Amazon Alexa

Quick look

Amazon Alexa is a voice-enabled virtual assistant technology supported by a range of smart devices. Features include.

  • Audio only devices most popular but devices with a screen also available that provide additional features including text output, video calls and more
  • Music playback via paid subscription services. Create music playlists
  • Advert supported music collections and radio
  • managing various lists including todo and shopping lists
  • set alarms, timers, and reminders
  • realtime information for news, travel, weather, etc
  • automate your home using compatible smart devices via voice, schedule, etc
  • extensible by enabling custom skills developed by third-party vendors. e.g. quizzes, games, tv guides, cooking recipes, DVLA Vehicle tax, and mot status
  • messaging, calls and drop-ins between devices, mobile phones via predefined contacts
  • online payments
Echo Show 5
Echo Show 5

Setup basics

To use an Alexa enabled device requires

  • a broadband connection of at least 512kbps
  • Amazon account
  • A mobile phone device suitable for installing the Alexa App. A browser-based web application is available which can be used for most tasks but to use communications features requires a mobile device

Setup involves several steps but once the configuration is completed most actions can be done via simple voice commands.

  • obtain your Amazon account details or register if none available
  • install the Alexa App on your mobile device
  • log in to the Alexa App using Amazon credentials above
  • on initial login, an OTP (One time Password) might be requested. This will be sent to your amazon accounts mobile number
  • power up your Alexa device
  • on the Echo Show follow the onscreen device prompts to connect to WIFI etc
  • on the Echo Dot await the orange light ring then select the Add Device option to install your device
  • add any contacts including mobile number via the Alexa App or the mobile device contacts
  • select and enable any custom skills. Upon running a skill additional permissions might be requested e.g. to access your email address. To provide these check the Alexa App activity for any Update Permissions cards and enable those needed