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.

Create your own routine

If you frequently fire off the same string of commands in a row, why not create a routine, so you can launch the sequence with a single instruction?

To do this, tap Routines in the Alexa Account section of the Alexa app, followed by the "+" to get started. Tap "When this happens", then "When you say something" and type the trigger phrase. We're using "Alexa, open the office" to set up a routine that will run when we get to our desk in the morning.

Save the phrase, then tap "Add action" and choose what should happen from the News, Smart Home, Traffic and Weather options. For example, our routine turns on two lights and asks Alexa to tell us what the day's weather is.

Use Alexa remotely

Did you know that you can communicate with Alexa even when you aren't within range of its microphone? The Alexa app which is used to set up the device can also be used to launch remote commands from anywhere in the world, along with a host of other tasks.

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Simply open the app and tap the Alexa logo in the centre of the navigation bar at the bottom to launch Alexa's voice recognition service, and tell her what you want. You can use any command that you'd use with the Echo itself, including turning on connected home devices like lights or plugs, playing music or answering general queries.

Want to find out howto use Alexa as a home intercom? Keep reading...

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