December 4, 2020
Your Amazon Echo knows who's talking to it, and answers just for them. Here's how

6 ways to use Amazon Echo when you’re not at home


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You can still access your Echo when you’re not home.


Chris Monroe/CNET

You’ve made your Amazon Echo an essential part of your home, from setting timers in your kitchen to helping you fall asleep at night. But it doesn’t stop there — you can use your Echo speaker even when you’re not at home.

After all, you have access to Alexa on your phone when you leave the house. And you can access your Echo device from someone else’s Echo speaker — or you can simply take your device with you when you leave the house.

Here are six ways you can use your Amazon Echo when you’re not at home.

Use someone else’s Echo device to access yours

Yes, you can access your Echo speaker from someone else’s Echo device. After all, Alexa has your voice memorized (as long as you have a voice profile set up, which you’ll need for this to work). The feature is called Guest Connect, and to use it, just say “Alexa, connect to my account.”

Once connected, you can stream your very own playlists if you have the Amazon Music Unlimited plan. When you’re ready to disconnect, say, “Alexa, disconnect my account.” Your account will automatically be disconnected after 24 hours.  

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You can access your Amazon Music from someone else’s speaker.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Broadcast announcements to everyone at home

Need to send a note home that tells everyone to clean the house or help you carry in the groceries? You can do that from your phone using the Alexa app. To do so, open the app and select Communicate and then Announce. Type or say what you want announced across your speakers. If you type the announcement, Alexa will say something like “From Katie: I’m on the way.” But if you press and hold the microphone to record your announcement, your voice will be broadcast on your Echo devices.

Call your Echo device

No one at home is answering their phones? You can call your Echo speaker using the Alex app on your phone. To get started, open the Alexa app and select Communicate and then tap Call. You can either choose to call a specific device or call all of your Echo devices. 

If someone is home, they’ll hear the Echo speaker announcing who is calling and they can say “Alexa, answer.” If no one is answering, you can drop-in on all your speakers, instead.

Echo can make it appear as if you’re home

If you’re leaving your house for a night, or several days, Alexa can make it appear as though you’re home. For example, you can set up away lighting so that Alexa will turn your lights on and off at arranged times. For this to work, you’ll need a compatible smart bulb, smart plug or smart switch.

To turn on the Away Lighting setting, open the Alexa app and navigate to the Guard settings. Tap the Gear icon in the top right corner and select Away Lighting. Under the Lights section, select the lights you’d like to use — for example, one may be an inside lamp or porch light. On the same screen, make sure Away Lighting is enabled.

Take your Echo speaker with you

You use your Echo device in your home, so why not take it on the road with you? If you’ve got an Echo Dot, you can plug it into your car using a USB charger and port. You’ll need to connect it to your phone’s hotspot to use the device, and then you can pair it to your car’s stereo using Bluetooth.

It’ll allow you to go hands-free while in your car. For example, instead of pressing buttons on your car radio to find a station, you can just ask Alexa to play a song or playlist for you.

Alexa can send reminders to your phone

You may not be home to hear an important reminder you’ve set for yourself on your Amazon Echo. For example, you’re usually out the door by 7:30 a.m. each morning. If that’s the case, Alexa can send reminders to your phone. You don’t need to do anything extra — just ask Alexa to remind you to do something, and it’ll also send the notification to your phone.

You can also set up recurring reminders so you never forget to tell Alexa to remind you. For example, you can say something like “Alexa, remind me to take my vitamins every day at 9:00 a.m.” And if you prefer Alexa to only send the reminder on your phone, you can change that in your Alexa app’s Reminders settings by selecting your phone under the Announces from section.

For more Echo tips, here are six Amazon Echo settings you won’t regret changing, four best uses for Amazon Echo in your living room and the best things you can do with multiple Echo devices.


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