17 hidden secrets of the Amazon Echo

Amazon’s voice assistant can do a lot more than just play music and tell you the weather.

Play podcasts with Alexa

You probably know that Alexa can stream music and digital radio stations - but did you know that she can also play podcasts? Alexa has a built-in ability to play podcasts through the TuneIn app - just say, for example; "Alexa, play Serial".

This skill, however, may be a bit limited for the true podcast enthusiast's tastes, lacking the ability to do things like subscribe to certain podcasts. If you want a bit more functionality, check out the AnyPod skill, which allows you to do things like subscribe to podcasts and play specific episodes.

Create multiple profiles

Alexa will listen to anyone - but that doesn't mean she has to treat everyone the same. If you set up separate profiles for each person in your household, you can switch between them to ensure that any music played, calendars accessed, and accounts used for shopping will be appropriate to that user.

Creating a new profile has to be done by the registered owner of the Echo device. Open Settings in the Alexa app, click Household Profile in the Settings section, then enter your account password. Now get the other member to log in using the same device and link your accounts.

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One word of warning: when you tell Alexa to order an item from Amazon, the system will use whichever payment method is set up for the active profile - so to avoid mix-ups, it's worth checking before you place the order. To do so, just ask "Alexa, which profile is this?"

Turn the page to discover how to stop unauthorised purchases...

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