My favorite things an Amazon Echo Show (2024) can do | Trending Viral hub

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There are a lot of tricks that smart screens can do. But not all of them are the same nor are they worth following this style of advice.

The basics are simple: almost everyone knows how useful it is to ask anyone smart speaker or smart screen to tell you the time or play music. And you should! It’s your best use case, especially since smart displays like the Echo Show can give you more on-screen weather details. 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 consult our guides 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, from a sticky note or calendar to managing your smart home, quick access to certain music, and more.

They were originally only on the massive Echo Show 15, but are now available on the Echo Show 8 and 10 too. On the Echo Show 15, widgets are constantly on screen thanks to the large space and there is a widget panel that can hold up to 10 widgets. For Echo Shows 8 and 10, they appear in the slideshow that rotates on the screen. 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 one easy-to-see place. They’re great for customizing your smart home control if you want your device to focus on that; he echo center (8/10, WIRED recommends) relies entirely on widgets as a smart home-centric device.

Photography: Nena Farrell

Control your children and cats

The Echo Shows also have a camera at the top of the screen that can be used for both video calls and indoor security cameras, well, sort of. There are two main features under this umbrella: Live Feed, which lets you watch live streams 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 a live feed from another Show device, as long as you know the device’s name (or you can just choose it from the list of devices if you don’t want to use voice commands). This is an easy way to quickly monitor, for example, pets and children, without a full 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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