Echo Dot Set-up Instructions, Using Alexa as an Intercom System, and Best Practices for Family Use

Step One:

In the Alexa App, go to Settings (found under menu on top left). Select the device you want to set up and wait for the orange light.

Step Two:

Now you need to connect the Echo Dot to Amazon’s network. On your phone, select Settings and then Wifi. Choose the Amazon option.

Step Three:

Now that the Echo is connected to Amazon, you need to connect it to your home Wifi. Go back to the Alexa app and select your home network.

Step Four:

This step could be clearer. The first two options allow you to connect external speakers. If you’re planning to use the Echo Dot as your speaker, select “No speakers.”

Step Five:

Name your Echo devices as you go along installing them. This is the easiest and fastest way to get them set up as an intercom system.

Go to Menu > Settings > [find the device] > Edit Name. Be sure the name of each device reflects its location.

Warning: you must name a device something different than a name you have in Contacts on your phone. For example, if your daughter is named Kate, and in your phone’s contact’s she is designated as Kate, Alexa will get confused if you name her Echo device Kate. She won’t know whether to call Kate’s phone or Kate’s Echo device. Thus, it’s best to give her Echo device a nickname (e.g. Katie).

Step Six:

When you want to communicate through your Echo devices, you have two choices:

Option 1 – Calling: If you want to talk with your daughter who’s in her room, while you’re in the kitchen say: “Alexa, Call Katie.” This option is good because the person on the receiving end hears the ringing and has to grant permission. Katie then says, “Alexa pick up,” and you know you have her attention. When you’re finished, you both have to say, “Alexa, hang up.”

Option 2 – Drop In: You can “Drop In” on an Echo device which feels more like using a walkie talkie. You say, “Alexa, Drop In on Katie,” and Katie will hear a beep. Once you’ve dropped in, the connection is active which means the other person doesn’t have to give you permission, and you can hear what’s going on in Katie’s room immediately. Sometimes, it’s hard to know if you’ve made contact, and you may have to get Katie’s attention. The benefit: it does feel less formal and more immediate.

Here’s how to set-up Drop-In: From the Menu > go to Settings > select the device > scroll down to Communications > under Drop In, select My Household (only devices on my account).

Next Steps:

Voice Train Alexa (takes 3 min.), so she learns to understand your voice. Menu > Settings > Your Voice.

Put Alexa to bed: If you want both your child and Alexa to go to bed, schedule Do Not Disturb: Settings > select device > select ‘Do Not Disturb’ and slide right to turn on > slide ‘Schedule’ to the on position and select start and ending times.

Explicit Filter: You can filter out explicit lyrics from music services that are supported (Amazon and Pandora only). From Menu, go to Settings > Music & Media (under preferences) > Account Settings > Select Explicit Filter and slide to on position.

Best Practices – Top Family Uses:

  • Intercom – we can communicate from all over the house without yelling!
  • Streaming Music (prompted us to drop Apple Music and sign-up for Amazon)
  • Creating To-Do Lists. Voice-to-text is so much easier than typing, but these lists are still accessible from the Alexa app and can be modified there too. We can check items off and send lists to our HP printer. Great for grocery shopping and chores!
  • Setting alarms and timers
  • Re-ordering Amazon products and inquiring about delivery status

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