Alexa settings are probably the best way to get the most out of your Alexa devices without much work or smart home knowledge.
When I got my first Alexa device (Echo Show) a few years ago, I thought the only thing it could do was tell me the weather.
After I had asked Alexa what the weather was going to be for the one-millionth time, one of my kids asked, “What else can that thing do?”.
I confidently said, “Great question, let me show you.” The only problem was, I didn’t know.
So I opened up the Alexa app and went straight to the settings. It turns out that you can take your Alexa experience to the next level by updating your settings.
9 Alexa Settings to Take Your Experience to the Next Level
1) Voice Profiles
You can set up voice profiles in the Alexa settings, so Alexa recognizes who is talking. I think this is a cool feature, but also somewhat creepy at the same time.
This feature is to help improve your experience. The benefits of Voice Profiles are:
- Each user can send and receive personal messages
- Each user can get their flash briefings
- Limits purchasing through Amazon prime
- Customizes music if you have the Amazon Music Unlimited Family plan
To get started with voice recognition, open up the Alexa settings then:
Tap Recognized Voices
Manage Voice Profiles
Match Voice Profiles
Tap Begin and Follow Steps
You can create multiple voice profiles for your house.
2) Voice Purchasing
One of the benefits of having an Alexa device plus Amazon Prime is being able to purchase items from Amazon. You can do this with your voice.
To set up Voice purchasing, you need to follow these steps:
Open Account Settings
Tap Voice Purchasing
Enable Voice Purchasing
Now you can purchase all the toilet paper you need for the next pandemic.
Once you set up voice purchasing, you should set up voice confirmation too. This security tip will help limit the possibility of someone else (namely your kids) from making unwanted purchases.
You can set up voice confirmation with either a voice profile or speaking in a voice code.
3) Brief Mode & Whisper Mode
Two more of my favorite Alexa settings are Brief Mode and Whisper Mode.
If you have Alexa, then you have probably noticed sometimes she can be long-winded. When you enable Brief Mode, then Alexa speaks less or may just play a short sound as confirmation.
When you have Whisper mode enabled, and you whisper into Alexa, then she will whisper back responses.
To set up these settings on your Alexa devices open up settings and
Tap Voice Responses
Turn On Brief Mode and Whisper Mode
4) Set Up Flash Briefings
Flash Briefings give you a quick update on your favorite topics. You can create flash briefings from news sources and skills.
Some content you can add includes:
- Wall Street Journal
- Fox News
- Motley Fool
- And many more
I use flash briefings as part of my morning routine, so Alexa automatically delivers them to me while I’m drinking my morning coffee.
To enable your flash briefings.
Open Up Alexa Settings
Select Flash Briefings
Add Content (search the briefings you enjoy)
Enable the Content You Want
Edit the Order of Your Content
If you have a daily commute, then make sure to utilize the Traffic setting.
All you need to do is let Alexa know where you go to work every day, then ask, “Alexa, what’s my traffic?”
Alexa will then tell you how long your commute will be and the best route.
Here’s how to set up your Traffic Settings:
Open up Settings
Type in Your From and To Address
Now, all of your devices can provide you with traffic updates when you ask.
6) Link Music & Podcasts
Probably the most used feature in most Alexa devices is the ability to stream music (and podcasts if you’re a nerd like me). Make sure to set up your preferred services to create a better experience.
After you set up these services and say “Alexa, play music” or “Alexa, resume my podcast,” then Alexa knows what services to use.
Here is what you need to do to set up these services:
Open Up Settings
Tap Music & Podcasts
Tap Link Services
Choose Default Settings
Here are your available music services:
- Amazon Music
- Apple Podcasts
- Apple Music
- iHeart Radio
- Sirius XM
- Freetime Podcast
- iHeartRadio Family
7) Hook Up Your Calendar
Want to stay organized? In the Alexa Settings, you can link your Google, Microsoft, Apple, or Microsoft Exchange calendars to Alexa.
When your calendars linked, then you can utilize Alexa to:
- Tell you what’s on your calendar
- Add events to your calendar
- Delete events
- Change events
Anytime you update your calendar from Alexa, the changes will be reflected in your calendar app too.
To set up your calendar, open settings and
Tap Calendar & Email
8) Sports Teams
I’m from Ohio and love my Ohio teams. When I learned I could set up a way to get news about my favorite sports teams; I was all over it.
Now I just say, “Alexa, what’s my sports update?”. Then I get depressed when I realize my Cleveland teams are still disappointing.
To set up these Alexa settings.
Open Alexa Settings
Tap Add a Team
Now you’ll get updates for your favorite sports teams.
A favorite Alexa feature of mine is Lists (see my previous post), and you can also upgrade this feature by linking it to another list app.
You can link your Alexa account to the following list apps:
- Cozi Lists
To link, these lists apps open up the Alexa Settings then,
Tap the plus button for the app you use
Then follow setup instructions
Now take 15 minutes and update these Alexa Settings today to bring your Alexa experience to the next level.