The Amazon Echo has quietly become the hottest smart home product on the market. Suddenly, every tech company wants to integrate its products with Amazon's customizable virtual assistant, Alexa.
The integrations keep coming, at such a pace that it can be hard to know exactly which products work with Alexa. Amazon's website tries to keep on top of things, but its interface can be tough to navigate. It also (understandably) underplays the fact that you don't need an Echo to take advantage of Alexa and all the devices she can control.
Not only has Amazon built Alexa into other products, like the Fire TV, but the company has also allowed third-party hardware makers to build Alexa into their own devices. None of these devices have hit the market yet, but they'll be coming later this year. By the end of 2016, Alexa will be found in a Samsung refrigerator and even some Ford cars.
To help you understand Alexa's reach, we've created this comprehensive guide. We'll be continuously updating it as new integrations are announced, in order to help you build the smart home that's right for you.
Below you'll find a list of all the product categories Alexa covers. Click on any category to see what's available.
While the Echo is Amazon's flagship Alexa device, it isn't alone. There are four other devices on the market that offer Alexa, as well as three more from third-parties that will be available later this year. Here's a quick rundown:
The Echo is the black cylinder that started it all—a Bluetooth speaker equipped with far-field, always-on microphones and internet-connected smarts. The $179.99 device can control smart home products, play music from your phone, Amazon Prime, and Spotify, and even order products off Amazon just by listening to your voice.
With the Alexa app, you can customize the virtual assistant to your liking, with hundreds of Alexa Skills for everything from delivering more accurate weather forecasts to making fart sounds.
Amazon Eco Dot
Take the Echo, slice off the top, and you've got the Echo Dot. The Dot ditches the high-quality built-in speaker to cut down on cost, while still giving you all of Alexa's smarts. A smaller built-in speaker does let you talk to Alexa, but it's not good enough for streaming music. Instead, you can connect the Dot to speakers you already own via Bluetooth or an audio-out jack.
The Dot sells for $49, and Amazon offers a variety of bundles that package it with Bose speakers or other smart home products.
The Amazon Tap takes the Echo's core features and packs them into a portable Bluetooth speaker. Since it's battery-powered, the Tap isn't always listening like the Echo or Echo Dot. Instead, you have to press a mic button to speak to Alexa.
Even though it's portable, the Tap requires a WiFi connection to use Alexa (there's no LTE option), so if you're out and about, you'll need to use your smartphone as a mobile hotspot. You can pre-order the Tap for $129.99, and like the Echo Dot, it ships March 31.
Amazon Fire TV
The Fire TV version of Alexa doesn't have all the same features as Alexa on the Echo, but it can still control smart home products and take advantage of Alexa Skills.
The main difference is the way you interact with Alexa. You need to have your TV on and speak to Alexa through the Fire TV Remote. There's no always-on listening mode, but that might be a positive if you have privacy concerns.
Amazon Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote
The Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote also offers Alexa, using the same remote interface. Alexa on Fire TV Stick offers the same features as Alexa on the Fire TV box, and is the cheapest way to get the virtual assistant at just $50.
Samsung Family Hub Fridge
Samsung's latest smart fridge, unveiled at CES earlier this year, will also allow you to talk to Alexa through an app on its giant touchscreen. We went hands-on with the fridge back in January, but Alexa functionality wasn't working. When it finally arrives, we can guarantee that the fridge won't be cheap; the price is expected to be between $5,000 and $6,000 when it hits stores later this year.
If you want to make your fridge smarter without shelling out thousands of dollars, then you should check out the Invoxia Triby. It's already out on the market and is now the first third-party device to offer Alexa integration.
The Triby has a built-in speaker for playing music, a screen that can display doodles made in the companion app, and the ability to make calls to phones running the app.
This year, Ford vehicles with the latest version of the Ford Sync infotainment system will get Alexa integration, putting the Echo's core features (plus some driving-related ones) right in the car. It's such a clever integration that it won one of our CES Editors' Choice Awards this year.
Smart Home Hubs
While Alexa can control lots of smart home devices, most of the integrations require a smart home hub to act as a middle man. Annoying? Yes. But since current Alexa devices lack the radios needed to communicate directly with the devices, it's a relationship that we'll have to deal with for the foreseeable future.
Samsung SmartThings Hub
SmartThings offers one of the most robust smart home ecosystems on the market. With Alexa integration, you can control just about any SmartThings-compatible device that has an on/off state. Other compatible products include smart lightbulbs, air vents, switches and outlets, and even the Honeywell Lyric smart thermostat.
The Wink hub is probably SmartThings' chief rival, though it hasn't been able to keep up in terms of the number of compatible products.
Regardless, through the Wink hub, Alexa can still access and control smart bulbs, switches and outlets, and (exclusively, until very recently) the Nest Learning Thermostat.
Insteon may not be as flashy as SmartThings and Wink, but the older ecosystem remains a compelling option (if frustratingly closed). Alexa can control products specifically through the Insteon Hub (2245-222).
Amazon's assistant won't work with any of Insteon's other hubs, including the HomeKit-compatible Insteon Hub Pro. With the 2245-222 and Alexa, you can control plugs, switches, lights, and wired thermostats.
Alarm.com is a dealer-installed smart home and security system—an unusual arrangement that takes the headache out of having to set up a smart home system yourself. At CES 2016, the company announced integration with the Amazon Echo, which will allow Alexa to control Alarm.com lighting products and thermostats. You can also use your voice to arm the security system.
Vivint is a professionally installed smart home and security solution that also announced Amazon Echo integration at CES 2016. With Vivint, Alexa can arm your security system and control lights, thermostats, garage doors, and even smart locks.
Even though it's a professionally installed system, Vivint provides arguably the best voice control of any smart home system, though rivals are catching up quick.
Nexia Home Intelligence Bridge
Nexia is far from a name brand, but the smart home ecosystem works with a variety of Z-Wave smart home devices.
Like Alarm.com and Vivint, Nexia also recently announced Amazon Echo integration for its system, but hasn't offered many details on which products will work with Alexa.
Universal Devices ISY Hubs
You've probably never heard of Universal Devices, but home automation geeks know the company for its Insteon-compatible ISY ("izzy") hubs.
Set up Alexa integration and you'll be able to control lights, door locks, thermostats, and device programs, which make changes to multiple devices at once.
HomeSeer Home Controllers
HomeSeer offers six different smart home controllers (or hubs) that are geared much more towards home automation geeks than average consumers.
With the HomeSeer Amazon Echo integration, users can ask Alexa to control lights, locks, thermostats, garage doors, and security systems.
Simple Control Simple Hub
Simple Control is primarily focused on A/V and home theater control, but the company's powerful hub and app allow you to control many other devices including entire SmartThings and Insteon systems.
The system isn't simple (or cheap), but it allows for a lot of customization. Due to Simple Control's A/V focus, Alexa can control TVs, and even change channels for you.
Almond Smart Home WiFi Routers
Instead of purchasing a separate smart home hub, Securifi's Almond routers double as smart home hubs and WiFi routers. Two of the Almond routers, Almond+ and Almond 2015, also work with Alexa and the Echo. With their integration, you'll be able to activate scenes and modes through Alexa that you've created with your Almond router.
Lighting was the first type of smart home gadget made compatible with the Amazon Echo, and the sheer number of smart bulbs (and switches, dimmers, and outlets) that work with Alexa show just how far Amazon has come. Most of these products are smart lightbulbs, which aren't the simplest solution, but they offer an easy entry point into smart home tech.
Philips Hue White Starter Kit
Philips makes some of the best smart bulbs money can buy, and its affordable Hue White bulbs are some of our favorites. While this kit already works with Siri, it can be integrated with Alexa for additional voice control. The company also sells extension bulbs if you want to add more to your ecosystem.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance Starter Kit
This kit was our favorite smart bulb option of 2015, and for good reason. Philips Hue White and Color not only offer the best performance, but a great third-party ecosystem. Like the White Starter Kit, this kit also works with Siri and now includes Alexa integration as well. Philips also sells extension bulbs for this kit.
Philips Hue Go (via Hue Bridge)
The Philips Hue Go puts the color control of Hue bulbs into a rechargeable, portable light that puts out 300 lumens and lasts up to three hours on a charge. The only downside is that it requires a Philips Hue Bridge (included with the starter kits above) to connect it to the Hue app, and subsequently, Alexa.
Philips Friends of Hue Lighting Bloom (via Hue Bridge)
Part of the Friends of Hue lighting line, this color-changing bloom is another unusual fixture you can place in your home, but it lacks a built-in battery. You'll still need a Hue Bridge to take advantage of all this light has to offer, including the ability to control it with Alexa.
Philips Friends of Hue Lightstrip (via Hue Bridge)
Another member of the Friends of Hue line, the Lightstrip offers color-changing technology and the flexibility to line certain spaces and even be cut to the perfect length. Once more, you'll need a Hue Bridge to control the Lightstrip with Alexa.
LIFX Color 1000 A19 Smart Bulb
The LIFX Color 1000 is a great alternative to the Philips Hue color bulbs, offering millions of colors and an extremely wide color temperature adjustment range (2500–9000K) with no need for a hub. You can control the bulb via WiFi, making it easy to connect to the Amazon Echo and Alexa.
LIFX Color 1000 BR30 Smart Bulb
Similar to the A19 Color 100, this BR30 bulb offers lots of colors and color temperature adjustment, but fits better in high hats and other larger lighting fixtures. And just like its little brother, the BR30 variant works with Alexa.
LIFX White 800 A19 Smart Bulb
The LIFX White 800 ditches its siblings' color-changing ability, but still offers color temperature adjustment. That helps lower the entry price for this hubless bulb. Like its siblings, the White 800 can be controlled with Alexa. (Just don't try to get her to change the bulb's color)
LIFX White 900 BR30 Smart Bulb
This bulb is essentially the BR30 equivalent of the White 800, but slightly brighter; it puts out 950 lumens instead of 890. And like the Color 1000 BR30, this bulb will work for bigger light fixtures.
Cree Connected LED (via SmartThings Hub or Wink Hub)
The Cree Connected LED bulb is one of the most affordable and flexible bulbs on the market. They're priced competitively with Philips Hue White bulbs, but work with just about any smart home hub. That makes them a better deal in the long run, since it sets you up to start building a comprehensive smart home ecosystem.
Through a SmartThings or Wink hub, you'll be able to control these affordable bulbs with Alexa. Cree also offers a 5000K variant of the bulb.
GE Link Bulb (via Wink Hub)
The GE Link bulb tries to compete with the Cree Connected LED in terms of price, functionality, and color temperature variants, but its performance just can't match up. Regardless, the GE Link bulb works with Alexa via a Wink hub.
Osram Lightify Smart Bulb (via SmartThings Hub or Wink Hub)
Osram Lightify bulbs don't change color, but they do offer adjustable color temperature for less than the LIFX White 800 bulbs. There many other products in the Lightify lineup, including a recessed LED light, a color-changing lightstrip, and an outdoor lighting kit, but it's unclear if they all work with Alexa.
Regardless, all of these products will need to connect to Alexa through a SmartThings or Wink hub.
TCP Connected Smart Bulbs (via SmartThings Hub or Wink Hub)
TCP Connected bulbs are far from the best solution on the market. They require their own additional hub and offer lackluster performance. But they do also work with Alexa if you connect them to a SmartThings or Wink hub.
Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets
In some respects this an extension of lighting, but there's much more that you can control with smart switches, plugs, and outlets. From ceiling fans to garbage disposals, there are plenty of things you can make "smart" with a switch or outlet. And if you use the products below, you'll be able to control those devices with Alexa, too.
Belkin WeMo Light Switch
If you want a simple on/off switch that will work with Alexa, the WeMo Light Switch is worth considering.
Unlike competing switches that use different wireless protocols, this switch works over WiFi, making it easy to connect to Alexa without the need for a hub.
Belkin WeMo Switch
The WeMo Switch's name is a little deceiving: This is a smart plug, not a light switch. It's just called a switch because you can toggle plug-in appliances and lights on and off with a physical power button or smartphone app. It also works over WiFi, making it easy to control with Alexa.
Belkin WeMo Insight Switch
The Insight Switch includes all of the same features as the regular WeMo Switch, but adds in the ability to monitor the energy usage of whatever device is plugged into it. It's a nifty feature for just $10 more than the Wemo Switch, but it's doubtful you can ask Alexa how much energy your coffee maker is using.
iHome Smart Plug (via Wink Hub)
Similar to Belkin's Wemo switches, the iHome Smart Plug allows you to remotely turn devices and lights on and off. It also works with Apple HomeKit (giving it Siri support), Nest, and Wink. Even though it uses WiFi, it will only work with Alexa when connected through a Wink hub.
Samsung SmartThings Outlet (via SmartThings Hub)
SmartThings was making its own outlet long before Samsung acquired the startup, and still makes it to this very day. It works over ZigBee instead of WiFi, meaning it will require a SmartThings hub if you want to control it with Alexa.
TP-Link HS100 Smart Plug
TP-Link's HS100 is another WiFi smart plug that connects directly to Alexa, bypassing the need for a hub.
TP-Link HS110 Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring
TP-Link's HS110 is very similar to Belkin's Wemo Insight Switch, packaging energy monitoring into a smart plug that connects to your phone and Alexa over WiFi.
D-Link WiFi Smart Plugs
Insteon Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets (via Insteon Hub)
Unlike other DIY smart home systems, Insteon itself makes the majority of its compatible devices, including dimmers, switches, outlets, and plugs. Thanks to Insteon's Echo integration, all of these switch-based devices can be controlled with Alexa.
GE Z-Wave Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets (via SmartThings Hub)
GE might be getting out of the appliance business, but the company sells plenty of smart switches, dimmers, and outlets/plugs. Amazon doesn't specifically note that these products work with Alexa, but they are compatible with the SmartThings hub, meaning they should work with Alexa just fine.
Leviton Switches, Dimmers, and Outlets (via SmartThings Hub or Wink Hub)
Lutron Caséta Wireless Switches, Dimmers, and Remotes
Lutron is arguably the biggest name when it comes to switches and dimmers. The company uses its own proprietary wireless system called Lutron ClearConnect, which means these devices will only connect to the Caséta Wireless Smart Bridge or the Wink hub.
If you decide to purchase these Lutron products, the only advantage the smart bridge gives you over the Wink hub is HomeKit support, so it really depends on whether you want to be part of Apple's ecosystem or Wink's. Regardless, you shouldn't have a problem connecting them to Alexa via Wink or the Lutron bridge.
Enerwave Switches, Dimmers and Outlets (via SmartThings Hub)
Enerwave is not nearly as well-known as Lutron, GE, or Leviton, but the company's Z-Wave products do work with the SmartThings hub. While not explicitly stated as compatible, Enerwave switches, dimmers, and outlets should work with Alexa.
Evolve Switches, Dimmers and Outlets (via SmartThings Hub)
Like Enerwave, Evolve is not well-known, but the company's switches, dimmers, and outlets are compatible with SmartThings, which means they should also work with Alexa.
While the security of your front door is not something everyone wants to mess with right off the bat, you better believe that locks are getting smarter too. Nearly all major lock companies—plus some startups—are getting into the game. Smart locks not only sense your presence (via your smartphone) and unlock automatically. They also allow you to issue temporary digital keys to anyone you'd like to grant temporary entrance into your home.
August Smart Lock (2nd Gen)
The second-gen August Smart Lock integrates with Alexa in a simple but entirely useful way. Due to security concerns, Alexa cannot lock or unlock the door. You can, however, ask Alexa if the door is locked or unlocked—offering some valuable peace of mind when you're away from home.
Heating and Cooling
Amazon recently expanded Alexa's capabilities, adding support for thermostats. Thanks to the Alexa Skills Kit, you can now control the temperature of your home, as well as a few heating and cooling extras.
Nest Learning Thermostat
Until very recently, this was undoubtedly one of the most sought-after Alexa integrations, spawning numerous IFTTT integrations.
For the past few months, you could only control the Next Thermostat through IFTTT or the Wink hub, but now it has been integrated directly with Alexa.
Honeywell Lyric Thermostat (via SmartThings Hub)
Not one to let startups steal its thunder, long-time thermostat maker Honeywell created its own take on the Nest concept called the Honeywell Lyric Thermostat.
The latest version works with Apple HomeKit and now Alexa, thanks to the company's integration with SmartThings.
Honeywell Total Connect Comfort Thermostats (via SmartThings Hub)
While not as pretty as their cousin, the Lyric thermostat, Honeywell Total Connect Comfort thermostats are just as feature rich, but with a bigger focus on scheduling. And thanks to an official integration with SmartThings, they can now be controlled by Alexa as well.
Ecobee3 Smarter WiFi Thermostat
The Ecobee3 was the first smart thermostat to integrate directly with Alexa, without the need for a hub. It was also one of the first thermostats to support Apple HomeKit.
Sensi WiFi Programmable Thermostat
The Sensi is a less well-known smart thermostat from Emerson, which makes it somewhat suprising that it's the second thermostat to integrate directly with Alexa. The Sensi doesn't have a fancy color screen or an unusual design, but it packs scheduling smarts and internet connectivity into a relatively affordable package.
Haiku Home Ceiling Fans
This April, Alexa will be able to control Haiku Home ceiling fans, with the ability to adjust the lights and fan speed. All Haiku fans with the company's SenseMe technology, including its H, I, and L Series fans, will work with this new integration.
Keen Home Smart Vents (via SmartThings Hub)
If you have trouble regulating heating and cooling to different rooms in your home, Keen Home Smart Vents offer a great solution. They can integrate with your thermostat via Nest, SmartThings, and Lowes' Iris to adjust air flow into individual rooms, preventing them from getting too hot or cold. And when connected to a SmartThings hub, you can also open and close these vents through Alexa.
The Echo and Alexa are quickly conquering the home, and with new integrations like Ford Sync they're also popping up in our cars and garages. There aren't many compatible devices on the market just yet, but it's only a matter of time until more are released.
The Automatic is a small device that connects to your car's diagnostic port and beams driving data like fuel level, check engine light codes, and more to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
With the company's Alexa integration, you can ask Alexa how much fuel you have, where you last parked, and even how much you drove over a given time period.
Garageio is a small, WiFi-enabled device that you can connect to up to three garage doors (depending on the model you buy) to remotely open and close them from your phone. With the Amazon Echo and similar devices, you can open and close your garage doors simply by asking asking Alexa.
In addition to all the devices that you can control with Alexa, there are plenty of services you can interact with. You can ask Alexa to order you a pizza from Domino's, hail an Uber, check your bank account balance at Capital One, and much more.
IFTTT (short for If This, Then That) is perhaps the most powerful service you can connect to your Amazon Echo. It's an endlessly flexible middle man that helps Alexa connect to tons of other products and services that don't yet have official Alexa integrations.
With Spotify's Amazon Echo integration, you can play and control your Spotify music with your voice. (Assuming Alexa can hear you over the bass drops in the latest Skrillex track, anyway.)
Capital One Bank
The first banking service to integrate with Alexa, Capital One Bank allows you to ask the assistant to make bill payments, check your account balance, and track your spending.
With Alexa's Uber integration, you can hail any type of Uber with your voice. You can also check how far away your Uber is and even cancel the ride.
Amazon and Google don't always play nice, but in the spirit of keeping Alexa open, Amazon has added Google Calendar support. This allows you to ask Alexa to check your Google Calendar, as well as add events to it. All you have to do is say, "Alexa, what's on my calendar?" or "Alexa, add an event to my calendar."
The fast pizza chain has always dabbled in new technology, from its online pizza tracker to its order via pizza emoji option. With its new Alexa integration, you can order a pizza from the couch without ever touching your phone.
USA TODAY Network
Our colleagues at USA TODAY are always finding new ways to tell the news, and that now includes Alexa! USA TODAY offers both a skill where you can ask for the news by section, as well as Flash Briefing integrations for seven different podcasts. The podcasts include I Tell My Husband the News and Cup of Politics, as well as podcasts from three local USA TODAY Network newspapers.
Need a last minute order of flowers for someone special? Thanks to a new integration with 1-800-Flowers, Alexa can take care of that for you too. All you have to do is tell her what you want to order and she'll have the arrangement taken care of.
The popular travel search site Kayak is the first site of its kind with an Alexa integration, and it adds some pretty nifty features to the assistant's repertoire. You'll be able to ask Alexa to track flights, look up flights, hotels and car rentals, and even find trips within a select budget.
Similar to Angie's List and Pro.com, HomeAdvisor helps you find plumbers, electricians, and more. Later this year, the service will be releasing a new Alexa integration, allowing you to have Alexa arrange service appointments and call professionals.
Perhaps one of the coolest Alexa integrations, KidsMD is an Alexa Skill created by Boston Children's Hospital. It allows you to tell Alexa your kids' symptoms and find out whether you need to contact a doctor, as well as determine proper dosing for medicine based on your child's age and weight.
Of course, you shouldn't use this in place of seeing a real doctor, but it could help you know if your kids just have a cold, or if something more serious is going on.
A popular grocery list app, OurGroceries now allows you to add items to your list with Alexa. If you notice you're out of milk, just holler at Alexa so you won't forget to pick up a carton the next time you're at the supermarket.
Considering the Amazon Echo's built-in Bluetooth speaker, music service integrations are a must. With Pandora integration, Alexa can now play your favorite internet radio stations.
Want to listen to your favorite local radio stations on the Echo? Then you'll want to activate the iHeartRadio integration.
TuneIn is very similar to iHeartRadio, allowing you to play local stations from across the country. The key difference is that TuneIn also offers news, sports, and talk radio. That means with Alexa, you can listen to CNN, NPR, ESPN Radio, and more.
Amazon Prime Music
Included with an Amazon Prime account, Prime Music gives you free access to thousands of older songs. And since it's an Amazon product, it only makes sense to be able to use it with the company's virtual assistant.
There are a few products that work with the Amazon Echo and Alexa but don't fit neatly into any of the above categories. As more products build integrations, we'll be sure to break them out into separate sections.
Want Alexa to help you stay healthy? With the Fitbit integration, you can ask your virtual assistant how many steps you've walked, how many calories you've burned, how well you slept, and much more.
Is it that much easier than pushing a button on the wristband or looking at an app? Nah, but it sure is cool.
The first sprinkler system controller to integrate with Alexa, Rachio will let the assistant control sprinkler zones and manage weather delays, making it easy to shut off your sprinklers if there's a sudden summer thunderstorm.
GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub
GreenIQ's Smart Garden Hub is another WiFi sprinkler controller, but it also connects to plant sensors and weather stations to help you better manage your yard and garden. With its Alexa integration, you'll be able to ask Alexa to turn your sprinklers on and off, control outdoor lighting, and give you information about water consumption.
While not the only security-related system on this list, Scout Alarm is the only pure security system that connects to Alexa. The company offers a wealth of Alexa commands, including the ability to arm/disarm your system and call for help.
In perhaps one of the most innovative Alexa integrations, you can place calls with Alexa via an Ooma Telo internet-connected landline phone.
You might scoff at the idea of using a landline, let alone connecting Alexa to one, but the Telo isn't really a "landline." Instead, it places calls over the internet and offers nationwide calling for free, which makes it a pretty compelling option if you still want a home phone.
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