Amazon releases new Echo upgrade that will be very handy this week

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Amazon is back with another Echo upgrade and the timing couldn’t be much better. With the kids about to button up their uniforms and head off to school after the long summer break, the online retailer has pushed out an update aimed at getting the family ready in the morning.

The new ‘School Morning’ Routine can be activated on any Echo device and includes an alarm that announces that “it’s time to get up for school”. This is followed by the lights being switched on, a full weather and news report played and information about the day including what’s on their ‘School Reminders’ list.

To activate this upgrade Echo owners simply need to scan a QR code (via this link), follow the instructions on their phone and then activate the routine in the Alexa app.

Once that’s done users simply need to say “Alexa, let’s get ready for school” with the Echo then doing the rest.

“We know that sometimes families need an extra hand, so Alexa is always ready to help make mornings easier, from sounding multiple alarms, turning on the lights, playing music, or even starting the coffee maker – all with the power of voice,” said Eric King, Director of Alexa Europe.

“We created a new ‘School Morning’ Alexa Routine to not only help parents motivate children to get ready for school, but to help them tackle their own morning tasks.”

READ MORE: Amazon Echo users might not be too jealous of this upcoming Google Home trick

Along with this new school routine, Amazon has also reminded users of a bunch of other things that they can now ask the chatty Alexa assistant including new games to play and things to cook.

So if you have a smart speaker in your home here are some new things to try.

“Alexa, sing a silly song”

“Alexa, open Song Blast”

Try the new ultimate music quiz on Alexa.

“Alexa, set a reading timer for 30 minutes”

“Alexa, volume 5”

“Alexa, what’s the oldest planet?”

“Alexa, give me a pasta recipe”

“Alexa, what new features do you have?”

“Alexa, is it sunny in Brighton?”

“Alexa, announce the film is about to start”

Ask Alexa to make announcements on all compatible Echo devices in your household or the Alexa app.

Alexa, what’s the capital of Tanzania?”

“Alexa, wake me up to Capital”

Wake up to your favourite radio and set up your daily routines.

“Alexa, what can I say?”

“Alexa, speak slower”

Adjust Alexa’s speaking rate to make your interactions even more natural based on your preferences. You can also say, “Alexa, speak faster”. To reset Alexa’s speaking rate, just say, “Alexa, speak at your default rate”.

“Alexa, turn on Whisper mode”

The days when you had to wake up your partner to ask Alexa to turn off the alarm are over. Whisper mode is a feature that allows you to whisper to Alexa, who in turn whispers when responding to you.

“Alexa, translate to Spanish”

Alexa can help you with live translations in French, German, Hindi, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish.

“Alexa, create a to-do list”

When you want to find out what items are on your list just ask, “Alexa, what’s on my to-do list?”.

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