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5 outdated items Amazon Echo can replace in your house – CNET

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Your Amazon Echo can do double or even triple duty, letting you streamline your surfaces.


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If you take a look around your house, you’ll likely notice you’ve got several things lying around that are considered outdated. Your Amazon Echo device can replace a lot of those items and free up some space in your home — and just one Echo can even save you money. An Echo speaker can replace the clunky alarm clock that jolts you out of bed every morning or take over for the landline phone you’ve been holding on to since the ’90s. 

Here’s how to use your Amazon Echo ($34 at Amazon) to replace five commonly outdated items.

Alarm clocks: That obnoxiously loud alarm clock that you’ve been using for the last 15 years can head for the bin. Instead, use your Echo speaker to calmly wake you up rather than shock you into alertness. To set an alarm, just say “Alexa, set an alarm for 7 a.m.” You can even ask Alexa to wake you up to any song.

Home phone: If you’re still using a landline to make calls, you don’t need to anymore. Your Echo device generally stays in one spot in your house and you can use it not only to make calls but also to send text messages. Plus, it’ll save you the monthly fee you’re paying to have a landline.


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If you’ve got family and friends who also have an Echo device, you can use the drop-in feature to immediately have access to whomever you’re trying to contact. Before you can do so, your contact will need to give you permission in the Alexa app. You can also give them permission to drop in on you by selecting the Communicate icon in the Alexa app and tapping the Contacts icon in the top right corner. From here, select the person you’re giving permission to and toggle the switch on for Allow Drop-In.

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An Echo Input can make any speaker smart.


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Dumb speakers: If you’ve got speakers you can’t give voice commands to, you can change that with an Echo Input. The small device turns any speaker into an Alexa device, and you can make any command that you would on a regular Echo speaker. Note that you’ll have to give commands to the Input and not the actual speaker you’re using.

Your “dumb” speaker needs to have Bluetooth capabilities or an auxiliary port in order to be compatible with the Echo Input.

TV remote: You lose your TV remote more often than you’d like to admit — who doesn’t? Now you can skip searching for it and ask Alexa to turn the TV on for you instead. You’ll need either a smart TV that’s compatible with Alexa or a Fire TV.

For smart TVs, navigate to the Alexa settings on your TV and follow the on-screen instructions. If you’ve got a Fire TV ($42 at Amazon), open the Alexa app menu on your phone and select Settings > TV & Video > Fire TV. Tap Link Your Alexa Device and follow the on-screen instructions to finish setting up.

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Forget the remote and ask Alexa to turn on your TV.


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AM/FM radio: The radio doesn’t always play what you want to hear. So instead of listening to commercials and songs you don’t like, use your Amazon Echo to listen to your favorite music. Echo devices automatically default to Amazon Music, but you can link to other music streaming accounts like Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora. To do so, open the Alexa app and go to Settings > Music & Podcasts and select the service you want to link up.

Want more great tips? Here’s how to turn your Amazon Echo into a free TV speaker, 10 new Alexa features to try on your Amazon Echo and five unexpected uses for your Echo device.

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