Seven Useful Alexa Features for Your Amazon Echo

In case you do not already know, you can control Alexa’s various features right from your desktop, iPhone, or Android smartphone.

Amazon Echo Header

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
November 3, 2022

This is for the desktop, iPhone, and Android. Screenshots are from iPhone XR

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Manage Alexa

In case you do not already know, you can control Alexa’s various features right from your desktop, iPhone, or Android smartphone. This allows you to tweak various setting options for your Echo without needing physical access to your device. You can manage everything from reminders and alarms to connected smart home devices. Refer to the below image:

Echo 1
Accessing Alexa Settings

On your desktop, you can use the Amazon Alexa website to do that, though it’s worth noting that the web implementation is not as robust as it used to be. You will have a better experience using the official Alexa mobile app on iPhone and Android.

Alexa Voice Tempo

If you find Alexa’s speech too fast or too slow, you can ask her to adjust her speaking speed. Simply say “Alexa, speak slower” or “Alexa, speak faster” and she will obey your command.

That will allow you to listen to certain words carefully, or go through everything quickly if you like to get your information fast.

Alexa Brief Mode

Sometimes, Alexa’s answers are too verbose. She might keep saying little things that you will eventually find annoying. Fortunately, there’s a way around it.

Enter Brief Mode, an Alexa feature that makes the virtual assistant keep her responses shorter. When this mode is enabled, Alexa will not speak as many words as she normally does. You can enable the mode by accessing the Alexa website, heading into:

Settings > Alexa Voice Responses

and enabling Brief Mode. See the below image:

Echo 2
Enabling Brief Mode

On the same page, you can make Alexa whisper her responses by enabling the Whisper Mode option.

Alexa Commute

Alexa can let you know what kind of traffic you will meet on your way to your office. As long as you have specified your To and From addresses in Alexa, you can get your commute’s traffic details. See the following image:

Echo 3
Commute info

If you have not already, you can configure your To and From addresses in the

Settings > Traffic

menu on the Alexa website.

Alexa Reminder App

It’s easy to forget your important tasks in this busy life. Setting up a reminder for each of your tasks in a mobile reminder app is also cumbersome.

Fortunately, you can use your Alexa assistant as a reminder tool. Simply ask Alexa when you would like to be reminded and about what or type in a reminder, and she will make sure to send you a notification at the specified time. Refer to the below image:

Echo 4
Enter and Save your reminder

Alexa Security Updates

Alexa offers a security feature called Guard to help you keep a check on your home when you are away. This feature listens to certain sounds, like those of breaking glass and smoke alarms going off.

When Alexa detects those sounds, you get a notification as well as a short audio clip of the sound, letting you know something’s not right at your home.

You can activate Alexa’s Guard feature from the

More > Settings > Guard

menu in the Alexa mobile app. You can purchase the Guard Plus feature for a fee if you would like emergency authorities to be notified when those sounds play at your home. See the below image:

Echo 5
Accessing Guard

Alexa Echo as a Bluetooth Speaker

Last but not least, you can use your Alexa-enabled Amazon Echo as a Bluetooth speaker. This way, you can connect any of your Bluetooth-enabled devices to your Echo and play your favorite music.

You may want to use this feature when your favorite music app is not supported by Alexa, or when you prefer to play music from your phone or your desktop. You can pair your phone or desktop with your Amazon Echo by simply asking “Alexa, pair.”

Those are some of the Alexa features you can use to make your Amazon Echo device even more useful.

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Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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