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6 things you probably haven't tried with your Amazon Echo


Tyler Lisenby / CNET

Your Amazon Echo is your assistant when you have to turn on the lights set an alarm or even when you lose your phone in the sofa cushions. But Alexa has so many underused skills that some people don't think to use it. For example, did you know that you can actually bring Alex with you in the car? Or that Alexa can say whatever you want?

Most of them require a small setup and are quite easy to use. Read on to find out these six things you haven't tried before with your Amazon Echo ($ 64 on Amazon) and how to get started.

Create custom Alexa replies

You may have noticed that Alexa will not respond to certain commands, for example if you want to say a curse or something that is not appropriate. However, you can certainly get Alex to say whatever you want by creating personalized answers. For example, you can set it where if you ask Alex who has the best smile, he can say "You, of course."

You will need to go to the Amazon Drawings page, select Personalized Questions and answer and click Make your own . From here, you can create all the questions and answers for Alexa to answer as much as you want.

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Customize Alexa Responses.

Photo by Katie Connor / CNET

Use it as a loudspeaker for your TV

It can be annoying when you watch a movie that is extremely quiet and you need to increase the volume of the TV to hear it. Fortunately, you can use your Amazon Echo as a speaker for your TV. It's super convenient because you can put it on the side table when you really can't hear what's going on in the show.

Your TV will need to have Bluetooth capabilities to connect to your Echo device (or you can connect your Fire TV to your Echo ). Put your Echo speaker next to your TV and say "Alexa, connect". Alexa will start checking for the devices it connects to – at this point you'll need to open the Bluetooth settings on your TV to find the Echo speaker. You will then need to find the sound settings on your TV and change the audio output of your Echo.

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Put the Echo speaker next to your smart TV to connect [19659013] David Katzmeier / CNET

Put Alexa in your car

Alexa is a great helper for all your smart home needs, but do you know you can use it in your car too? This will allow you to be hands free while driving, rather than constantly pushing buttons all over the dash, and there are several ways to do this. If you already have an Echo Dot ($ 68 at Walmart) you can plug it into your car with a USB charger. However, you will need to pair it with your phone's hotspot in order for it to work. You can then pair it with your car stereo using Bluetooth.

Or you can choose the route Amazon Echo Auto the newest way to take Alexa with you in the car. It has the same capabilities as the Echo Dot, but is designed to be used in a car. You can plug it into a USB port for a charger or a lighter port (depending on your car). Note that you will also need to use your mobile data to power the Echo Auto device.

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Alexa Cast with Other Echo Devices

This happens often – you listen to your favorite playlist in your car, but you're home now and want to keep listening to your Echo device. You can use Alexa Cast to transfer music from your phone to your speaker so you can continue playing your favorite tunes.

From the Amazon Music app on your phone, select the playlist you want to listen to, Drag up the music controls, and touch the button at the bottom right of the screen. Then choose which Echo speaker you want to vote for.

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Create a to-do list

How many times have you remembered to get an avocado at the grocery store or to pay the bill, but completely forgot to save it? Instead of telling yourself that you will remember or confuse finding a pen and paper, just create a to-do list with Alexa. Say "Alex, create a list" to get started. You will want to name your lists to keep them organized, and when done, you can access them from the Alexa app or one of your Echo devices.

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Tyler Lisenby / CNET

Decide with Heads or Tails

It's hard to decide between which restaurant you want to go to on Friday night? Let Alexa decide for you. You will need to download a skill, such as heads or tails, in the Alexa app. Here's how it works – decide which place will be the heads and which will be the queues. For example, this cool new pizza restaurant is heads up and the sushi bar is tails. Then say "Alex, ask Heads or Tails to throw a coin". If it says heads, you eat pizza, and if it says tails, it's sushi.

Are you ready for more tips from the Amazon Echo? Check out these amazing ways that the Amazon Echo can entertain you when you're bored to tears and the weirdest things your Amazon Echo can do .

Originally published earlier this week. [19659046]
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