Paul McFedries

“Information appears to stew out of me naturally, like the precious ottar of roses out of the otter.” —⁠Mark Twain

Alexa For Dummies

“Alexa! Add Alexa For Dummies to my Shopping List!”

Front cover of the book Alexa For Dummies

Book Info

  • Publisher: Wiley Publishing
  • Pages: 304
  • Price: US$24.99
  • Pub. date: January 7, 2019
  • Category: devices
  • Tags: Amazon, hardware, home automation, networking, technology, voice control

Okay, I know just what you’re thinking: Why, oh, why would someone write a book about Alexa, Amazon’s famous and wildly popular virtual assistant? After all, don’t you just plug in an Echo or any of the umpteen other devices that come with Alexa built in; say, “Alexa”; and then ask a question or give a command? What else does a person need to know, for pity’s sake? I’m surprised Alexa requires even three pages of explanation, so how can this book have hundreds?

First, wow, you ask a lot of questions. Second, well, you’d be surprised. Sure, Alexa’s basics are readily understood. That’s part of the beauty of Alexa and the devices that run it: The initial learning curve is pretty much a horizontal line.

Ah, but Alexa is way deeper and more powerful than those out-of-the-box basics would indicate. You’ve got a serious piece of software at your beck and call. (Well, your call, anyway; Alexa does not yet respond to becks.) I’m talking high-end artificial intelligence (AI), world-class voice recognition, and tons of third-party extensions. All that adds up to an amazingly sophisticated app that contains hidden depths just waiting for you to find them.

This book takes you on a complete tour of Alexa’s capabilities, tools, settings, and skills. You’ll even see that Alexa has a hidden whimsical side that it’s just dying to show. In the end, you’ll learn everything you need to know to get the most out of your Alexa investment. Best of all, you’ll have a ton of fun as you go along.

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