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.

Personalise your Flash Briefing

A Flash Briefing is Amazon's name for a quick info dump that draws content from multiple sources, such as news publishers, weather forecasters and exchange rate trackers. To set one up that's personalised just for you, open the Alexa app and click Flash Briefing in the Settings section. Click Get more Flash Briefing content and select the elements you'd like to add: you'll find options like BBC World Service, The Guardian, MTV and the Joke of the Day.

Each one you add will be automatically enabled, but you can remove any source from the briefing if you choose: just return to the Flash Briefing section and toggle the switch beside each one's name.

You can enable sports content within the Flash Briefing too - but Alexa already knows a lot about football and other sports. Click Sports Update on the Settings screen, then use the search box to find the teams you're interested in. As well as Premier League clubs, you'll also find local teams like Leatherhead and Taunton Town.

Tell Alexa where you are

Another way to personalise the information Alexa feeds you is by telling her where you live. The setup procedure asks you for a street, but a postcode works just as well, and will ensure you get accurate weather and travel information. This should be set for each device by clicking its name in the app's Settings section and entering the required details in the Device location section.

If you frequently make the same journey between two fixed points, you can also setup a custom traffic report. To set your start and end points, step back from the device settings and click Traffic in the Alexa Preferences section. Then, when you ask Alexa "what's the traffic like?", she'll respond with a full report.

Click through to the next page to find out how to create your own personalised Alexa skills...

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