Home News Here is how you can customize Alexa to suit your preferences

Here is how you can customize Alexa to suit your preferences

The Amazon Alexa digital assistant has evolved over the years to become a truly dependable smart assistant that is always at your service. It can get a lot of jobs done for you, which include setting alarms, providing you with the latest news or weather updates, remind you when you should hit the gym and the like. You just have to ask Alexa about what needs to be done and the friendly voice will be there to help you out.

That however isn’t all as there are a few ways you can also customize Alexa to suit your personal requirements. Those include changing the wake word, making the device recognize our voice, setting routines and so much more. Read on to find out more on this.

Change the wake word:

This refers to the word that acts to wake her up each time you need her service. By default, its Alexa though that can be changed to a few other options provides, such as Amazon, Echo, or Computer. Here is how you do it.

  • In the Alexa app, go to More at the bottom right.
  • Select Settings > Device Settings and select your device.
  • Find wake word and tap on it.
  • You will get to see a few other options, which include Amazon, Echo or Computer.
  • Tap on the wake word of your choice and that’s it. It will take a few seconds for the new setting to take effect. You will be able to use the new wake word henceforth.
  • If you think all of the above a bit cumbersome, you can even get Alexa to change the wake word. For that, you just have to say, ‘Alexa, change the wake word’. You will be provided a few options and instructions. Follow those and you will have it done.

Introduce your voice to Alexa:

This is specifically important when there is a single smart device catering to the needs of many, like in a family. In such a scenario, making Alexa to recognize your voice will ensure you get results customized to your needs. Also yes, Alexa is smart enough to recognize and remember the voice of different members in your house, and will deliver results depending on what is asking for what.

That is not all as Alexa will also keep a tab on the the news you have already heard and will skip on those parts when providing you with the next update on the same. The personalized voice profiles thus created will also allow you to restrict purchases made via Alexa to recognized members only. Further, you can also enable a voice code which will save you from repeating the same each time to make a purchase.

Here is how you can make Alexa to recognize your voice.

  • Launch the Alexa app and go to More menu along the bottom right.
  • Select Settings > Your Profile > Voice.
  • Follow instructions provided.

Changing device language:

You can set the language of your choice, or the one that you feel you will be most comfortable with. This way, you can have the best possible Alexa experience specifically tailored for users in India. The language you can set include English (India), Hindi (India), English/ Hindi (India) or Hindi/ English (India).

Here are the steps to change the device language.

  • As before, open the Alexa app and go to More menu at the bottom right.
  • Select Settings > Device Settings and select your device.
  • Select Language shown towards the bottom.
  • Next, select the language of you choice.
  • Also, as before, there is a much simpler way to change the device language if all the above steps seem cumbersome to you. All you have o do is say, ‘Alexa, speak in English and Hindi’. To this, Alexa should respond saying, Ok. I will now speak English and Hindi.’ And if you wish to revert back to what it was before, say Alexa, stop speaking Hindi’.

Make your interactions with Alexa faster by enabling follow-up mode:

With the Follow-Up Mode enabled, Alexa will remain active for 5 seconds more after it is done with your last command. This period is characterized by the ring continuing to beam blue light. That is an indication of the device still listening to you and is ready to receive any more command you may have.

You will also be spared from uttering the wake word again, which also makes the conversation with the device seem more natural. Its like, you ask a question that Alexa answers. If you have a follow-up question based on that answer or anything else, you won’t have to utter the wake word again Instead, you can go directly to the question itself. All you have to do is ask while the ring is still blue.

Meanwhile, here is how you initiate Follow-Up Mode on your device.

  • Open Alexa and go to More.
  • Go to Select Settings > Device Settings to select your device.
  • Scroll down to select Follow – Up Mode. Push the toggle switch to the On position.

Make Alexa to do several tasks at a time by setting routines:

Those tasks can be routine stuff that you need done during a specific time of the day and such. For instance, after you have woken up in the morning, you will like to have the latest news updates along with the day’s calendar settings. Maybe you will also prefer listening to some genre of songs in the morning as well.

You can club all the commands for the individual actions together to form a routine and name it accordingly. For instance, uttering ‘Alexa, good morning’ should be enough for Alexa to execute the routine, which in turn will mean playing your chosen songs, providing you with news snippets along with the calendar settings and so on. Here is how you set it up.

  • Open Alexa and go to the More menu option.
  • Go to Settings and select Routines.
  • Tap on the ‘+’ sign that say Create Routine.
  • Next, select Enter routine name > When this happens. Here you have several options to choose depending on how you want the routine to activate.
  • For instance, it can be a voice command or you can schedule it to let it happen at a specific time. Or you might also want the routine to be triggered after you have dismissed an alarm and such.
  • Under Voice setting, type the keywords that will act as the trigger for the routine to be activated. Those can be like, ‘Alexa, good morning’ or ‘Alexa, I am home’.
  • Select Add Action where you have to select all that you want to be part of the routine.

Make Alexa to read aloud your favourite book:

Among all things Alexa is eager to do for you include reading aloud your favourite books to you. This will be done using audiobooks which again can be from various sources such as Audible Suno or via Audible and Kindle, the latter requiring a subscription for the same.

Needless to say, you need to have the particular brook in your library for Alexa to be able to read it out to you. Since your Amazon account syncs to both the services, just saying, ‘Alexa, open harry Potter’ will be enough for Alexa to get going.

Lastly, you can also create your own skill-set using Alexa Blueprints:

This is another way to add your own personal flavour to the way Alexa behaves. Alexa Skills Blueprints is the way to do that and can make Alexa seem to be part of your family. Its like asking your kids about things that only you should be knowing. This way, you kids will become more receptible of Alexa while the digital assistant will become more human-like as well.

To create the skills, go to blueprints.amazon.in and select from the various templates shown.

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A keen tech enthusiast who loves to keep a tab on the tech scene, with special emphasis on things like smartphones, tablets, laptops, convertibles and such. Cars happen to be his other passion, not to mention the recent trend here comprising of electric cars and autonomous cars. Off late, he has also started tinkering a bit with stuff like electronic circuits, electric motors a bit though he's just a novice there.