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Is there a monthly cost for the Amazon Echo. The short answer is no. The Amazon Echo operates as a standalone unit which functions as a speaker, assistant, timer, and many more. Amazon Echo runs Alexa which is constantly improving and adding skills to it on a weekly basis. However, you will need to create at the minimum an Amazon account in order to sign into the Alexa app to get it set up. Having an Amazon account is free.
At this point, you can still play songs music services such as Pandora, Spotify, iHeardRadio, and TuneIn. You have the option to select your default music library and station service. Some of these apps require an account before usage (again, all free). Using TuneIn will allow you to listen to the radio.
You can listen to news outlet such as NPR, BBC, CNN, Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Slate, Newsy, ESPN, Fox, Bloomburg and much more. The more you select, the longer your newsflash will be. As of today, you can select local news from NBC. Also free are weather reports
Set up your favorite sports team on Alexa so you can hear game schedule, score updates.
You can enter your daily commute location from address and to address. You can even add a stop say you need to drop off your kids at the school. Alexa will read the traffic report of your route when prompted!
Other free capabilities
There are many other things you can do for free.
- set timer
- set alarm
- link your calendar such as Google calendar
- read your schedule (one of our family’s favorite!)
- add to your schedule
- add / read out your to do list
- add / read out your shopping list
- add your home hub to control things like connected light bulbs or thermostat
- convert measuring units
- read out global time
- basic ‘wikipedia’ facts such as “how old is Jennifer Aniston” or “How far is New York city?”
There are a lot more neat things you can do and it won’t cost any monthly fee to use the Amazon Echo!