Alexa (the virtual assistant) from time to time.

luckily you can stop alexa from listening to the wake word. To do this, on your Echo device, press the Mic button. Alexa will no longer hear the wake word.

Press the Mic button on the Amazon Echo.

To make you hear the wake word again, simply press the same Mic button on your Echo device.

RELATED: Automatically silence your Amazon Echo at certain times with an output timer

3. Change Alexa wake word

“Alexa” is not the only name you can use to launch this virtual assistant. Amazon allows you to choose from several names and terms that you can use to call your virtual assistant. These words include “Amazon”, “Echo” and more.

Change the Alexa wake word.

You may change your device’s wake word using the Alexa website on desktop. Later, you can go back to the original wake word if you want.

4. Make Alexa speak faster or slower

If you find that Alexa’s speech is too fast or too slow, you can ask her to adjust her speaking rate. Just say “Alexa, speak slower” or “Alexa, speak faster” and she will obey your command.

This will allow you to listen carefully to certain words, or go through everything quickly if you want to get your information quickly.

5. Get quick answers with short mode

Sometimes Alexa’s responses to your queries are too detailed. She might keep saying little things that you will eventually find annoying. Fortunately, there is a way around it.


Get into Brief mode, an Alexa feature that makes the virtual assistant shorten your responses. When this mode is enabled, Alexa won’t speak as many words as she normally does. You can enable the mode by going to the Alexa website, going to Settings > Alexa Voice Responses and turning on “Short Mode”.

On the same page, you can have Alexa whisper your responses by enabling the “Whispered Responses” option.

RELATED: What is Alexa Brief Mode and how do I turn it on (or off)?

6. Get your daily commute traffic details

Alexa can let you know what kind of traffic you will meet on the way to your office. As long as you’ve entered your origin and destination addresses in Alexa, you’re just one query away from getting your trip’s traffic details.

Specify the source and destination addresses.

If you haven’t already done so, you can set your source and destination addresses in the Settings > Traffic menu on the Alexa website.

7. Use Alexa as a reminder app

It is easy to forget your important tasks in this busy life. Setting a reminder for each of your tasks in a mobile reminder app is also cumbersome.

luckily you can use your Alexa assistant as a reminder tool. Just ask Alexa when you’d like a reminder and what about, and she’ll make sure to send you a notification at the specified time.

For example, you can ask Alexa to remind you to drink water at 2 pm and it will send you an alert when the time is right.

8. Multitask with routines

Performing a single task with Alexa is easy, but what if you want your virtual assistant to complete a set of tasks with a single command? Luckily, there is a way to do it.

Enter Alexa Routines, a function where you can configure multiple tasks. You can then ask Alexa to run this routine and she will perform all the tasks added to the routine for her. A good use of this feature is for your bedtime ritual. You can have Alexa lock your doors, turn off the lights, and even play soothing music so you can fall asleep.


You can set up Alexa routines from the More > Routines menu in the Alexa mobile app.

9. Get home updates when you’re away

Alexa offers a security feature called Guard to help you monitor your home when you’re away. This feature listens for certain sounds, such as glass breaking and smoke alarms going off.

When Alexa detects those sounds, you get a notification and a short audio clip of the sound, letting you know that something isn’t right in your home so you can take action.


You can turn on the Alexa Guard feature from the More > Settings > Guard menu in the Alexa mobile app. You can purchase the Guard Plus feature for a fee if you want emergency authorities to be notified when those sounds play in your home.

10. Use your Echo device as a Bluetooth speaker

Last but not least, you can use your Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo as a Bluetooth speaker. In this way, you can connect any of your Bluetoothenabled devices for your Echo and play your favorite music.

You may want to use this feature when your favorite music app doesn’t support Alexa, or when you prefer to play music from your phone or desktop. You can pair your phone or desktop with your Amazon Echo by simply asking “Alexa, pair.”

and those are some of Alexa’s features you can use to make your Amazon Echo device even more useful. We hope you find this list useful.

RELATED: What are Alexa hunches and how do you use them?

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