The Amazon Echo Dot is a smaller version of Amazon’s original smart speaker, the Echo. The Dot is a little over 3 inches in diameter and approximately 1.5 inches high, resembling a hockey puck rather than the Echo’s initial cylindrical design.
It features a few buttons on top that control volume, mute the speaker, and wake the device to listen for a query or command (though you don’t have to touch the Dot to use it; it’s designed to respond largely to voice commands).
Like the original Amazon Echo, the Echo Dot is a voice-controlled smart speaker that employs Alexa, an artificially intelligent personal assistant, to perform a variety of tasks. To mention a few of Alexa’s many abilities, it can play music, set alarms, manage other “smart” devices in the home, play games, and answer queries by searching the internet for answers.
What sets the Echo Dot Apart From Other Echo Devices?
The Echo Dot differs from the Echo in that it lacks the huge speaker that takes up most of the cylinder on the original Echo. It has a speaker that is much smaller and of poorer quality. It may, however, be readily linked to an external speaker using a regular audio connection or Bluetooth. An external speaker cannot be connected to the original Echo.
The Dot is otherwise identical to the Echo, and it can perform all of the functions of any other Amazon Echo device. The Alexa personal assistant works in the same way and has access to the same skills and activities library.
You may mix and match Echo products if you already have one and want extra speakers for different areas in your house. Other Amazon Echo and Echo Dot speakers can be used in a home with an Amazon Echo Dot.
While Amazon Echo products can’t “hand-off” information and aren’t aware of each other in the same home, they do feature microphone technology that ensures the closest Echo receives and acts on voice instructions – useful if you have many Echo units in a small home or apartment.
How to Set Up Your Echo Speaker and Make the Most of It
Are you ready to scream at your new toy? We’ll walk you through the setup process, show you the most helpful Alexa Skills, and show you the complete spectrum of features. (It’s capable of far more than you might think.)
Although this article concentrates on the third-generation Echo Dot, the tips and methods listed below can be applied to any Alexa-enabled device (these are our favorite Echo and Alexa speakers). Let’s get this party started.
1. Configure Your Echo
When you plug your Echo Dot into the wall, it will turn orange. This indicates that it is ready to pair with a device. If it stops glowing orange at any point, press and holds the Action button (the one with the white dot in the middle) for five seconds to return to setup mode.
Install the Alexa app on your iOS, Android, Kindle Fire tablet, or any combination of those devices that work best for you.
When you first open the Alexa app, you’ll be prompted to turn on Bluetooth and select your Echo from a list of options. Bluetooth can be turned on or off in the Settings menu of your phone. The Alexa app will show you a small introduction video after you pair your devices.
2. Make it your own
That’s all! Your Amazon Echo Dot is now ready to use! Just keep in mind that every question or command should begin with “Alexa.” However, before you get started, you’ll want to conduct some fast modifications. Here’s what we’d recommend changing:
3. Add Some Alexa Skills
Let’s have some fun now that your Amazon Echo Dot setup is complete. Alexa has over 10,000 “skills,” which is a fancy way of saying “voice-activated apps,” in addition to its native abilities. It’s simple to add them; simply say “Alexa, allow Domino’s Pizza,” and your Echo Dot will help you order a spicy side of jalapeno-pineapple chicken pieces.
Amazon’s Skills store UI manages to be both overbearing and underwhelming at the same time. If you find yourself wishing it could do X, chances are there’s a skill for it—you’ll just have to see how well it works. Along the way, you’ll come across a slew of useful Echo apps. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite ways to use Echo Apps.
Obtain a Vehicle
Both Uber and Lyft have Alexa Skills that allow you to order a trip without having to take out your phone. Lyft also has the advantage of notifying you how much a particular ride will cost.
If you’re having difficulties staying motivated to exercise, try an exercise software like 7-Minute Workout. It does exactly what it says: it leads you through a quick workout while allowing you to take pauses as needed. It’s only one routine, and it can get boring after a while. But, hey, there’s no gain without pain.
Examine the Weather
Big Sky, a hyperlocal service that tells you what it’s like outside not just in your city, but on your block, is one of our favorite weather applications. You can also use Alexa’s daily Flash Briefing (described above) to get the weather forecast.
Make a Game
You can play a variety of games with the Amazon Echo Dot, including classics like 20 Questions and more unusual titles like The Magic Door. The Magic Door demonstrates the small smart speaker’s depth potential. Without giving too much away, suffice it to say that it’s an interactive game that takes you on a wonderful adventure filled with puzzles, gnomes, and a tropical monkey island.
Smarten Up Your Home
Do you have a smart home? Nest, Control4, SmartThings, Philips Hue lights, Lutron, Insteon, and pretty much any other hub or platform you can think of are all supported by Alexa.
If you’re new to smart home technology, start with a Wemo or TP-Link smart plug. They’re low-cost, low-stakes access points that let you yelp to turn on and off whatever’s plugged into them.
And that should be the end of it! At least, that’s the case for the time being. Amazon introduces new Alexa Skills every week, so keep a watch on the company’s update emails to see if anything catches your eye. Otherwise, have fun yelling at your new device and having it respond.