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5 Useful Things You’ll Ask Alexa, Google or Siri to Do Nearly Every Day

Enjoy the convenience of technology without having to type or click on a screen.

Maybe you’ve heard about what smart speakers can do (and if you haven’t, you can read up on how they work), but you’re not convinced that the tech lives up to its promise to make your life easier. Here’s the truth: It does.

Having a smart speaker is almost like having a live-in companion, one you can ask for information whenever you need it using just your voice. Unlike when you use a laptop or tablet, you can activate the speaker anytime simply by saying its “wake-word,” such as Alexa, OK Google or Siri.

Using voice commands instead of typing on a computer or tapping on a screen also helps you practice your conversation skills while living alone. Studies even show that talking with smart speakers can help reduce feelings of social isolation.

Here are five useful things you can ask your smart speaker to do every day.

  • “OK Google, play me the news.”

    You can hear the day’s news summaries from your preferred sources as well as get the local headlines based on your ZIP code. NPR, CNN, Fox News, USA Today, and other news outlets offer many free articles on the day’s top headlines, while some news sources like The New York Times allow only a certain number of free articles before you have to pay for a subscription to their publication.

  • “Alexa, set a daily reminder to take my medication.”

    Setting timers and reminders are perhaps the most helpful features. Need to get the laundry out of the washer in half an hour? Ask Google or Alexa to remind you to do so in 30 minutes. Even better, you can set daily reminders so “someone” reminds you to take your medication, get up and stretch, even call and check in with a loved one.

  • “Siri, play music from the ’60s.”

    Asking your speaker to play your favorite genre of music is like having your own personal DJ. You can listen to a variety of free playlists through YouTube or you can connect your smart speaker to a Spotify or Pandora account and listen to certain playlists for free.

  • “Alexa, what’s the weather forecast for today?”

    Your smart speaker knows where you live, so it automatically gives you the forecast for your location when you ask. You can also ask it to provide severe weather alerts so you can prepare for storms, or to give you forecasts for other locations (like the ones you plan to visit on vacation).

  • “OK Google, find my phone.”

    It happens to all of us. You put your cell phone down for a moment and then you can’t find it. Just ask your smart speaker to call your phone. Hopefully, you left the ringer on. But if not, you may be able to hear it vibrating.

Just the Beginning

Of course, these five common voice commands are only the beginning. Once you get into the habit of using a smart speaker, there are all sorts of things you can ask Alexa, Google or Siri to do for you, including playing trivia games, telling you jokes, and recommending recipes that match the ingredients you have on hand.

How Connected Are You?

It has never been more important to know the signs of social isolation. All it takes to get started is your voice. Just say “Alexa, launch Social Check-In” or “Hey Google, talk to Social Check-In” to find out your risk level find support for building connections.


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