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Alexa and Alexa Device FAQs

Alexa FAQs

1. How do I use Alexa?

Alexa is a cloud service. Activating Alexa works differently based on the type of Alexa-enabled product. For far-field Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, say the wake word to activate Alexa. For devices like Amazon Tap and Fire TV, activate Alexa by pressing the Talk or microphone button. Then ask Alexa a question, such as "what is the weather today in New York?", or tell Alexa to do something, like "add batteries to my shopping list" or "play jazz." Your question or request and related information, like music playlists, calendar entries, connected home devices, and items on your shopping list, will be processed in the Cloud.

2. Will the voice services improve over time?

Yes, Alexa is developed to get better over time. Alexa uses your voice recordings and other information, including from third-party services, to answer your questions, fulfill your requests, and improve your experience and our services. When you set up your Alexa-enabled product or link third-party services with Alexa, Alexa begins processing some information, such as your music playlists. You can also help us improve the voice services by providing feedback within History or by using Voice Training in the Alexa App.

3. Can I review what I have asked Alexa?

Yes, you can review voice interactions with Alexa by visiting History in Settings in the Alexa App. Your interactions are grouped by question or request. Tap an entry to see more detail, provide feedback, or listen to audio sent to the Cloud for that entry by tapping the play icon. Sometimes Alexa may not understand you perfectly, and the translations you see in History may not always reflect exactly what you said (for example, they may be inaccurate or incomplete). You can help us improve your experience by providing feedback on inaccurate translations in History.

4. How do I delete Alexa voice recordings?

You can delete specific voice recordings associated with your account by going to History in Settings in the Alexa App, drilling down for a specific entry, and then tapping the delete button. Or, you can delete all voice recordings associated with your account for each of your Alexa-enabled products, by selecting the applicable product at the Manage Your Content and Devices page at www.amazon.com/mycd or, for the Amazon App for iPhone, by going to Your Account from the Menu icon at the top of any page in the Amazon App and selecting Manage Voice Recordings. You can also contact customer service to request deletion of your voice recordings.

Deleting voice recordings may degrade your Alexa experience. If you delete voice recordings, we will also remove Home Screen Cards in the Alexa App related to those voice recordings. However, removing a Home Screen Card from your Alexa App does not delete voice recordings. If you have changed your default marketplace while using an Alexa-enabled product, you will need to perform this step for each marketplace to delete all voice recordings associated with your account. Note that deleting your voice recordings does not remove your Alexa messages. For more information on removing messages, refer to the FAQ "How do I remove messages?"

5. How do Alexa skills work?

Skills are voice-driven Alexa capabilities. You can view available skills and enable or disable certain skills from your Alexa App, and start using enabled skills by saying specific phrase(s), called invocation names, after you activate Alexa. When you use a skill, we may exchange related information with the developer of that skill, such as your answers when you play a trivia skill, your ZIP code when you ask for the weather, or the content of your requests. The Skills portion of your Alexa App may contain more information about a skill, such as applicable policies or terms of use provided by the skill developer.

6. How does shopping work?

Prime members can ask Alexa to order eligible products ordered before, many Prime products and digital music tracks and albums. We'll use your default payment and shipping settings to place your order. You can require a speakable confirmation code, turn purchasing off, and see product and order details in your Alexa App. Just like orders placed through the Amazon website, orders placed through Alexa are subject to Amazon's Conditions of Use and Privacy Notice.

7. Can I turn off purchasing?

Yes, Alexa has voice purchasing settings. Open Settings > Voice Purchasing in your Alexa App to turn off purchasing by voice from Amazon. You can also require an optional confirmation code that Alexa will ask you to say out loud when you want to place an order from Amazon.

8. What are the return policies for products I order using Alexa?

For information on return policies applicable to products purchased using Alexa, see About Our Returns Policies. In addition, non-digital products purchased using Alexa are eligible for free returns. To return a product purchased using Alexa, process your return as normal in the Returns Center. We'll automatically refund you any shipping charges applied to the return. You should see the shipping refund within 7 days of receiving your product refund.

In addition, if you accidentally purchase a song or album from our Digital Music Store using Alexa, that purchase is eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within 7 days of the date of purchase. To request a refund, contact customer service.

Alexa Calling and Messaging FAQs

1. What is Alexa calling and messaging?

This free feature brings the simplicity of Echo's hands-free experience, the benefit of Echo's microphone array, plus the high-quality sound of the Echo speaker, to calling and messaging. Now you can quickly call and send/receive voice messages for your family and friends via Alexa—all just by using your voice. Using Echo Show, Echo or Echo Dot, simply say "Alexa, call Grandma" or "Alexa, send a message to Julie."

2. What devices support Alexa calling and messaging?

You can send and receive Alexa messages (and place and receive Alexa calls) between Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, as well as the Alexa App.

3. How does Alexa messaging work?

You can use supported Echo devices and the Alexa App to send voice and text messages to another person who has registered for Alexa calling and messaging (e.g., on Echo, "Alexa, send a message to Mom" or, on the Alexa App, tapping on the message icon on Mom's contact card). Messages are processed in the cloud to convert voice messages to text, and vice versa. When you receive a message on a supported Echo device, you will hear an audio tone and see a visual notification. You will be able to retrieve the message on your supported Echo devices by saying "Alexa, play my messages." When you receive a message, you also will receive a notification on your mobile phone, and you will be able to view and play the message in the Alexa App.

4. How does Alexa calling work?

You can use supported Echo devices and the Alexa App to call another person who has registered for Alexa calling and messaging (e.g., on Echo, "Alexa, call Mom" or, on the Alexa App, tapping on the calling icon on Mom's contact card). When you receive Alexa calls on your supported Echo devices, Alexa will tell you that you have an incoming call and identify the caller. You also will see a rotating green light ring on Echo and Echo Dot devices, and an incoming call screen on the Echo Show. You can say "Alexa, answer" to pick up the call. Either person can end the call by saying "Alexa, hang up." When you receive a call, you also will receive a notification on your mobile phone and will see an incoming call screen in the Alexa App that lets you answer the call.

5. How do I add contacts for Alexa calling and messaging?

When you register for Alexa calling and messaging on your Alexa App, you will be asked to import your mobile phone's contacts. Your contacts that have registered for Alexa calling and messaging will appear as contacts in your Alexa App. When you open the Alexa App, your contacts are auto-updated from your mobile phone.

6. Do I need to give permission for others to call or message me?

First you must register for Alexa calling and messaging within the Alexa App. Once you are registered, if someone has your mobile phone number, they can reach you via Alexa.

7. Who will receive my calls or messages?

If you call or message a contact (e.g. "Jane Smith"), the call or message will go to all supported Echo devices associated with that contact, as well as that contact's Alexa App.

8. What is Do Not Disturb mode?

Do Not Disturb puts your Echo device on silent, meaning you will not receive calls or messages via Alexa. Simply say "Alexa, turn on do not disturb" or you can turn it on in Settings in the Alexa App. When you're ready to receive calls and messages again, just say "Alexa, turn off do not disturb."

9. Can I text or call emergency services using Alexa calling and messaging?

No, emergency services, such as 911, are not available. You should ensure that you can contact your relevant emergency services providers through a mobile, landline telephone, or other service. If you have a contact in your mobile device's contacts with the number 911, it will not be added to your Alexa contacts.

10. How do I remove messages?

On the iOS version of the Alexa App, swipe a conversation to the left and click "Remove." On the Android version of the Alexa App, drag a conversation onto the trash can icon, then confirm that you want to remove your message.

11. How do I de-register from Alexa calling and messaging?

You can call customer service at 1-877-375-9365, and we will help you de-register from Alexa calling and messaging.

12. What is Drop In?

The optional Drop In feature will let you easily connect with your closest friends and family. Simply enable the feature and pick which contacts you want to give permissions to drop in (and make sure they give you permission). Once your family and friends give you permission, you will be able to say "Alexa, Drop In on Mom" and you'll be instantly connected to your mom's Echo Show via video. To block Drop In calls, you can turn on Do Not Disturb on one, or all, Echo Show devices—simply say "Alexa, turn on Do Not Disturb."

13. When someone drops in on my device, what do they hear and see?

When someone drops in on your Echo Show device, you will hear an audio tone and see a visual indicator that someone is dropping in on you. The contact on the other side of the Drop In will automatically hear audio through your device and will see a frosted glass view from the camera on your Echo Show. The frosted glass view will automatically transition to clear video over a period of 10 seconds. During this period, you may end the Drop In by saying "Alexa, hang up" or tapping the end call icon on the Echo Show screen. You can also disable the Echo Show camera while continuing an audio conversation by saying "Alexa, camera off" or tapping the camera off icon on the Echo Show screen.

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot FAQs

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot are far-field Alexa-enabled devices.

1. How do Amazon Echo and Echo Dot recognize the wake word?

Amazon Echo and Echo Dot use on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When these devices detect the wake word, they stream audio to the Cloud, including a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word.

2. How do I know when Amazon Echo or Echo Dot are streaming my voice to the Cloud?

When Amazon Echo or Echo Dot detect the wake word, when you press the action button on top of the devices, or when you press and hold your remote's microphone button, the light ring around the top of your Amazon Echo turns blue, to indicate that Amazon Echo is streaming audio to the Cloud. When you use the wake word, the audio stream includes a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word, and closes once your question or request has been processed. Within Sounds settings in the Alexa App (Settings > [Your Device Name] > Sounds), you can enable a 'start of request sound,' a short audible tone that plays after the wake word is recognized to indicate that the device is streaming audio. You can also enable an 'end of request sound' that will play a short audible tone at the end of your request, to indicate that the connection has closed and the device is no longer streaming audio.

3. Can I turn off the microphone on Amazon Echo and Echo Dot?

Yes, you can turn Amazon Echo or Echo Dot's microphone off by pushing the microphone on/off button on the top of your device. When the microphone on/off button turns red, the microphone is off. The device will not respond to the wake word, nor respond to the action button, until you reactivate the microphone by pushing the microphone on/off button again. Even when the device's microphone is off, Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will still respond to requests you make through your remote.

Amazon Echo Show FAQs

Amazon Echo Show is a far-field Alexa-enabled device that can show you things.

1. How does Amazon Echo Show recognize the wake word?

Amazon Echo Show uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When Echo Show detects the wake word, it streams audio to the Cloud, including a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word.

2. How do I know when Amazon Echo Show is streaming my voice to the Cloud?

When Amazon Echo Show detects the wake word or you record a voice message, a blue bar appears at the bottom of the Echo Show's screen to indicate that Echo Show is streaming audio to the Cloud. When you use the wake word, the audio stream includes a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word, and closes once your question or request has been processed. Within Sounds settings in the Alexa App (Settings > [Your Device Name] > Sounds), you can enable a 'start of request sound,' a short audible tone that plays after the wake word is recognized to indicate that the device is streaming audio. You can also enable an 'end of request sound' that will play a short audible tone at the end of your request, to indicate that the connection has closed and the device is no longer streaming audio. When you engage in a voice call on Echo Show, either the call buttons or a green "call in progress" bar is shown on the screen to indicate that Echo Show is streaming audio to the Cloud.

3. How does Amazon Echo Show know to turn on the screen when I walk in the room?

Amazon Echo Show will turn on the screen when it detects the wake word or motion in view of the camera or when you interact with Echo Show's display or buttons.

4. How do I know when Amazon Echo Show is streaming images or video to the Cloud?

There will be an on-screen indicator whenever Amazon Echo Show is streaming images or video to the Cloud. For instance, if a video call is active, the Echo Show screen will display a picture-in-picture view of the video being streamed to the cloud or will display a green "call in progress" bar at the top of the screen.

5. Can I turn off the microphone and camera on Amazon Echo Show?

Yes, you can turn Amazon Echo Show's microphone and camera off by pushing the microphone/camera on/off button on the top of your device. When a red LED indicator light appears on the front of the Echo Show, the microphone and camera are both off. The device will not respond to the wake word, nor detect motion in view of the camera.

Amazon Echo Look FAQs

Amazon Echo Look is a hands free camera and style assistant.

1. Do I need the Alexa App to use Echo Look?

No. Only the Echo Look App is required to use your Echo Look, but you must use the Alexa App or visit alexa.amazon.com to view product and order details for voice purchases, or to change certain Alexa settings such as requiring a speakable confirmation code for voice purchases or turning purchasing off.

2. How does Echo Look recognize the wake word?

Echo Look uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When Echo Look detects the wake word, the device streams audio to the Cloud, including a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word.

3. How do I know when Echo Look is streaming my voice to the Cloud?

When Echo Look detects the wake word, the light ring on your device turns blue, to indicate that it is streaming audio to the Cloud. When you use the wake word, the audio stream includes a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word, and closes once your question or request has been processed.

4. How do I know when the Echo Look camera is capturing photos or video?

When you take a photo or video, the light ring on your device visually counts down and audio cues indicate a photo or video will be taken. During the photo or video capture, the light ring turns white and the flash will activate. At the end of a video, there is an additional audio cue. When you activate live preview, the light ring turns white and audio cues indicate the beginning and end of a live preview. You can adjust the volume of the device's audio (including audio cues) within the Device settings in the Echo Look App (Settings > Device). After you take the photo or video, your device sends it to the Cloud.

5. Can I turn off the microphone and camera on Echo Look?

The camera is always off except when you activate it by asking Alexa or using the Echo Look App to take a photo, video, or use live preview. You can turn off the microphone and disable taking photos and video by pushing the button on the side of your device. When the light ring on your device turns red and a red Ø appears below the light ring, the device will not respond to the wake word and you won't be able to take photos or video using the Echo Look App until you push the button on the side of your device again.

6. How do I delete photos or video?

You can delete specific Echo Look photos or video associated with your account by using the Echo Look App to browse to the photo or video, and then tapping the delete button. Or, you can delete all Echo Look photos and video associated with your account by going to Device settings in the Echo Look App (Settings > Device) and selecting "Delete all photos and video".

Amazon Tap FAQs

Amazon Tap is an Alexa-enabled portable speaker that includes an optional hands-free mode.

1. How do I activate hands-free mode on my Amazon Tap?

You can turn hands-free mode on or off in the device settings within your Alexa App (Settings > [Your Device Name]).

2. How does Amazon Tap recognize the wake word while in hands-free mode?

Amazon Tap uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When the wake word is detected, Amazon Tap streams audio to the Cloud, including a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word.

3. How do I know when Amazon Tap is streaming my voice to the Cloud?

When Amazon Tap detects the wake word in hands-free mode or when you tap the microphone (talk) button, the lights on the front of your Amazon Tap turn blue to indicate that Amazon Tap is streaming audio to the Cloud. When you use the wake word while in hands-free mode, the audio stream includes a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word, and closes once your question or request has been processed. You will also hear a short audible tone that plays after the wake word is recognized, to indicate that the device is streaming audio, and at the end of your request, to indicate that the connection has closed and the device is no longer streaming audio.

4. Can I turn off the microphone on Amazon Tap while in hands-free mode?

Yes, you can turn Amazon Tap's microphone off by pushing the play/pause button on the top of your device for three seconds. When the lights on the front of your Amazon Tap turn red, the microphone is off. The device will not respond to the wake word until you reactivate the microphone by pushing the play/pause button again for three seconds. When the microphone is off, Amazon Tap will still respond to requests you make by tapping the microphone (talk) button. After five minutes of inactivity with the microphone off, your device will enter sleep mode to conserve power.

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