Most Useful Gadgets –
Amazon Echo ($34 at Amazon) smart speakers and displays can be useful nerve centers for your home — connecting your smart devices and orchestrating them with simple phrases. But getting Alexa to cooperate with your Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other networks can be a hassle — especially when it involves decoding various color codes on your smart speaker.
I’ve set up dozens if not hundreds of smart devices over the years, and a clear set of directions makes a huge difference. So here’s how to connect Alexa to, well, just about anything.
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Most Useful Gadgets – Wi-Fi
Your smart displays and speakers should automatically walk you through connecting to the Wi-Fi as soon as you boot them up the first time, but if you lost the directions or need to reconnect a device, here’s how.
Open the Alexa app, tap Devices on the bottom of the screen, then Echo & Alexa on the top left. Select which device you want to connect, then hit the blue Change button beside the Wi-Fi Network. The app will then walk you through connecting to the network.
Most Useful Gadgets – Bluetooth
OK, maybe you want to connect your phone to your smart speaker to just, you know, use it as a speaker. Doing so the first time is pretty similar to connecting to Wi-Fi, but it gets easier.
First, open the Alexa app, tap Devices, then Echo & Alexa. Select your device, then tap Bluetooth Devices. The Echo will search for devices to pair with, and once paired, you’ll be able to cast the music or podcasts of your choice directly to the smart speaker or display simply by activating Bluetooth on your phone.
(If you want to connect your Echo to other speakers, you can also do that by scrolling down on the device screen, past Bluetooth Devices and Wi-Fi Network, to Speaker and Stereo Pair/Subwoofer, which allow you to further customize your sound system.)
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Most Useful Gadgets – Smart devices
If you get a new connected lightbulb, camera, deadbolt or pretty much any other smart home gadget, Alexa can likely talk to it, too. As long as the device is Alexa-compatible, just head to the Alexa app.
Once the app is open, tap Devices, then tap the little plus sign in the upper right hand corner of the app. A menu will slide up from the bottom of the screen, and you’ll be able to add devices by tapping — you guessed it — Add Device. From here, select the device you want to add (the app provides an extensive list), and follow the specific directions for your new gadget.
Anything else you want to connect? Or any advice for people just setting up Alexa? Drop a comment below.
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