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What is Amazon Echo?

December 27, 2018

Surely, by now, most people have at least heard of the Amazon Echo hands free smart speaker. But do you really know what you can accomplish with this smart speaker? It will blow your mind! It did mine!

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Amazon Echo is a hands free smart speaker that you control with your voice. It connects to your WiFi network and your Amazon account using the Amazon Alexa App on your iPhone or Android phone. Once connected to WiFi, you can use your voice to give it voice commands and it is activated with the word “Alexa”.

There are several variations of the Amazon Echo. There is also the smaller version called the Echo Dot. There are two speakers with video also built in called the Echo Show that looks like a small tablet and the Echo Spot which has a circular video screen. The newest version is called the Echo Plus that has a built in hub for controlling Smart Home Devices.

Once you have one set up, the fun begins. Here are a few things you can do with the Amazon Echo family of products:

  • Make voice calls with Echo and Echo Dot (import contacts into Alexa app)
  • Make video calls with Echo Show and Echo Spot (import contacts into Alexa app)
  • Use as an in-home intercom if you have multiple Echos
  • Order by voice from Amazon
  • Get a flash briefing from your favorite News site (load your favorite News site in the Alexa app)
  • Get sports updates from your favorite sports teams (load your favorite teams in the Alexa app)
  • Set reminders
  • Set multiple timers
  • Play music from services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and Vevo (connect your streaming music account in the Alexa app)
  • Play music across multiple Echos in different rooms of the house
  • Control smart home gadgets like lights, locks, things plugged into smart plugs (requires extra hub unless Echo Plus)
  • Use as an alarm clock and wake to music
  • Use Alexa to make multiple to-do and shopping lists. Here is a video with examples for creating lists: https://youtu.be/9QBl3cqG6Xg
  • And about 70,000 other Alexa skills that can be added

Click HERE to see a full listing of available Amazon Echo Products.

What is your favorite Amazon Alexa skill to use with your Echo? Tell us in the comments below.

Thanks for being part of the Tech Lovin’ Mom community!
Until next time,

What is Amazon Echo?
What is Amazon Echo?  Amazon Echo is a hands-free smart speaker controlled by voice commands.
Dawnmarie @ EnjoyingtheDays

Amazon Echo is definitely handy. We use her to turn on the flood lights when we come home at night. We use her when we have a question to which we do not know the answer. We use her to play music while we are doing housework. We use her to call a telephone when we cannot find it. I did not realize that she had 70,000 functions, though. Is there a (shorter) list somewhere? That could be interesting to see.

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Tech Lovin' Mom

I wouldn’t say there is a “shorter” list, but the skills are broken up into categories in the Amazon Alexa Skills Store. Here is the link if that would help: https://amzn.to/2R5movt

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Tricia

I always wondered the differences in the Echo products, thanks for keeping us informed!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

You are welcome. Now that you know the differences, you might want to check out my other post about the Alexa Skills you can add to your Echo to make it even more useful. https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/

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Jo

We just recently purchased an Echo Dot and are enjoying learning the ways in which we like to use Alexa. So far, our favorite is for playing music and “waking up” or “turning off” the house (i.e. turning off and on the lamps and china hutch lights in the house). It’s great when we’re coming in at night!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

I don’t have any lights connected yet but hope to soon. Have you added any Alexa Skills yet? If not, check out this post: https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/

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Kristi @ Way Beyond The Norm

I guess I didn’t realize there were different versions of the Echo. Thanks for the info!

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Holly Bird

I love my echo..great post on the differences!

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Rachel Newlon

I got to play around with my brother-in-law’s echo back in October and was pretty impressed with it!

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Meagan

We have a Google home and I love it! It’s amazing the uses that these devices have! I didn’t know that you could use the Echo as an intercom though, that’s awesome!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

You can use them as intercoms as long as you have more than one. I am pretty sure Google Home as added that functionality as well.

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janice sisemore

I am using my for listening to music. I know I could do a lot more with it

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Tech Lovin' Mom

While music is probably the primary reason people buy an Echo, it is amazing all the other things it can do right out of the box. And then you can add Alexa Skills to make it do even more. https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/

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Dawn

I use my Echo to check football scores for my mom (yes, my mom!) and play music occasionally. I also like to ask her how cold it is in the morning when I know the answer is going to be ridiculously cold and I don’t have to go anywhere! It makes me happy. LOL

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Tech Lovin' Mom

Those are some good uses. You should look into adding some additional Alexa Skills to enable your Echo to do even more. https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/

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stacy

Had no idea it was capable of all that! Hmmm, might need to consider!
Thanks for the read!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

This post just scratches the surface of all it can do. I have another post that discusses the Alexa Skills you can enable to make it do so much more. https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/ And I am now working on a third post of still more things it can do.

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Shelly

Someday I plan on an Echo lol. Thanks for sharing!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

I think you will love it.

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Tonya | the Writer Mom

We have a Google home and mainly use it for streaming music. It’s crazy how many different uses today’s technology has!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

I have considered purchasing a Google Home just to compare them. I had read another article that said since Amazon had been working on the technology a little longer than Google, that they were a little ahead of Google in functionality. That is why I chose the Echo. I would still like to try a Google Home at some point though.

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Ruth Iaela-Pukahi

I have never heard of an Amazon Echo before…sounds interesting but not sure how much I’d use it yet. Thanks for teaching me something new!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

We use it mostly for weather reports, making lists, asking questions and listening to music. They are really remarkable with all the things they can do.

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Janine

I haven’t given in to the Echo as of yet. While I’m intrigued (and I know many people who love it), I’m still hung up about the fact that it listens to you all the time. A little too Big Brother for me!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

I can understand the hesitation. I guess I just figure that most of what goes on at our house is too boring for an actual human to bother with. Plus, I can always turn off listening mode whenever I want to.

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Georgette

I’m a little behind 😜 but your article is very informative.

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Tech Lovin' Mom

Thank you!

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Tiffany F

Interesting – still not 100% on board with all the technology but know it really can be useful for others. Had a lot more functions then I thought!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

This post just scratches the surface. I have another post about additional Skills that can be enabled and working on a third post with still more fun things Alexa can do.

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Chantelle Jeffers

cool post. I do want an echo but haven’t gotten around to buying it yet. I really like the sound of the echo spot So I’ll probably get that one when the times comes.thanks for the info I cant wait to play with one

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Tech Lovin' Mom

I love the Echo Spot. It now has me wanting the larger Echo Show. I love the visuals it provides.

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Nicki

Wow. It does have a lot of functions. Still not comfortable with it in my home though. My husband uses it at work.

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Tech Lovin' Mom

Is it the fact that it is “listening” all the time? I guess I figure our home is so boring that I doubt and actual human would bother listening in on us, just the AI listening.

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Katie

We have the echo dot and LOVE it. There is so much you can do.

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Tech Lovin' Mom

Yes, and have you tried adding additional Alexa Skills yet? If not, check out this post: https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/

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Flor

We are in a process of updating our home. This is something that we have in our minds to add. Thanks for the information!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

You are welcome. I think you will love them. We do. After you get the basics down, come back and check out this additional post. https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/

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Tonya | the Writer Mom

It’s amazing how many different uses these devices have!

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Tech Lovin' Mom

You can add even more skills as well. This post tells you about enabling Alexa Skills. https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/

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Susan Franklin

I actually watched your video and learned a lot that I didn’t know about Echo. My husband and I are so not tech savvy! This was very helpful.

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admin

Once you get the basics down, you might want to add some Alexa Skills to help the Echo do even more tasks for you. https://techlovinmom.com/cool-things-to-do-with-amazon-alexa-skills/

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Dominique

It is amazing how many tasks Amazon Echo can do. In a few years, it’s capabilities will probably increase 10 fold.

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Tech Lovin' Mom

Yes, It will be exciting to see how Alexa and like technologies evolve over the next few years.

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T.M. Brown

Two of my sons received Echo Dots for Christmas and love it!

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admin

If your two sons have Echos, make sure they know all about the Alexa Easter Eggs. They are hilarious! https://techlovinmom.com/amazon-alexa-easter-eggs-your-family-will-love/

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