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Amazon Echo: One of my favorite hidden tricks and how to use it

Out of all of Alexa's talents, this is by far the more clever.

Katie Teague Writer II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
Expertise Personal Finance: Social Security and taxes
Katie Teague
2 min read

Alexa can give the answers you've always wanted it to give.

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After having an Amazon Echo for a couple of years, Alexa's responses can get boring -- especially when it says, "I can't answer that" or "I don't think I should say that." Fortunately, you can make the voice assistant respond however you want, either to entertain others or to finally feel satisfied with its answers.

Whether you're trying to get Alexa to say curse words, or just want it to answer with your name when you ask it who the smartest person in the world is, you can do so by creating custom Alexa responses using Amazon Blueprints

To do so, visit the blueprints.amazon.com page on your phone or desktop browser. This is the Amazon site that lets you create your own Alexa skills and customize the voice assistant responses. Make sure you're signed in to the Amazon account linked to your Echo speaker. Then select the Custom Q&A button and click Make Your Own.

Watch this: Alexa's best hidden talent lets you make your own commands

Under the section titled When you say: "Alexa", type out the question you'd like to customize. For example, "Alexa, who has the best mom in the world?" Then under the section Alexa will say: just type your answer. When you're finished, click Create Skill. Now you can create as many customized Alexa responses as you'd like.

Some other examples of Q&As you can create are, "Alexa, when should I send [child's name] to bed?" and have the voice assistant answer with "[He/she] should go to bed right now." Kids always listen to Alexa, right? 

You could also ask, "Alexa, what should we eat for dinner?" and have Alexa answer with the meal you were already planning on making. Or, "Alexa, whose turn is it to load the dishwasher?" We already know the answer isn't you.

Now that you've got this trick down, check out these six things you probably haven't tried with your Amazon Echo, five unexpected uses for your Amazon Echo and these four new things Alexa can do on your Echo speaker.

Amazon's new Echo brings better sound and slick design

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