Hidden Alexa Features: Doing this unlocks 3 little-known skills

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 17, 2022
Updated 2022/01/17 at 5:49 AM

The special advantage is obvious. By Amazon Alexa, the integrated voice control, the smart loudspeakers allow a very convenient execution of various tasks. This includes simple things like music over the Amazon Echo play or request information about the weather. But: The digital assistant can do even more.

Amazon Alexa: These skills are not known to everyone

In fact, Amazon’s Alexa has hidden abilities. At least some do not belong to the well-known standards. It is therefore quite possible that some and also long-time users are hearing about it for the first time.

#1 Keep an eye on the apartment with Alexa

One feature of Echo devices is “Alexa Guard”. If this is activated, the loudspeaker uses the existing far-field microphones to monitor various signals that could mean a threat. These include

  • broken glass
  • steps
  • Smoke alarm. or CO2 detectors

In addition, Amazon’s Alexa can switch smart light sources on and off as needed, thereby pretending that someone is at home.

The problem: This capability is not yet available in Germany. However, you can still use your Amazon Echo for similar sound detection.

  • Open the Alexa app.
  • Click More in the bottom right.
  • Routine > name routine > when the following happens > noise detection
  • Here you can choose between the given things.
  • Choose which Echo device to respond to.
  • In the routine’s settings, determine when the speaker should react to the sounds and perform an action.
  • Select the appropriate action.

#2 Find lost phone with Amazon’s Echo

If the smartphone cannot be found, Echo and Alexa can also help here. Similar to the previous case, you can create a routine that ensures that your cell phone emits sounds when a specific Alexa voice command is given.

  • Open the Alexa app.
  • Click More in the bottom right.
  • Select “New Routine”.
  • Set a “trigger,” for example, you can use the “Voice” option to program the Alexa voice command, “Alexa, where’s my phone?”
  • Go to Device Settings > Volume and set how loud your smartphone should ring.
  • Under “From” you also select “This device”. The setting ensures that the device to be found and not Amazon’s Echo gives feedback at full volume.

tip: The phone search works this way even if your phone is on silent. Only in “do not disturb” mode does this usually not work. However, you may be able to add exceptions there.

#3 Send music from phone to Amazon Echo speaker

If you don’t want to switch on music using the usual Alexa voice commands, you can proceed differently using your cell phone and the Amazon Music app. The “Alexa Cast” function is required for this. As Amazon explains, you turn your phone into a remote control.

  • Open the Amazon Music app and start the music.
  • Select the Alexa Cast icon to the right of the play button.
  • Select your Amazon Echo or another available Alexa-enabled device (e.g. Sonos, Bose or Denon).
  • To exit Alexa Cast, tap Disconnect.

It is good that the loudspeaker and the mobile phone do not have to be in the same WLAN in order to use the function.

What else can I do with the Alexa app?

In addition to the options mentioned above, the free Alexa app naturally offers a lot more. In general, it is necessary to set up your Amazon Echo and can be installed on a smartphone, tablet and even on a PC, as Home & Smart reports.

minimum requirements

  • Android 4.4 and above
  • iOS 8.0 and later
  • Fire OS 3.0 and later

At the same time, it serves as a kind of guide and bridge to connect the device to the home WLAN. To the known settings of the Alexa app include the following:

More tips for Amazon’s Echo and Alexa

In addition to the functions mentioned, Echo and Alexa can of course do even more. So there is an Alexa voice command that triggers the hidden “super mode”. On the other hand, you can use Amazon’s Echo for inexpensive shopping. In some cases, caution is required. An actually harmless Alexa voice command almost led to an electric shock.

Sources: Amazon, Home & Smart, own research

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