Amazon Alexa colour rings and cool hacks, explained

If you’ve found yourself a little disconcerted by your Amazon Echo device suddenly flashing yellow, red, or green, you’re not alone.

Does it mean you’re being listened to? Is it a signal from above? Or does it just mean you need to restart your speaker?

Here’s what you need to know.

Why does my Alexa flash yellow, green or red?

Yellow

If your Amazon Echo speaker is blinking yellow, this means you’ve been left a message.

Simply say ‘Alexa, play my messages’ or ‘Alexa, what are my notifications’ and all will be revealed.

Green

If your speaker is lit green, that means someone is calling your speaker and if it’s spinning then it means your device is on an active call.

Say ‘Alexa, answer’ to pick up.

Blue

A slow, spinning blue light indicates your device is starting up. It will then turn orange, which means it’s in setup mode, or trying to connect to the internet.

Meanwhile, a teal spotlight on a blue ring means your device is listening to you, or processing a request.

Red

A red light indicates the microphone is muted. A spinning red light means the device cannot connect to the internet.

Alexa tricks and hacks

Sure, your Echo device is good for controlling your music, television and… just about everything else in your home, but there’s a whole range of other hacks your Alexa can do.

Here are a few:

Ask Alexa to spell a word

Not a hot speller? No problem! Alexa can help with that. Just say ‘Alexa, how do you spell ….’

Change Alexa’s name

You can change the name of your Echo – just tap ‘devices’ at the bottom of the Alexa app and select the ‘wake word’ you’d like to use for your speaker.

It’s sadly not possible to change the wake word to anything of your choosing and you’ll instead have to choose from Amazon’s list, which includes the likes of ‘Echo’ or ‘Computer’.

Use Alexa to find your phone

Say ‘Alexa, find my phone’ to get your device to call your mobile from a withheld number.

Just make sure your phone is verified via the Alexa app when you set it up.

Get Alexa to sing, rap or recite a poem

Not quite a hack, but if you’re looking to wile away some time, try asking your device the following commands:

‘Alexa, can you sing a song?’

‘Alexa, can you rap?’

‘Alexa can you recite a poem’

Set your favourite song as your alarm

Start the day with your favourite song. Simply say ‘Alexa, set an alarm at [time] to [song name].’

Alternatively, you can request her to wake you up with a particular genre or type of music, for example, ‘relaxing music.’

Or heavy metal, if that’s your jam.

Get Alexa to play sleep sounds

If you’re struggling to sleep at night, you can ask Alexa to play relaxing sounds to help you drift off.

Options include birds, rain, ocean waves, rainforest, crickets, windy leaves, light rain, waterfall, or even cafe sounds.

Say ‘Alexa ask Sleep Sounds to play [your chosen sound].’

You can also ask Alexa to ‘start sheep count’ to help your kids get to the land of nod.

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