Best Amazon Echo commands

You’ve bought and set up your new Amazon Echo, or one of the numerous other variants that are now available. After running through the usual gamut of the initial questions you can think of asking it, you’re left wondering about exactly what else the smart speaker is capable of. That’s what we’re here for! Here is a comprehensive list of the best Amazon Echo commands that you can use.


Music

best amazon echo commands - music

For many, one of the main highlights of using a smart speaker is the ability to ask it to play some music – be it a specific song, album, saved playlist, or a random radio station. The Amazon Echo commands for music playback are all built-in. However, something to keep in mind is that the default music app is set to Amazon Prime Music.

You can change it via the Alexa app on your phone though by going to Settings – Music & Media and selecting the app of your choice. You can continue to access other apps as well, but you’ll have to specify that app name when requesting a song or playlist. Here is a roundup of some of the best Amazon Echo commands for music  –

  • Playing music
    • “Alexa, play some music.” – This plays music that is randomly selected through Amazon Prime Music or you’re selected default app.
    • “Alexa, play music by [artist name].”
    • “Alexa, play the latest [artist] album.”
    • “Alexa, play [specific song] by [artist].”
    • “Alexa, play [song] on [other than default music app].”
    • “Alexa, play [artist] station on Pandora.”
    • “Alexa, play [radio station] on TuneIn.”
  • Song controls
    • “Alexa, next.” – This skips to the next track.
    • “Alexa, restart.” — The song starts again from the beginning.”
    • “Alexa, add this song.” — This adds the song that is playing to your library.
  • Volume control
    • “Alexa, set the volume to 4.” – Volume adjustments can be made between 1 and 10.
    • “Alexa, louder” or “Alexa, turn up/down the volume.” – To adjust the volume by one level.
  • Others
    • “Alexa, what’s playing?” — If you’re looking for information about the song or artist.
    • “Alexa, stop playing in 20 minutes.” – Set a timer.
    • “Alexa, wake me up to [artist, song, genre, playlist, or album] at [time].” – A great alarm to wake up to!
  • General queries
    • “Alexa, who sings the song [title]?”
    • “Alexa, who is in the band [name]?”
    • Alexa, “what year did [band] release [song or album]?”

Video

best amazon echo commands - video

Of course, music isn’t the only media you can control using your Amazon Echo. When coupled with an Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and other devices, or a TV running Fire TV OS, you can use the Echo to control your video content. The Echo can also be used with certain compatible cable tv connections like Dish TV. The Amazon Echo commands you can use include –

  • Search for and play something specific
    • “Alexa, play [movie/TV show].” – This will let you play a specific movie or TV show that is a part of Amazon Prime Video.
    • “Alexa, last/next episode.”
    • “Alexa, search for [movie/TV show/genre].”
    • “Alexa, show [genre/category] programs.”
    • “Find [movie/TV show] with [actor].”
    • “Alexa, open [app].” – You can open any app that is installed on your Fire TV device.
    • “Alexa, show me popular show on [app].”
  • Video playback controls
    • “Alexa, pause/stop.”
    • “Alexa, play/resume.”
    • “Alexa, fast forward/rewind.”
    • “Alexa, fast forward/rewind for [x] seconds/minutes.”
  • With televisions that have Fire TV OS/Alexa built-in (includes all of the above) 
    • “Alexa, turn on/off the Fire TV.”
    • “Alexa, set the volume to [level] on Fire TV”
    • “Alexa, turn the volume up/down on Fire TV.”
    • “Alexa, mute/unmute the Fire TV.”
    • “Alexa, switch to [device/input] on Fire TV.” – You can use this command to switch to other devices connected to your Fire Edition TV. For example, by saying “switch to HDMI1.”
  • With live TV (either with Fire TV devices or cable connections)
    • “Alexa, watch/go to [channel number/network].”
    • “Alexa, go to [channel number/network] on [app].”
  • General queries
    • “Alexa, what [genre] movies are playing?” – Find out what is playing in theatres near you.
    • “Alexa, tell me about the movie [title].”
    • “Alexa, what is the IMDB rating for [movie/TV show].”
    • “Get movie quotes: “Give me a [movie] quote.”
    • “Alexa, who plays [character] in [movie/TV show]?”
    • “Alexa, what is [actor]’s latest movie?”

Food

You can have your Amazon Echo guide you through a recipe, find out more information about restaurants near you, and, with the help of third-party Alexa Skills, even have food delivered to you. Some important Amazon Echo commands include –

  • “Alexa, how do you make [dish].” – To get a recipe
  • Alexa, find me a nearby [cuisine] restaurant/coffee shop.”
  • “Alexa, what restaurants are near me?”
  • “Alexa, find the address for the nearest [specific restaurant].”
  • “Alexa, find business hours for the nearest [specific restaurant].”

Getting organized

Amazon Alexa | Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Echo Dot.

You can use the smart speaker to set alarms and reminders, create events, to-do lists, and shopping lists, or just find out what the time and date are. Some important Amazon Echo commands to know include –

  • Set alarms and timers
    • “Alexa, set an alarm for [time].”
    • “Alexa, wake me up to [artist, song, genre, playlist, or album] at [time].”
    • “Alexa, set a repeating alarm for [time] on [specific days/weekdays/weekends].” – For repeated alarms so you don’t have to remember to set the alarm each and every day.
    • “Alexa, when is the next alarm.”
    • “Alexa, cancel the alarm for [time].”
    • “Alexa, snooze.” – the most important command to know!
    • “Alexa, set a [can be named] timer for [time].”
    • Alexa, set a second timer for [time].”
    • “Alexa, how much time is left on my timers?”
  • Set reminders and create events
    •  “Alexa, add [event] to my calendar for [time and day/date].”
    • “Alexa, remind me to [activity] in [time].”
    • “Alexa, set a reminder.”
    • “Alexa, what are my reminders?”
    • “Alexa, what’s on my calendar?”
  • Create to-do and shopping lists
    • “Alexa, create a to-do/shopping list.”
    • “Alexa, add [item] to my to-do/shopping list.”
    • “Alexa, what is on my to-do/shopping list?”
  • Time and date
    • “Alexa, what is the time?”
    • “Alexa, what is the time in [city/country].”
    • “Alexa, what is the date?”

Purchasing

best amazon echo commands - purchasing

The Amazon Echo’s purchasing powers are somewhat limited, which is great given that other members in your household may end up accidentally ordering something and getting it charged to your card. You can re-order items from Amazon, search and shop for music, and order an Uber or Lyft ride. You can also find out about deals from Amazon and other online and offline retailers.

  • “Alexa, ask Uber/Lyft to request a ride.”
  • “Alexa, shop for new music by [artist].”
  • “Alexa, search for [artist] on Amazon.”
  • “Alexa, track my order.”
  • “Alexa, buy more [item]” — This lets you re-order items from Amazon
  • “Alexa, add [item] to my cart.”
  • “Alexa, what are your deals?”

Sports

You can keep track of how your favorite team is performing, current league standings, latest sports scores, and the upcoming schedule with various Amazon Echo commands.

  • “Alexa, give me my sports update.” – This will give the latest information about all the teams that you have selected as your favorites.
  • “Alexa, what was the score of the [team] game?”
  • “Alexa, when do the [team] play next?”
  • “Alexa, what are the [league] standings?”

Daily information

This is all the information that you may need daily, like the current news, weather, traffic updates, and business hours of places you may need to go.

  • Alexa, what’s the weather?”
  • “Alexa, what’s my flash briefing.” — You will have to select your news broadcasters beforehand.
  • “Alexa, what’s the traffic like?”
  • “Alexa, what are the business hours of [place]?”

Education

best amazon echo commands - education

Well, education is certainly too broad a term for what Alexa can actually do. It may not be long before your Echo can help you with your AP Chemistry homework, but for now, you can ask it do some basic math, and ask for the definition and spelling of words.

  • “Alexa, what is [number][add/subtract/divide/multiply][number]?” – You can even push it and ask for things like factorials.
  • “Alexa, what is the definition/meaning of [word]?”
  • “Alexa, what is the spelling of [word]?”

Easter eggs

There are a few hidden features and witty replies that are baked into the Amazon Echo when you ask it a random question, quote movies, or wax philosophical. There are too many to list them all, but here are some of my favorites that you should definitely try out.

  • “Alexa, Good morning.”
  • “Alexa, what are you thinking about?”
  • “Alexa, what does the fox say?”
  • “Alexa, are you a nerd?”
  • “Alexa, why did the chicken cross the road?”
  • “Alexa, how are babies made?”
  • “Alexa, will you be my girlfriend?”
  • “Alexa, I am your father.”
  •  “Alexa, what came first – the chicken or the egg?”
  • “Alexa, take me to your leader.”
  • “Alexa, winter is coming.”
  • “Alexa, see you later alligator.”

Smart home

best amazon echo commands - smart home

You can control your smart home with a slew of Amazon Echo commands. The Echo can be used with thousands of smart home products, but you may need to enable some Alexa Skills to have them all work. Any smart home product that is compatible will have the “works with Alexa” tag on it. Assuming you have the right devices, here are some Amazon Echo commands to know –

Editor's Pick
  • “Alexa, turn on/off the [room] lights.”
  • “Alexa, dim the lights.”
  • “Alexa, set the room temperature to [x] degrees.”
  • “Alexa, raise/reduce the temperature by [x] degrees.”
  • “Alexa, lock the [room] door.”
  • “Alexa, trigger the [IFTTT recipe].”
  • “Alexa, discover my devices.”
  • “Alexa, turn on [scene].”
  • “Alexa, pair.” – To connect your Amazon Echo to a Bluetooth device
  • “Alexa, connect/disconnect from my [Bluetooth device].”

There you have it for this list of some of the best Amazon Echo commands to know! Even with all the commands listed here, there is a whole lot more that your Echo device and Alexa are capable of, especially when you bring third-party Alexa Skills into the mix. It’ll be almost impossible to ever have a full list of commands available, but everything listed above is a great place to start.

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