Virtual assistants are currently one of those tools that have a true focus on greater comfort at home and social well-being. We have seen how this field has progressed tremendously, although there is still room for improvement. In this article, we are going to deal with one of its exponents. This is Alexa and her app.
And it is not long ago that Amazon launched an app for Android, with which to manage the assistant remotely and order any command. Although the interface is intuitive and quite simple to use, the truth is that there would not be a few tips for an initial configuration of the app, as well as certain extra functions that we can exploit.
Alexa initial setup
First of all, you have to synchronize the Amazon Echo device to the smartphone through a Wi-Fi network that the device itself generates. Once this step is done, the rest is discovered almost by inertia, with the assistant’s help.
1. We open the Alexa app. In the first menu, two options appear: to configure Amazon Echo or to configure the app itself. Obviously, we chose the first, since, without the device activated, the application’s operation will be null.
2. In the following menu, it is necessary to choose the assistant model that we have at home, and then link it to the mobile. When we have clicked on “Continue,” we must wait for the light of the device to be orange. Once it occurs, we will access the Wi-Fi networks menu to link the mobile with the network generated by Amazon Echo, easily recognizable by the name of Amazon, followed by numbers.
3. Finally, we return to the interface of the app to search for the Wi-Fi network that we have at home so that the device works with a constant internet connection and can perform tasks.
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The next thing is to identify ourselves within the app so that the assistant knows us better, both the name, routine and personal tastes. It includes one person, but that is also the responsibility of the rest of the members in the house. Let’s see how to configure our profile in the Alexa app.
1. Starting from the previous step, click on “Continue,” where a menu will appear to enter some profile data. First, it will be the name and surnames, to then grant you permissions from our contacts.
2. Then, it will ask us for information about our phone number and subsequent verification through SMS. This is data that we can obviously ignore, but it must be taken into account that in this way, Alexa will not be able to perform tasks such as calls or sending messages. A decision that remains in the preferences of each user.
Nothing else. The app has already been configured and with the data duly filled in so that the assistant knows how to address each person who interacts with the device.
Extra features in the Alexa app
Obviously, we cannot leave out certain functions that can be performed throughout its interface and that not everyone knows how to handle it. First of all, the most striking section is the so-called ‘Routine,’ where you can add routine tasks that the assistant must do, such as informing about the weather or news of the day, even setting a daily alarm. In addition, from the ‘Add device’ menu, it is possible to add other devices that are already compatible with Amazon Echo, such as lamps, televisions, or audio players. In this way, you can control everything from the same app, as well as set commands.
In the same way, we can make the conversations a little more ‘private’ because Amazon usually listens to certain snippets of those talks to improve the service, or so it is supposed. To achieve this privacy, the route is very simple:
- From the drop-down side menu, we access the ‘Configuration’ section.
- We go down that menu until we find the ‘Alexa Privacy’ section
- We enter “Manage my Alexa data,” and later, we deactivate the box that says “use voice recordings to improve Amazon services.”
Ready. With this, we have solved the privacy problem in conversations with Alexa. It is important to carry out this step since, by default, this box will be active when we install the app, so there is no other option but to do it manually.
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