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Useful Things to Ask Alexa: Discovering Alexa’s Full Potential

Getting the most out of your Alexa device requires knowing the right commands. This guide is your companion to understanding the most useful things to ask Alexa. You’ll not only get your queries resolved in a jiffy, but you’ll also get to explore some of the lesser-known features that make Alexa a fantastic personal assistant.

Harnessing Alexa for Smart Home Management

Alexa is not just your digital assistant; it’s the linchpin of your smart home. Here are some useful commands to manage your smart home devices.

  1. Control Lights: You can ask Alexa to turn your lights on or off. For example, “Alexa, turn off the kitchen lights.”
  2. Adjust Thermostat: Say, “Alexa, set the thermostat to 72 degrees,” and Alexa will adjust your smart thermostat.
  3. Secure Home: If you have compatible smart locks, you can command, “Alexa, lock the front door.”

Alexa’s Mastery Over Timers, News, and Music

Alexa is a versatile assistant who skillfully manages time, keeps you updated with the latest news, and caters to your music preferences. Here are some more detailed insights into the commands that make Alexa an indispensable tool for everyday use.

Timers and Alarms

  1. Set a Timer: Whether you’re cooking, exercising, or setting a gentle reminder, Alexa is on hand. Just say, “Alexa, set a timer for 30 minutes,” and she’ll alert you once the time is up.
  2. Set the alarm: If you need a wake-up call or a reminder to attend a meeting, Alexa can help. For instance, command, “Alexa, set an alarm for 7 AM,” and rest assured you’ll be notified on time.
  3. Set a Reminder: Alexa can also remind you of important tasks. For example, “Alexa, remind me to call John at 5 PM,” and she will ensure you don’t forget.

News Updates

  1. Daily News Briefing: For a quick snapshot of what’s happening worldwide, ask, “Alexa, what’s the news today?”
  2. Specific News Sources: If you prefer news from specific sources like CNN or BBC, ask, “Alexa, play news from CNN.”
  3. Topic-Specific News: Interested in a particular topic? Alexa has you covered. Say, “Alexa, tell me the latest sports news,” she’ll bring you the most recent updates.

Music Playback

  1. Play a Song: Want to hear a specific song? Just say, “Alexa, play ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon,” Alexa will start playing it.
  2. Play from an Artist or Genre: To listen to songs from a particular artist or genre, command, “Alexa, play songs by Taylor Swift,” or “Alexa, play jazz music.”
  3. Play from a Music Service: If you’re subscribed to services like Spotify or Amazon Music, you can command, “Alexa, play my playlist on Spotify.”

Learn 7 Music Commands all Alexa users should know.

Alexa for Communication

In the realm of voice-activated communication, Alexa stands out as a forerunner. Here are some commands you can use to streamline your communication.

  1. Send a Message: Say, “Alexa, send a message to John,” and your message will be delivered to John’s Alexa app or Echo device.
  2. Make a Call: If you want to call someone on their mobile or landline, say, “Alexa, call Mom.”
  3. Drop-In: This feature lets you connect instantly with other Alexa devices in your home. To use this, say, “Alexa, drop in on the living room.”

Advanced Alexa Commands: Setting Routines

One of the critical benefits of Alexa is her ability to manage routines — sequences of actions triggered by a single command. Whether it’s kickstarting your day or winding down for the night, Alexa can automate various tasks to simplify your daily life.

Setting Up Your Morning Routine

Imagine waking up to your favorite music, getting the weather forecast, and brewing your morning coffee, all initiated by a single command. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Create a New Routine: Say, “Alexa, create a new routine.”
  2. Name the Routine: Alexa will ask you for the name of your routine. You could say, “Alexa, name it ‘Good Morning.'”
  3. Set Actions: You’ll then specify the actions for this routine. For example, “Alexa, when I say ‘Good Morning,’ play ‘Here Comes the Sun,’ tell me the weather, and start the coffee maker.”

Now, every morning when you say, “Alexa, Good Morning,” she’ll play your song, provide the weather forecast, and start your smart coffee maker. Here’s a few more morning routine ideas.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some cool Alexa commands?

Apart from the basics, Alexa has a collection of cool commands, like telling jokes (“Alexa, tell me a joke”), playing games (“Alexa, let’s play a game”), or even whispering (“Alexa, whisper”). Check out lots more here.

How do you make Alexa laugh?

Just say, “Alexa, laugh,” and she will respond with her distinctive chuckle. It’s a fun way to bring some digital life to your room! Learn more about some history behind Alexa’s laugh.

How do I make Alexa talk a lot?

If you’d like to engage in more extended conversations with Alexa, asking her to tell a story is a good option. Just say, “Alexa, tell me a story,” and she’ll start narrating a tale.


Understanding useful things to ask Alexa can transform your Alexa device from a simple voice assistant to a central hub for your communications, smart home, and entertainment needs. Explore, experiment, and take advantage of the myriad features of Alexa. Get more tips and tricks in the Alexa Archives at Smart Home Explained. Remember, Alexa is only as useful as you allow her to be, so don’t shy away from experimenting with different commands and settings to get the most out of your device.

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