So you just bought the Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) Echo or maybe received it as a gift. As you unwrap your new purchase and place it on your counter top, though, you may be thinking to yourself, "What exactly can I do with this odd black cylinder?"
Well, that's what we at TheStreet are here for.
We've put together a list of some of the more exciting things you can do with your $180 Echo.
1. Play your favorite tunes
Amazon has synced up the Echo with Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora (P) , iHeartRadio, and TuneIn, so you can listen to whatever music you'd like. Just say, "Alexa, play my party rock playlist on Spotify," and the Echo will know exactly what to do.
You can also always connect the Echo to your smartphone or laptop via Bluetooth to play whatever music you have saved on those devices, but that takes a little bit of setting up.
2. Check how much gas is in your car
Nobody wants to get into their car on the way to an important meeting only to realize their tank is empty, and they'll have to stop at a gas station and show up late. With a bit foresight, anyone who owns a Ford (F - Get Report) can use the Echo to double check on their gas tank before leaving the house. You can also check on the car's battery and mileage.
3. Turn the lights on and off
While you'll have to do a bit more than clap your hands, if you own certain smart bulbs, you can ask Alexa to turn your lights on and off. The Echo will sync with smart bulbs, as well as other smart devices, from WeMo, Philips (PHG - Get Report) Hue, Samsung (SSNLF) SmartThings, Wink and Insteon.
4. Order an Uber
Lest you have to unlock your phone screen and tap a button, you can now ask Alexa to order you an Uber. You can say "call me an Uber," "request me a ride," or even "call me a taxi," and the Echo will automatically order you an Uber.
5. Order a pizza
As long as you're a fan of Domino's (DPZ - Get Report) , you now can ask your Echo for some pizza, and the order will automatically be placed without you having to talk to anyone or visiting a website. However, you will have to preset an order in the Domino's app and say the exact phrase, "Alexa, open Domino's and place my Easy Order."
6. Listen to an audiobook
You can have Alexa read any Kindle book to you. You can also listen to any Audible audiobook.
7. Pretend like you have a real personal assistant
Before you go to bed, you can tell Alexa to wake you up at 7 a.m. the next morning, and then when you wake up you can ask her what's on your schedule for the day. Assuming you use Google (GOOGL - Get Report) Calendar, Alexa will read off your appointments and meetings.
8. Re-order soap/toilet paper/detergent, etc., before you forget
You have to run to a meeting, but you don't want to forget to order some essential household item. Just tell Alexa, and as long as you've made the order before and it's Prime-eligible, she'll follow through and automatically process the order.