Just when think you have Alexa all figured out, she surprises you with even more incredible skills and purposes. The most surprising might just be her ability to serve as a security alert while you’re away.
If you don’t have a security system, this might become one of your favorite uses for Amazon Alexa. Alexa Guard sends you smart alerts whenever your Echo or Echo Dot hears a suspicious sound, such as glass breaking. Instead of immediately calling the police, you’re sent a sound clip to hear what Alexa heard to determine what the sound might be.
It’s easy to set up. Open the latest version of the Alexa app on your phone or tablet. Go to “Settings” and choose “Guard” to get started.
Not only does Alexa send alerts, but she’ll also turn your lights on and off and integrate with ADT and Ring. All you have to do is say “Alexa, I’m leaving” to activate it. Simply say “Alexa, I’m home” to deactivate. This can also be a great feature when you’re sleeping.
After a busy day, you might not have time to read one bedtime story after another. The good news is Alexa can do this for you. Simply tuck your little ones into bed, and let Alexa read them to sleep. Of course, you could also set her to play soothing music or read a personalized story.
One of the more dynamic Alexa story skills is Short Bedtime Story. Once enabled, you can personalize the name and even write your own stories for Alexa to read. Just say “Alexa, tell Bedtime Story to [child’s name]” or “Alexa, launch Bedtime Story.“
One of the simpler uses for Amazon Alexa is as a convenient nightlight. The light-up ring around your Amazon Echo stays on to provide a soft light to get around in the dark. The best part is you don’t have to find an available outlet for a separate nightlight. There are several nightlight skills available, but Night Light by labworks.io ltd is one of the easiest to use.
Simply say “Alexa, turn on Night Light” to turn on your Echo or Echo Dot’s ring. Say “Alexa, stop” when you’re done. You might want to whisper if you’re trying not to wake anyone else. You can also ask Alexa to turn on Night Light for a specific time frame, such as two minutes or five minutes and thirty seconds.
Does your cat or dog get lonely while you’re at work? Make them feel like they have a pet sitter, minus the walking the dog part, by using Amazon Alexa as entertainment for your pet. The Pets & Animals category of Alexa skills lists over 300 skills to entertain your pet. If you’re dealing with an anxious cat or dog, the Calm My Cat and Comfort My Dog skills might be the perfect solution.
Of course, sometimes, your pet just needs to hear your voice. The Drop In feature works great for this. It’s not available on every Alexa device. If the feature is listed in your device settings, you’ll be able to enable it. Then, just drop in on your pet so they can hear your soothing voice while you’re away.
Senior Citizen Check-In
Want to check in on an elderly loved one? Buy them their own Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. Enable the Drop In feature on their device, then remotely check-in. They don’t have to pick up a phone or do anything. If they have fallen, you’ll be able to hear them calling for help when you check in. Alternatively, teach them how to drop in on your device.
You can also teach them to make calls with Alexa. If they can’t reach a phone in an emergency, they can have Alexa call for them.
Want to work out at home but need a little motivation and guidance? This is one of the healthiest uses for Amazon Alexa, outside of healthy recipes. Enable one of Alexa’s many fitness skills to turn her into your personal trainer. While it’s not quite the same as an in-person trainer, it’s much cheaper, and there’s no sweaty locker room afterward.
A few great options to start with include:
This one is super simple but incredibly useful. Have you ever misplaced your phone? Who hasn’t? All you have to do is ask Alexa to call your phone. There is one small problem though. If your phone’s on silent, you won’t hear it. This is useful whether you’ve lost your phone at home or at a friend or family’s house.
The more you use Alexa, the more you’ll realize there’s very little she can’t do, so play around and see just how useful she can be to you.