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More Americans own an Amazon Echo. Get the most from it with these 'Alexa' tips and tricks


One in 5 Americans surveyed say they own an Amazon Echo smart speaker (from $39), supported by new data published by Trading Platforms, a leading education and comparison platform for online traders.

This is consistent with Edison Research and NPR’s Smart Audio Report findings.

Google Nest is its next closest competitor with roughly 8 percent of the U.S. market share, according to Trading Platforms.

Considering how many of us are confined to our homes because of COVID-19, we may be using these devices more, too.

“Before the pandemic, most people used their smart speakers for getting the weather and listening to music. But over the past year, they’ve become our meditation guides and yoga teachers, our homework helpers and bedtime story readers, the way we discover new recipes and local takeout spots – and so much more,” says Katherine Prescott, Founder and Editor of VoiceBrew, which distributes an email newsletter devoted to smart speakers, Monday through Thursday.

An Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker on a side table.

“There’s something so magical about these devices – like we’re living in the future,” Prescott adds.

You know the drill: wake up your hands-free speaker by saying its wake word, usually “Alexa,” followed by a question or command, such as a request to control a smart home device.

Whether you’re new to Alexa or a longtime fan, the following are seven fun things to try – including a couple of Prescott’s favorites.


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