The ultimate condo lifestyle experience is now taking new heights with the intervention of Artificial Intelligence (AI), smart appliances, and digital apps. One of them is the infamous Alexa, the Amazon smart AI assistant.
To give you an overview of how Alexa can upgrade your condo lifestyle, we come up with a list of what might make you decide to have one.
What is Alexa?
According to amazon.com, Alexa is Amazon’s interactive, all-knowing voice assistant. This smart AI voice assistant can do fast arithmetic for you; start your favorite songs, check news and weather, and manage many of your home’s smart goods. It is available on Amazon’s Echo speakers, smart thermostats, soundbars, lamps, and lighting, and even on your phone through the Alexa app.
Here are our top 10 reasons to install Alexa:
Alexa can check the weather before you leave the house
If you have Alexa, you’ve probably asked her about the weather. But what you probably don’t know is that Alexa can give you way more than just the temperature and whether it’s going to be rainy or sunny.
When you say “Alexa, what’s the weather,” it will tell you the current temperature and conditions; (mostly sunny skies, rainy, etc.) and the high and low for the day — all for the location associated with your Alexa device (unless you ask for another location).
You can ask follow-up questions like “Alexa, is it windy?” or “Alexa, will it rain today?” But try “Alexa, what’s the real feel temperature?” and you’ll be out of luck.
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You can set (and snooze) an alarm by barely moving a muscle with Alexa
You can also snooze alarms for 9 minutes by simply saying, “Alexa, snooze.”. Ask it to show you your alarms (Echo Show and Spot only). For the Echo Show or Echo Spot, you can manage your alarms from the screen. Say, “Alexa, show me my alarms.”.
Furthermore, you could also snooze the alarm by telling the device, “Alexa, snooze.” The device comes with a pre-set snooze time of 9 minutes; you cannot alter that. You can set the alarm and tweak it the way you want, in the “Reminders & Alarms” section in your Alexa device.
You can play podcasts through Tune In, AnyPod or Spotify
Furthermore, all Alexa users can finally use their Alexa to play podcasts through Spotify; simply by saying “Alexa, play The Upgrade on Spotify.” If you’re partway through an episode on the Spotify app; Alexa will pick up where you left off, and vice versa. No more juggling your progress between the two apps.
You can play music, and all of your painstakingly crafted playlists, through Spotify
Now, when you ask Alexa to play music, it will automatically play music from Spotify. You can ask Alexa to play specific artists, songs, genres of music, or playlists. Because you had set Spotify as the default music source, it will play music only from Spotify; unless you ask Alexa to play music from a different source, such as Pandora.
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You can get a daily news briefing
Alexa makes it easy to get news updates just by asking. Listening to the news on your Echo speaker is one of the best uses for Alexa right now. In fact, according to a 2018 Adobe survey, 46% of voice assistant users ask their smart speakers for the news.
If you like to catch up on the news each day in a little more depth; but without having to turn on the TV, Amazon has a solution for you using its smart speakers. Alexa will now offer to read you the news in a lot more detail.
Additionally, as Engadget reports, Alexa users in the US can benefit from a new feature; that allows the voice assistant to convey the news in detail. It’s a feature that’s been made possible thanks to partnerships with Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Newsy, and NPR; from where the news will be sourced.
You can ask for jokes and quiz questions
This AI tool can amuse you with jokes, stories, and interesting trivia, and you don’t even have to enable extra skills. For example, Alexa can tell you Star Wars jokes, yo mama jokes, and even some interesting trivia facts. Not to mention, it can also keep the kids busy while you’re busy.
You can set a timer for your cooking
Name a timer when you set it. You can name your timer when you set it with Alexa. This can be especially helpful for situations when you need to set multiple timers and don’t want to get them confused. For example, “Alexa, set an oven timer for 1 and a half hours.”
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How to set up Alexa
Prior to starting your setup, you’ll want to choose the best location for your device. Be sure to place it in a central location, like your kitchen countertop, living room, or bedside table. Also, you’ll want to position your device so that it has a clear path to receive Wi-Fi signals — free from walls, baby monitors, and microwave ovens, all of which can impact optimal functionality.
Moreover, Echo, Amazon’s flagship smart speaker, connects to Alexa to play music, set alarms and timers, answer general questions, control smart home devices and lots more. Amazon suggests that it fits best in communal spaces, like living and family rooms.
- Power on your device by plugging it into a wall unit or surge protector.
- Download the Alexa app on your mobile device.
- In the bottom-right corner of the screen, select Devices.
- Select the “+” icon in the top-right corner of the screen to add a device.
- Select Add Device.
- Follow instructions to set up your Echo, Echo Dot, etc.
- To get started, use your natural voice and speak “Alexa” into the device. That’s what wakes her up. Every time you want to speak to Alexa, you first need to wake up the device by using the “wake word,” Alexa. That alerts the device to begin recording and sending your request to Amazon’s secure cloud.
How to set up Alexa with Amazon Echo Dot
At just under four inches wide, Amazon’s Echo Dot is a compact smart speaker that fits into almost any space in your home. It’s much more than just a speaker though — of course, it streams music through Pandora and Spotify, among others — the Echo Dot also allows you to read the news, check the weather, set your home alarm and more.
To set up your Echo Dot, follow the step-by-step instructions listed above for the Echo, but simply select “Echo Dot” in the list of devices.
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