Tech corner

The ten best questions to ask your new Alexa


Amazon's Echo can do more than just turn on lights

The rise of the smart home has continued apace this Christmas as thousands of homes across the UK received Amazon Echoes as festive gifts.

Such was the demand for the Echo and Echo Dot speakers – which enable users to control household appliances such as the kettle, lights and thermostat – that Amazon briefly ran out of stock before December 25.

And the Alexa herself – the Echo’s voice activated assistant - was the most downloaded app on Google Play and Apple App Store on Christmas Day as proud new owners rushed to take control of their smart home devices.

But perhaps the best fun you can have with your new Echo is by asking Alexa to entertain you by answering a dizzying array of questions, telling a joke or completing a famous movie phrase or two.

Believe it or not, the companion app has an irreverent sense of humour and an encyclopaedic knowledge of trivia and fun facts.

So, here are the top ten fun things you can ask Alexa this January to help stave off those New Year blues.

  1. In the mood for a tongue twister? Ask your Echo: “Alexa, how much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?”

  2. Is Alexa becoming sentient and about to take over the world like Skynet from the Terminator films? There’s only one way to find out. Say, “Alexa, what are you thinking about?”

  3. Or if you’re pondering where your life is taking you in 2019, try asking your Echo to get philosophical by asking it: “Alexa, what is the answer to life, the universe and everything?”

  4. Want to know the definitive answer to a classic joke, ask “Alexa, why did the chicken cross the road?”

  5. Need to make a snap decision? Say “Alexa, heads or tails?”

  6. Feeling a bit lonely? Alexa doesn’t get out much either – so why not try asking her out on a date and see what happens.

  7. Do you want to express your inner most thoughts through music? Ask Alexa to “open ditty” and then give her your message. The app will then set your words to appropriate music.

  8. Is there “an invisible man, sleeping in your bed?” Ask Alexa who she’s gonna call and wait for the response.

  9. Fancy a sing-along? Try saying “Alexa, Daisy, Daisy” and see what happens.

  10. For any Star Wars fans out there, it’s well worth asking Alexa the following questions to hear her insights into a galaxy far, far away. Try “Alexa, who shot first?” And then “Alex, are these the droids you’re looking for?”

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