When you buy a new Amazon Echo, you’re paying for a new device that’s built for Alexa.
That’s a good thing, because the device will have an impressive voice assistant built in, but it’s also got a built-in microphone that can pick up on voice commands.
While there’s no word yet on how many different Echo features will be added to the device, the fact that it’s already available makes it a must-have if you’re a fan of the smart speaker.
Here’s how to get your Echo device to work with Amazon’s voice assistant, as well as how to disable some of the annoying ads.
Check your Amazon account To check whether your Echo is set to the Amazon Assistant, head to Settings > Amazon Echo > Voice and find the option to turn on it.
Then tap on the “Ask Alexa” option to confirm your request.
If you want to disable the voice assistant from within the Echo, tap on “Ask Notifications.”
If you’re having trouble, try disabling the microphone from within your Echo, too.
Turn off voice search When you’ve turned on your Echo’s voice search option, it will open a dialog box with the option of turning off voice searches.
You can also choose to disable all voice search in the device’s settings.
This option is especially useful for people who frequently use voice search.
When it’s turned on, the Echo will search for anything within your address book, calendar, or email address and will reply with whatever you type.
This can be useful for finding a new book or book club members to read with you.
To turn off voice searching, head back to the settings menu and tap “Ask” to confirm the request.
Turn on speaker settings If you’ve set up your Echo to use voice commands, you’ll want to make sure it has a speaker built in.
If the device is set up to use a speaker, you can turn it off by navigating to Settings → Amazon Echo → Voice and selecting “Ask.”
When you’re finished, tap “Done.”
Disable some of Amazon’s annoying ads In addition to voice commands and the built-out microphone, you might want to change some of Alexa’s ads.
You might want ads for books you’ve read that appear in your address books, and you might also want to remove ads for services like Amazon Video and Netflix.
Head to Settings on your Alexa device and turn on the microphone feature, then the voice search feature.
To disable the ads, just tap on any one of them and select “Ask not to show ads.”
Disable the microphone When you want your Echo devices voice commands to be hidden, you will need to turn off the microphone.
Head back to Settings and tap on Voice.
To enable the microphone, tap the microphone icon and then select “Allow.”
To turn it back off, just select the microphone and “Disable.”
If any of these ads appear, just click on “Reset.”
Turn your Echo off, but turn on speaker If you prefer your Echo speakers to be on and you’ve already turned off the voice command feature, you may want to turn them on again.
Head over to Settings, then Voice and turn them off.
You may have to go back to settings again to turn it on again, but the change will take effect immediately.
Turn the Echo off again You can disable voice commands for an extended period of time, but they’ll still appear in the app.
Head into the Alexa settings and tap Settings > Voice, then turn it all off.