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The Best Ways to Wire Your New Apartment for Alexa or Google Assistant


Wanting to wire your apartment with that new Amazon Echo? It has never been easier. Since their release in the early 2010s, virtual home assistants have been saving us time and energy. They’ve been waking us up from those midday naps, reminding us of that almost-forgotten doctor’s appointment, and keeping track of our grocery lists for years now. With upgraded models and newer capabilities–it’s important to keep yourself up to date with the latest tech. We’ll take you through every step of the way to wire your apartment so you can take full advantage of your personal life-managing device.

Here are the ways to wire your new apartment with a virtual assistant (and all of their many benefits)

Devices like the Amazon Alexa (the Echo, Dot, or Show) respond to voice commands, and there’s no limit to how many you can have in your home (although, we recommend one to four…too many can quickly become a headache.) The device can hear from a great distance, and just one of them can cover one to two rooms in smaller apartments. To start, decide which rooms are in most need of virtual assistance.

First, Download the Alexa/Google Assistant App on Your Phone

Each device’s app is the home base for wiring your household. Everything is connected through the application’s interface, and the app stores all of your data–from device locations to preferences for entertainment, music, and more. Plus, the app knows your schedule–and shares it with each assistant in your home. Through a digital symbiosis, the devices and your app feed each other data–keeping every part of your life in check. (I know, it sounds scary, but trust me–it works.) Simply say “Alexa, what time is Derek’s party?” and know immediately when…to show up fashionably late. Or, ask the device to call your mother. (I’m sure she’s been missing you terribly.)

Start with a Virtual Assistant in Your Bedroom

From waking up to winding down, it’s beneficial to keep an Amazon or Google device in your bedroom. Virtual assistants can set alarms, track sleep cycles, and start every day off on the right side of the bed. Set your news preferences using their apps, and get a personalized feed each morning–telling you what you need to know on the go.

Keep a Virtual Assistant in Your Kitchen (Or Any Other Room You Choose)

The kitchen is one of the most obvious choices for a virtual assistant. Tuck your Alexa or Google device into a mess-free corner, and begin to enjoy its benefits. Need music while you cook? Alexa has you covered with streaming compatibility. Using services such as Spotify, Pandora, Amazon music, and more–you can command your Amazon Echo to play whatever song can (and will) drown out the noise from your living room.

Both Alexa and Google assistants are the perfect second brains to store all those extra to-do lists. Both can keep track of your grocery lists, letting you know instantly which snacks to snag at your local Trader Joe’s. Ran out of milk? Instantly let Alexa know, allowing your list to grow with your needs all week. (The best part? Amazon Alexa and other similar devices connect directly to your cell phone–allowing you to take their data everywhere. But hey–we’ll get to that later.) Alexa makes baking and cooking a breeze. Get any recipe simply by asking–and have Alexa read it out loud, or share it directly with your phone.

Virtual assistants can also set multiple alarms at your convenience. Plan out your meal with separate alarms for sauce, meat, and everything in between. With Alexa, you can set your dietary preferences–allowing the device to calculate recommended meal plans and delivery options in an instant.

While virtual assistants can’t set the table, they can certainly fill it, with a personalized mealtime call that can play from every other device in your home. And this is just the beginning.

Connect the Virtual Assistant to Your Smart TV

To begin this process, make sure your television is compatible with the virtual assistant of your choice. (Here’s a list of Smart TVs that work for Alexa or Echo owners.)

Connecting your device to your television takes convenience to the next level. Make sure both your television and your assistant are connected to the same Wifi. From there, open your Alexa app and click devices. You should be able to easily connect your television with any smart assistant in the vicinity.

With a few simple clicks, your remote control’s become a thing of the past. From powering on to shutting it down, everything you do on your smart TV can be voice activated. Forget digging beneath the couch for that missing clicker–simply tell your TV to kick off that new season of Stranger Things. With Amazon’s FireStick, the Alexa capabilities are built right in.

The possibilities are endless…so become even lazier. Control family movie night with the sound of your voice.

If You Have an Alexa, Setup ‘Alexa Guard’ To Keep Your Home Safe

Alexa Guard turns all Amazon virtual assistants into home security tech. The devices listen to your home, reporting any odd noises while you’re away. They recognize the sound of smoke alarms, loud crashing, and even yelling. Let Alexa know when you’re out of town, and gain some peace of mind. To keep you updated, your device will send ‘smart alerts’ directly to your phone–with each suspicious sound recorded and documented. Plus, you can decide which sounds to capture, so your phone doesn’t blow up every time the dog barks. It’s also compatible with other security systems, which leads us to our next step.

Connect Your Virtual Assistant to Your Ring Camera

Both Google Assistant and Amazon devices are compatible with your Ring doorbell camera. Using the device’s app, you can connect your Ring cam the same way you’d connect your Smart TV. Not only does it monitor your porch and send alerts, it can also show you who’s arrived to your dinner party early. Just say “Alexa, who’s at the door?” and Ring will send a live stream straight to your cell phone or Echo Show device.

Connect Your Device to Your Smart Lights

If your home already has smart lighting, this is an easy trick. Connect your smart lights to your ethernet cables, and make sure they’re programmed to your wifi. Using the device section of your Alexa or Google app, you can choose ‘lighting’ and quickly connect. From there you can connect each room, effectively mapping your home for your virtual assistant. Simply tell the device to turn on and off your kitchen lights–or dim the bright living room for a family movie. If one room has multiple lights, you can create a lighting group on the app.

With Alexa Guard, mentioned above, you can create a lighting setup for all your vacations. Through this, you can make it appear like you’re home with the click of a button.

Connect to Your Thermostat, Too

With Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant, you can control not only your lighting but the very temperature of your home. The Nest Learning Thermostat is compatible with both devices, and can be paired with your device using their respective apps. As always, make sure both devices are connected to the same Wifi. With voice control, you can alter the temperature in your apartment with ease.

Play Games With Friends and Family

The Amazon Echo and Dot have built in games you can download through their apps and play with your voice. Some of the options range from rock, paper, scissors to jeopardy. This one isn’t really necessary. But hey, it’s fun.

With Alexa, You Can ‘Send a Hug’ To Loved Ones (& So Much More)

With the Alexa app, you can connect your device to the devices registered under other people in your contacts. Through this, you can call, text, and generally communicate directly with other Alexas in or outside of your home. Alexa has their ‘send a hug’ feature, which allows you to let other loved ones know you’re thinking of them, straight through their own virtual assistants.

Connect Alexa to Your Credit Card

With Alexa, you can connect certain cards for easy voice-controlled transactions. First, find out if your credit or debit card is compatible with your Alexa device. To do this, open up the skills page of your app and search up your card issuer.

For example, if you have an American Express card, Alexa has its Amex related skill set. After connecting your bank to Alexa, create a four digit pin, and explore all the device has to offer. You can ask about credit card balances, new financial offers, or even donate to your favorite charities without lifting a finger. While this list has a lot of great options, there is even more to explore when it comes to your virtual assistant. Below is a list of new Amazon and Google devices to purchase. Control your home with the sound of your voice.

From Amazon (The ‘Alexa’ Devices)

Google Assistant Devices