What can play music, secure your home, organize your household, get you in shape, and help you cook? It’s that smart speaker—maybe the Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Nest—that you received for the holidays. Don’t think your new speaker is smarter than you. The experts at Consumer Reports have some tips to help you enlist your smart speaker as your home’s very own personal assistant.
If you’re new to the speaker game, start simple by streamlining. Get your morning news, weather briefings, and calendar read aloud. Your smart speaker can even walk you through a workout.
Set up your speaker in the kitchen to act as your own personal sous chef. It can set multiple timers, add ingredients to a grocery list, and help with your food prep questions.
Your smart speaker can also stand in for a basic security system. The Alexa Care Hub is a great feature for loved ones who live alone. It allows you to monitor them and check in with a quick phone call or video chat.
Control and connect your other smart devices to your speaker so you have one centralized hub.
CR says to keep in mind that not as many products work with Apple’s HomeKit or Siri compared with Alexa and Google. But you should have enough to get you set for 2021 and beyond.
If you have more than one speaker that uses the same assistant, CR says you can create a multi-room sound system. When you set up your speakers for the first time, each assistant’s app will walk you through the process, so you can play music wherever you have the speakers set up or in just one area.