How to use the Amazon Echo outside of the US

We have been asked by so many of our friends if they can use the Amazon Echo Outside of the US. The quick answer is yes. Is it awesome? Yes, it is, Will you be able to use all the functions and apps as advertised? No, you will not!

The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Snow were designed to work in the US, therefore, there are some paid services that you will not be able to use without a VPN. The name of the virtual assistant is Alexa and We compiled a list of things you can do with Alexa.

GENERAL COMMANDS

  • Ask for help: “Alexa, help.”
  • Mute or unmute: “Alexa, mute” or, “Alexa, unmute.”
  • Stop or pause: “Alexa, stop” or, “Alexa, shut up.”
  • Change volume: “Alexa, set volume to 5,” “Alexa, louder” or, “Alexa, turn up/down the volume.”

MEDIA CONTROLS

  • Play a radio station: “Alexa, play [radio station] on TuneIn.”
  • Play an audiobook: “Alexa, play [title] on Audible,” “Alexa, read [title]” or, “Alexa, play the book, [title].”
  • Resume the last played audiobook: “Alexa, resume my book.”
  • Skip audiobook chapters: “Alexa, next chapter” or, “Alexa, previous chapter.”
  • Listen to Alexa read you a Kindle book: “Alexa, read me my Kindle book.”
  • Set a sleep timer: “Alexa set a sleep timer for 45 minutes” or, “Alexa, stop playing in 45 minutes.”
  • Song information: “Alexa, what’s playing?”

TIME AND DATE

  • Set an alarm: “Alexa, set an alarm for 7 a.m.” or, “Alexa, wake me up at 7 in the morning.”
  • Set a repeating alarm: “Alexa, set a repeating alarm for weekdays at 7 a.m.”
  • Set a timer: “Alexa, set a timer for 15 minutes.”
  • Set multiple timers: “Alexa, set a second timer for 5 minutes.”
  • Check timer status: “Alexa, how much time is left on my timer?”
  • Ask the time: “Alexa, what time is it?”
  • Ask the date: “Alexa, what’s the date?”
  • Ask when the next alarm is: “Alexa, when’s my next alarm?”
  • Cancel an alarm: “Alexa, cancel my alarm for 2 p.m.”
  • Snooze alarm: “Alexa, snooze.”
  • Check dates: “Alexa, when is [holiday] this year?”

TO-DO AND SHOPPING LISTS

  • Add task to to-do list: “Alexa, add ‘go to the grocery store’ to my to-do list” or, “Alexa, I need to make an appointment with the doctor.”
  • Create a new to-do item: “Alexa, create a to-do.”
  • Check calendar events: “Alexa, what’s on my calendar for tomorrow?”
  • Add an event to a calendar: “Alexa, add [event] to my calendar for [day] at [time]” or, “Alexa, add an event to my calendar.”
  • Create a shopping list: “Alexa, add eggs to my shopping list” or, “Alexa, I need to buy laundry detergent.”
  • Check your shopping list: “Alexa, what’s on my shopping list?”

NEWS AND WEATHER

  • Ask for your Flash Briefing: “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • Check headlines: “Alexa, what’s in the news?”
  • Check weather: “Alexa, what’s the weather like in [city name] ?”
  • Get a weather forecast: “Alexa, what’s the weather going to be like this weekend in [city name] ?”

ENTERTAINMENT AND FOOD

  • Find movies in nearby theaters: “Alexa, what movies are playing?” or, “Alexa, what action movies are playing tonight?”
  • Get information on movies playing: “Alexa, tell me about the movie [title].”
  • Discover nearby restaurants: “Alexa, find me a nearby pizza restaurant.”
  • Get operating hours or a phone number for local businesses: “Alexa, find the address for Bank of America” or, “Alexa, find business hours for Harris Teeter.”
  • Get IMDb rating: “Alexa, what is the IMDb rating for [movie or TV show]?”
  • Get casting for a movie or show: “Alexa, who plays in [movie or TV show]?”
  • Find out who an actor is: “Alexa, who plays [character] in [movie or TV show]?”
  • Find an actor’s latest work: “Alexa, what is [actor]’s latest movie?”
  • Find out who sings a particular song: “Who sings the song [title]?”
  • Get the names of band members: “Who is in the band [name]?”
  • Get album information: “What year did [band] release [song or album]?”
  • Find popular music from an artist: “Alexa, what’s popular from [artist]?”
  • Sample music from an artist: “Alexa, sample songs by [artist].”
  • Find a particular album or song: “Alexa, find [song or album] by [artist].”

MATH

  • Convert units: “Alexa, how many [units] are in [units]?”
  • Convert units: “Alexa, how many [units] are in 2 [units]?”
  • Basic math: “Alexa, what’s 5 plus 7?” or, “Alexa, what’s 56 times 33?”
  • Advanced math: “Alexa, 70 factorial.” (Warning: Alexa will list numbers you didn’t know existed for about a minute.)

DEFINITIONS AND SPELLING

  • Get the definition of a word: “Alexa, what’s the definition of [word]?”
  • Get the spelling of a word: “Alexa, how do you spell [word]?”

 

SMART HOME

Alexa can integrate with loads of smart home platforms, such as SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Lutron, Belkin WeMo, Philips Hue and many more. Some require you to enable skills, some don’t. Amazon updated Alexa to be able to change the color of smart bulbs from Philips Hue, LifX and TP-Link.

Here are some of the varieties of commands you can use for controlling your smart home, although there are dozens more.

  • Turn lights on or off: “Alexa, turn on the lights” or, “Alexa, turn off the living room lights.”
  • Dim the lights: “Alexa, dim the lights to 50 percent.”
  • Change the color of the lights: “Alexa, make the living room lights red” or, ” Alexa, turn the lights to soft white.”
  • Change the color temperature of the lights: “Alexa, make the kitchen lights a little warmer.”
  • Adjust temperature: “Alexa, raise the temperature 1 degree.”
  • Set temperature: “Alexa, set the temperature to 72.”
  • Lock your doors: “Alexa, lock my back door.”
  • Close your garage door: “Alexa, ask Garageio to close my garage.”
  • Discover smart home devices: “Alexa, discover my devices.”
  • Pair a Bluetooth device: “Alexa, pair” or, “Alexa, Bluetooth.”
  • Connect to a Bluetooth device: “Alexa, connect to my phone.”
  • Disconnect from a a Bluetooth device: “Alexa, disconnect from my phone.”
  • Use IFTTT recipes: “Alexa, trigger [IFTTT recipe].”
  • Activate a scene (limited to Control4, Insteon, Lutron Caséta Wireless, Philips Hue, SmartThings and Wink): “Alexa, turn on Movie Time” or, “Alexa, turn on Bedtime.”
  • Control GE appliances with the Geneva skill: “Alexa, tell Geneva to preheat my oven to 400 degrees” or, “Alexa, ask Geneva is my laundry is dry.”
  • Locate a lost phone with the TrackR Lost My Phone skill: “Alexa, ask TrackR to find my phone.”

SKILLS

Skills are like third-party applications for Alexa speakers. They allow you to connect third-party software and hardware to your speaker, as well as play games and add different news sources to your Flash Briefing.

  • Use a skill: “Alexa, open Earplay.”
  • Enable skills: “Alexa, enable Jeopardy!”
  • Disable skills: “Alexa, disable Domino’s.”
  • Another recent update removes the need to enable skills before using them. You can still manually enable or disable skills, but just saying “Open [skill invocation]” will find and enable a skill. But if that skill requires you to log in to your account, such as with the Starbucks Reorder or Domino’s skills, youwill still need to open the Alexa app or go to alexa.amazon.com, open the Skills menu and log in to your account to authorize the connection.

SEARCH

  • Get Wikipedia information: “Alexa, Wikipedia: [subject].”
  • Tell Alexa to continue reading a Wikipedia entry: “Alexa, tell me more.”
  • Ask a general question: “Alexa, how tall is [person or object’s name]?”
  • Ask a general question: “Alexa, how many people live in America?”
  • Get a “Game of Thrones” quote: “Alexa, give me a ‘Game of Thrones’ quote.”

CONCLUSION

As you can see there are many things you can do with Alexa that is not limited to your GEO location in the world. We believe that this can really be a fantastic addition to your smart home lifestyle.

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By | 2017-07-08T21:49:56+00:00 June 17th, 2017|Trends|0 Comments

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