My Favorite Things an Amazon Echo Show Can Do (2024) My Favorite Things an Amazon Echo Show Can Do (2024)
There are a ton of tricks that smart displays can do. But not all of them are created equal or are worth doing on... My Favorite Things an Amazon Echo Show Can Do (2024)

There are a ton of tricks that smart displays can do. But not all of them are created equal or are worth doing on this style of advice.

The basics are easy—just about anyone knows how handy it is to ask any smart speaker or smart display to tell you the weather or play music. And you should! It’s their best use case, especially since smart displays like the Echo Show can give you more weather details onscreen. But that’s not all these handy devices do, and for the price you should get the most out of any smart display you buy.

Amazon’s Echo Shows have their own special tricks and ways to activate them. Here are my three favorite uses for an Echo Show and how to fix my least favorite feature. Do you think you would prefer another system? Don’t forget to check out our guides to the Best Smart Speakers and How to Set Up Your Smart Home.

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Play With Widgets

Widgets are my favorite casual feature of Echo Shows. They’re little squares with shortcut content that you can customize, ranging from a sticky note or calendar to managing your smart home, quick access to certain music, and so much more.

Originally, they were only on the massive Echo Show 15, but they’re now available on the Echo Show 8 and 10 as well. On the Echo Show 15, the widgets are constantly onscreen thanks to the large real estate, and there’s a widget panel that can fit up to 10 widgets. For the Echo Shows 8 and 10, they appear in the slideshow that rotates onscreen. You can display up to four widgets on the Echo Show 8 and up to six on the Echo Show 10.

I love using mine to put a calendar view, my smart-home favorites, and the weather in an easy-to-see place. They’re great for customizing your smart-home control if you want your device to focus on that; the Echo Hub (8/10, WIRED Recommends) depends entirely on widgets as a smart-home-focused device.

Tabletlike device sitting on wooden surface in the corner of a room. The screen displays a schedule the weather and...

Photograph: Nena Farrell

Check on Your Kids and Cats

Echo Shows also have a camera at the top of the screen that can be used for both video calls and as an indoor security camera–well, sort of. There are two main features under this umbrella: Live Feed, which allows you to view live feeds happening from an Echo Show device, and Home Monitoring, which you can use with other smart-home devices and set up routines.

You can ask any Echo Show to give you the live feed of another Show device, as long as you know the name of the device (or you can just choose it from the device list if you don’t want to use voice commands). This is an easy way to quickly check in on say, pets and kids, without a full-blown security camera. The device will alert anyone in the room that someone is using the Echo Show to monitor the room, so it’s not as discreet as a true security camera.

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