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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.

Protect your purchases

On the subject of voice purchases, if you've got kids in the house you'll probably want to set up a PIN code for online shopping, to ensure they don't order a box load of Lego every two weeks.

To do this, scroll down to Voice Purchasing in the Alexa app and add the code in the "Require voice code" field. This will need to be spoken when making a purchase -so make sure they don't overhear you.

Connect external devices

Everyone knows that the Echo, Echo Plus and Echo Show can stream music from various online sources. What you might not realise is that these devices can all also be used as external Bluetooth speakers, so you can - for example - use them to play music directly from your phone.

To make the connection, either search for the Echo device in your phone's Bluetooth menu, or make your phone discoverable and say "Alexa, pair Bluetooth" or "Alexa, pair phone". (Note that the Dot lacks this capability.)

Once connected, you can control the music with all the usual voice commands, including "play", "pause", "previous" and "next", and volume controls. To close the connection, say "Alexa, disconnect Bluetooth" or "Alexa, disconnect phone".

Want to use Alexa for even more home automation? Keep reading to find out how...

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