Amazon Echo sitting on table

Step Into the Future: How Can Alexa Change Your Day-to-Day Life?

Alexa Is All About Convenience

The beauty of rapid technological advancement is the convenience the technology provides users. Alexa is a truly amazing personal assistant voice control system from Amazon. Alexa’s core feature is that it intelligently recognizes and executes voice tasks and allows voice interactions.

Borrowing its name from the famous Alexandria library, Alexa has delivers an amazing experience for users which has resulted in its popularity soaring in the past few years.

Alexa is great for home automation and is found in the following companion apps: Echo, Echo 2, Echo Dot, Echo Tap, Echo Show, Echo Show, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet. By using your voice you are able to play music, order takeout, get answers to simple calculations, get the weather report, help organize your day, and so much more.

Fundamentals of Alexa

Alexa is designed to make life easier, especially around the home. Alexa controls smart lights, enabling you to switch them on/off from the comfort of your couch. You can also program the thermostat to turn on and off at specific times.

Alexa keeps users updated on basic information about the day including information about the time, date, and calendar items, and even provides reminders for appointments. Users simply use voice commands to get the necessary information in real time such as by asking, ”Alexa when is today?” Alexa also allows you to set alarms and custom reminders during any time of day.

For folks who love sports updates, Alexa has a sports update app section that gives the scores and updates from 15 popular sporting leagues including NBA, NFL, NHL, and UEFA champions league.

Alexa allows you to customize your reminders: “Alexa remind me to finish my book” or “Alexa remind me about my doctor’s appointment Tuesday.” Alexa has a convenient to-do list feature that allows you to constantly update items like a shopping list.

Simply ask it through a voice command, “What is on my to-do list?” Then add items by telling Alexa, “Add buying milk to my to-do list.” The echo alarm is quite handy and vibrates to wake you up. To shut it off, simply tell it “stop.”

Alexa Skills

Alexa skills are features from third-party developers that help Alexa do much more aside from basic features. Each one of the more than 20,000 skills available is integrated with apps, products, and services from Amazon. Users can enable them in the Alexa app.

Music and Audio Books

Probably one of the coolest features is that Alexa allows users to control music, audio books, and other multimedia content. Instead of launching music from your Bluetooth speaker or phone, Echo allows you to request songs by voice. Music and media is available via Prime Music, Amazon Cloud Drive, or on Amazon Music Unlimited.

Apart from Prime Music you can stream music from Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, SiriusXM, and Pandora.

In addition to songs, you can request playlists from Amazon’s library. Alexa offers music that complements your mood. If you had a long day at the office, the command “Alexa play soothing music” will give you a playlist of relaxing songs. The Multi-Room Music section allows users to hook up multiple Echo devices in their home and have them stream content simultaneously.

Alexa allows users to access their audio books through Echo speakers. Amazon has a wide range of books (arguably the biggest in the world). Simply specify the book by saying "Alexa, play the book Kite Runner."

Alexa enables you to play a wide range at any time, resuming where you left off or allowing you to navigate ahead or backwards through voice commands like "Alexa, skip to chapter eight." To access audio books, users need to link their audio accounts to Alexa.

Voice Shopping

Enjoy takeout without ever having to make a call. Simply say, “Alexa, find open Pizza Huts and place my Easy Order." Then wait for your food to come to your door. Enable skills from Dominos, Pizza Hut, Grubhub, Starbucks, Seamless, and Wingstop.

It is important to note that Alexa voice shopping is exclusive to Amazon Prime subscribers and only Prime-eligible items can be ordered online. You can order flowers through 1-800 enabled accounts to surprise your loved ones.

Voice Calling and Texting

Alexa makes hands-free calling and texting easy, allowing users to connect in an instant using voice commands. Alexa accesses your contact list and lets you receive calls or text anyone in the your contacts. Link Alexa to your phone and the voice assistant will help type out a text message by using your voice as input.

Alexa also has a feature called Drop-In that allows you communicate with other Alexa-enabled devices like Echo Dot and Echo Show. This inter-device calling feature works through your phone's contact list to find contacts who have Alexa-enabled apps.

Echo devices can also work as intercom systems in the home. Alexa allows you to hook up different Echo devices in the home through the Drop-In feature. No more shouting from downstairs — simply call your kids for dinner from the dining table.

Business calls are supported by Alexa through a subscription based service that allows conference calls and scheduled meetings. Custom skills are available from third party vendors like Microsoft and SAP.

Other Cool Supported Features

Alexa will read you your horoscope, find workout plans, plan vacations on Kayak, and order rides on Uber or Lyft. Alexa also helps folks get cooking and recipe ideas from one of the many skills available. For business, Alexa enables you to check stock price through Opening Bell and Markit On Demand.

In case you are bored, Alexa has a games, trivia, and accessories section that allows users to play popular games like bingo, tic-tac-toe, and rock, paper, scissors.