The Amazon Echo is one of the most useful tech gadgets on the market -- here's how I use mine

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Last year I went from an Amazon Echo sceptic to a daily user.

It’s convenient to get information using only my voice, especially when my hands are full.

Over the past year the Echo has become more useful thanks to regular software updates and its integration with different smart home accessories.

Below are the six ways I use my Echo on a regular, and sometimes daily, basis.

You can buy the Amazon Echo for $US80 off for a limited time only here.

**The Echo is currently out of stock but will ship on September 1 at its sale price.**

To adjust my lights


One of the first things that drew me to the Echo was its integration with smart home accessories, and Philips' Hue bulbs in particular.

I only have overhead lightning in my apartment, and it's incredibly convenient to be able to say, 'Alexa, turn off my bedroom lights' when it's time for bed.

If you're new to Hue, you'll need to pick up one of their starter kits, which include three bulbs and a Hue hub. Once you have a hub, you can add up to 50 lights.

Buy the Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit on Amazon for $US166.89

Buy the Amazon Echo for $US99.99 (normally $US179.99) (You save $US80)

To get the weather


I could look outside or check my Apple Watch, but as I'm getting dressed in the morning I've gotten into the routine of asking my Echo about the weather.

You can ask about the day's weather in general, or ask more specific questions like, 'Is it going to rain today?'

I also ask my Echo about the weather before I travel, so I have a good idea of what to expect when I reach my destination.

Buy the Amazon Echo for $US99.99 (normally $US179.99) (You save $US80)

To set timers and convert measurements when cooking

I've been cooking a lot more this year, and the Echo has helped me keep on top of everything.

Sometimes I need to know how many tablespoons are in a cup (16, by the way) halfway through a recipe. Asking the Echo saves me from having to stop what I'm doing to pull out my phone; time is usually of the essence while cooking and a lost minute can have a big impact on a dish.

Other times I need to boil something for 11 minutes while I work on another part the meal I'm preparing. I just ask Alexa to set a timer and wait to hear the alarm go off. I'm even able to ask how much time is left, which is convenient if I'm working on meal that needs to come together perfectly.

Buy the Amazon Echo for $US99.99 (normally $US179.99) (You save $US80)

To find my car

OK, this a feature I haven't used yet -- but I want to.

If you have an Automatic Connected Car Adaptor, the Echo can locate your car through a third-party skill. I'm pretty on top of where I've parked, but this could be very useful if I had to leave my car in another part of town.

It would also be invaluable if my car got towed, because I'd know exactly where to find it.

Buy the Automatic Pro on Amazon for $US129.99

Buy the Amazon Echo for $US99.99 (normally $US179.99) (You save $US80)

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