By Guest Contributor Daniel Hill, Social Media Strategist at Daniel Hill Media
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- 6 best ways to use Echo Auto
- How to get an Echo Auto Today
- 9 simple steps to set up your Echo Auto
- 3 Echo Auto pro tips
6 Best Ways To Use Echo Auto
#1. Listen to music completely hands-free
No need to touch your phone at all. Just say “Alexa play Red Hot Chili Peppers” to get started. Echo Auto responds to “Alexa, skip track” or “Alexa, repeat.”
#2. Get your news (and get it customized to your interests)
Just say “Alexa, tell me the news” to hear your personal Alexa flash briefing list. In case you’re not familiar with flash briefings, they’re 2-4 minute audio news clips (and one of the best Alexa features).
How to add an Alexa flash briefing to your personal list? Just say “Alexa, enable The Instagram Stories” (insert the flash briefing of your choice). Be sure to check out VoiceBrew’s list of the 7 best flash briefings right now for some ideas.
Then say “Alexa, tell me the news” to start listening to your flash briefings.
#3. Play a game
My favorite game is still Song Quiz, which plays short audio clips of songs from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, or 2010s — then you guess the name of the song and artist. You can play with someone else in the car, or be matched up with someone online to play against.
#4. Start a conversation with Alexa
Say “Alexa, let’s have a conversation,” and you can talk to one of 6 different prize-winning social bots designed to advance AI. You can discuss topics like news, movies, celebrities, politics, time travel, food, science, Superman, Batman, and more.
#5. Announce you’re almost home across your Echo speakers
Say “Alexa, I’d like to make an announcement.” Then, say something like “I’ll be home in 10 minutes and I’m bringing pizza!” to broadcast the message across your home’s Echo devices.
#6. Turn on the lights and open the garage door before you get home
Just say “Alexa, turn on the lights” or “Alexa, open the garage” wherever you are and whenever you need to.
How to get an Echo Auto
First, request an invitation to buy one (I know, sounds crazy)
To get an Echo Auto, you have to pre-register for an invitation to buy one. The advantage of pre-registering is that the cost of the Echo Auto will only be $25 (versus $50 once Amazon releases it for general availability). Since Amazon’s return policy is excellent, I recommend pre-registering and spending the $25.
Second, wait (it might be a while)
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know when you’ll actually receive your invitation from Amazon. I received my invitation after 6 months, but I have a friend who didn’t pre-register until after I got mine, and he was able to order just a few days later. Keep in mind that if you have multiple Amazon accounts in your household, you can each register for an Echo Auto device!
… Or pay up if you don’t want to wait
If you don’t want to wait for an invitation, you can buy one on eBay sealed in box for around $50 or so as of this writing, and you can always re-sell it to someone else if you decide not to keep it. The Facebook Marketplace can give you some peace of mind to find a unit that you can test before purchasing.
9 simple steps to set up your Echo Auto
- Unbox the unit and the power cable. Take it out to the car and plug it into the outlet. Make sure it powers on
- Put the mount aside for now. Don’t use it until you have determined the best (permanent) location for the unit
- Turn on your phone’s Bluetooth, and open the Alexa app
- In the Alexa app, tap the “Devices” button in the bottom right corner
- Click the “+” (plus button) in the top right corner and choose “Add Device”
- On the screen that says “What type of device are you setting up?” select Amazon Echo, then Echo Auto
- Read through the “WARNING! Do not set up Echo Auto while driving screen” then tap “Continue”
- Confirm the device is powered on, wait for the sweeping orange light, then select your Amazon Echo Auto from the list
- Start using your Amazon Echo Auto!
Pro Tip: Don’t bother trying to charge up your Echo Auto before following the steps above, as it doesn’t have a battery inside.
#1. Position Echo Auto so Alexa can hear you and other passengers
If you have passengers in the backseat who will use it, position it somewhere so that everyone in the car can be heard.
#2. You can minimize cable across the dashboard
Many cars have a power outlet in the center console that could be used to power the Echo Auto — use this!
#3. It needs to be plugged in at all times
There’s no battery inside the Echo Auto, so you can’t use it unless it’s plugged into a power source. For a workaround, you can always connect it to a portable battery charger!