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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

5 Great Ways to Get The Most From Your Amazon Echo

Making it's debut in 2016, the Amazon Echo has quickly become one of the hottest gadgets around. If you have an Amazon Echo, Echo Spot, Dot, Tap, or Show, there are lots of things you can ask Alexa, the virtual assistant to do. This device has so many useful features, it's easy to overlook everything it can do. To help you get the most out of the Echo, I've put together a list of tips and suggestions that make sure you enjoy this awesome device to the fullest.

What's the big deal about the Amazon Echo?

Amazon Echo connects to your home WiFi, which allows you to connect to the Internet to give you the information you want by vocal commands. The setup process is very simple making it easy for even the basic user to configure. Once you have your Echo setup, Alexa the personal assistant listens to your voice and responds to your requests either returning information found online or syncing with Amazon compatible devices that allow you to vocally control items in your home.

What are the cool things you can do with your Amazon Echo?

1. Control Your Smart Home. One of best features of an Amazon Echo is being able to give voice commands to control the environment of your house. You can tell Alexa to dim your lights, lock your doors, turn home security on or off, change the temperature, and make coffee for you. Remember, all devices that you want to control must be compatible with the Echo. Look for the Amazon logo when purchasing product that you want to work with your smart home. Click here to find a list of compatible products.

2. Purchase Items Using Your Voice. Echo allows you to buy stuff from Amazon using your account and default payment method. Search for something you like, buy it and it magically appears on your doorstep. The challenge is, anyone can talk to your Echo and make purchases. If you've got kids or have visitors who like to play jokes, you should probably turn that feature off.

3. Listen to Audible or Kindle books on your Echo. If you have an account with Audible or Kindle, you can have Echo read books to you. While Alexa does a great job reading books to you, you will get a more robust reading through Audible. If you don't have an Audible account, you can sign up for a free account.

4. Make Voice Calls. When you link your mobile number to your Echo, you can call anyone who is in your phone contacts. To make a call from your compatible Echo devices, just ask Alexa to call the person or contact you want to reach by name.

5. Control Your TV. If you're the owner of an Amazon Fire Stick, you can use your Echo to control it using your voice. To use your voice as a remote control, just say "Alexa," followed by a playback command, such as pause, fast-forward or skip an episode. You can also tell Alexa to search for a specific video and open other apps on your smart TV.

This is just a few of the things you can do with an Amazon Echo. How do you use your Echo? Drop me a line and let me know.

Check in with Integral on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin , YouTube and Google+ for more tips on helping you get the most out of the technology you use in your home or office.

I'm Burton Kelso and I'm a Kansas City based Tech Expert and the Chief Technology Expert at Integral, providing on-site and remote support for computers, tablets, smartphones, routers, printers, and any device that connects to the internet. I regularly appear as a guest tech correspondent on ABC, NBC, FOX, and CBS on shows such as Kansas City Live, Better Kansas City, FOX 4 Morning Show, offering viewers easy tips on technology, Internet lifestyle, Internet security and gadgets. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn , and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I can be reached at 888-256-0829 or email at

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