Amazon continues to extend the ways you can use their voice command Alexa/Echo units, and to add to the range of products that have the Alexa capability within them.
The combination of new hardware (ie new devices) and new software (ie new commands) to use on them, makes the Alexa product range increasingly useful. Perhaps you bought your first Alexa/Echo device as part of the Prime Day specials earlier this week, or perhaps you bought a new device to add to your existing collection. Or maybe you’re just wondering what you would use them for.
I was reminded of the need to update our list of helpful commands – a list we’ve occasionally updated for over two years, because in the last short while, I’ve started using a new command and now find I can’t live without it. I’ll tell you about it – maybe you already know about this one.
An Example of a New Use for Alexa
If you’re like me, you’re in the kitchen, cooking something, and as part of the recipe, use up the last you have of an ingredient. What do you do? Make a mental note to try and remember to buy more, or stop cooking, clean up, write it down somewhere on a list, then go back to your cooking again, and hope you’ll not forget to take the list with you the next time you’re at that particular shop?
Well, yes. Neither’s really a great solution, is it. Now Alexa offers a wonderful better way to do this. They’ve always had a single shopping list feature, but I’ve wanted something more than that. I want a Costco list, a Trader Joe’s list, a generic supermarket list, and perhaps other lists for other types of stores/products too.
Now it is possible to create multiple lists. Simply command Alexa “Create a List” and then when Alexa asks, give it a name.
And then, the next time you’re in the kitchen, with boiling pots galore, timers going off, and general managed pandemonium, when you realize you’ve just used the last stick of butter, without interrupting your masterful cooking activities, you can simply call out “Alexa, add butter to my supermarket list” (or, if like me, you buy the four packs at Costco, “Alexa, add butter to my Costco list”.
That is brilliantly convenient, giving you no excuse not to add anything you need to your lists. Better still, when you get to the store, you don’t have to worry about forgetting the piece of paper with the items on it. Simply open the Alexa app on your phone, and there’s the list. It even tells you who added each item (by recognizing the different voices) and when, so if you find yourself wondering “Why is all this candy on the list” you know who to ask!
Our Helpful List of Alexa Commands
That’s just one of the growing number of uses we find we’re getting from Alexa, all day, every day. We’ve prepared a helpful list of the commands and functions we use the most. This is available in a nine page document to everyone, and for contributors, we’ve a special extended
20 (update, March 2021, now 25) page document.
Neither is anything like a complete list of every possible Alexa command (there are literally thousands), but it is a list of some of the most helpful ones, and hopefully it will be useful to you.
If you’re a contributor, you should make sure you’re logged in, and when you are, you’ll see the list option below. If you’re not logged in, or reading this via email, you need to log in on the website first.
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I hope you this helps you to get more use out of your Alexa devices, too. It has been a slow process on my part, but I’m now finding them an essential part and enormous help for much of my daily routines.