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8 tips for your new Amazon Echo Show

The Echo Show is easy to use, but there are a few things you'll want to adjust or customize. Let's take a look.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

After setting up your Echo Show, and you've added a few skills and asked a couple of random trivia questions, you may find yourself staring at the Echo Show's display and asking yourself "now what?"

There's plenty left to do and discover with the Echo Show, so follow along as we walk through eight tips and tricks.

Read more: Amazon Echo Show 5 smart display coming in June for $90 | 22 tips for your new Amazon Echo

Watch this: Don't panic over Amazon's automatic video calls

Customize Drop In

First and foremost, you'll want to control who can Drop In on you. For those unfamiliar, Drop In is an Echo feature that allows other Echo owners and Alexa app users to start an audio or video call with your Echo device(s) without you needing to answer.

Thankfully, you're in complete control over who can and can't drop in on you.

You need to use the Alexa app on your phone in order to adjust Drop In access.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

In the app go to Settings and select the Echo Show from your device list. Next select Drop In. You can choose from On, Only my household or Off.

Only my household does just what it says — allows users within your home to use another Echo device to Drop In on another Echo device.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you decide to turn on Drop In, you still need to approve which Alexa contacts have access to Drop In at any time. To do that, select the Conversations tab at the bottom of the Alexa app followed by the contact icon at the top of the screen.

Select a contact you want to give Drop In privileges to, then enable Contact can Drop In at anytime.

Set up DND

With calls, messages, and Skill notifications now a thing with the Echo lineup, you can enable Do Not Disturb on your Echo Show with just a few taps.

On the Echo Show, swipe down from the top of the screen. There's will be an on-demand button to turn DND on or off at will, which is nice. However, you can set a schedule for DND to auto turn on and off.

Swipe down on the Echo SHow's display to reveal the menu. Tap Settings then scroll down and select Do Not Disturb to set up your personal schedule.

Read more: 7 awesome Alexa skills for the Echo Show

Set a custom background photo

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Amazon 's default background photos are, well, boring. You can upload a photo of your own directly from your phone through the Alexa app.

When viewing the Settings for your Echo Show, scroll down and tap the blue button labeled Choose A Photo.

Select a photo from your phone's camera roll, crop and upload it. A few seconds later the change will show up on your Echo Show.

Check out more ways to customize the background on your Echo Show or Echo Dot.

Sound controls

On the Echo Show, go to Settings > Sounds. There you can adjust the alarm sound, notification sound (currently only one available), or adjust the start/end request sounds.

Touch instead of talk

When viewing suggestions of news or commands you can give Alexa on one of the home screens, you don't have to use the suggested voice command at the bottom of the screen.

Instead, just tap the screen to open a news story, video, or open a list of suggested commands to try.

Touch can also be used when listening to music to pause, play, or skip songs. 

Take pictures!

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Tell Alexa to take your picture, and the Echo Show will open a camera app with three different camera options. Tap on an option to select it, or tell Alexa the number of the camera you want to use. Then smile as the camera snaps your pic. 

Watch videos

Ask Alexa to search YouTube for your favorite YouTube channel or video name. You can also ask Alexa to show your Prime Video and movie trailers, for example.

At any time while watching a video you can give Alexa voice commands to pause, skip ahead or back by a set amount of time.

Go home, Alexa

Whenever you're in an app (sorry, Skill) you can quickly go back to the home screen with the command "Alexa, go home." Alternatively, you can swipe down from the top of the Show's display and tap Home.

If you're listening to music, the music will remain on.