Alexa's drop-in feature is a great way to check in on family during the pandemic

Just say "Alexa, drop in on mom"

In case you're not familiar with Alexa drop in, the feature works like a two-way intercom between you and an Echo speaker. With drop in, you can “call” an Echo speaker, communicate through it, hear (and, for Echo Show users, see) what’s happening around it — all without anyone having to answer the call.

Want to pop in to say hello to a family member? You can easily “drop in” on his/her Echo from your Echo by saying "Alexa, drop in on (contact name such as mom)." If you both have Echo Show smart displays, it'll be a video drop in, which is really nice :)

Pro Tip: Your Echo's light ring will turn green during your drop in.

2 essential drop-in pro tips:

Pro Tip #1: Be thoughtful about giving out drop-in privileges. Because anyone who has them can virtually "show up" in your home. You'll be relieved to know that only those who you proactively give drop-in privileges can drop in on your Echo speakers and vice versa. If you do want to give drop-in privileges to someone (Mom, for example), follow these steps:

  1. Open the Alexa app
  2. Navigate to the "Communicate" tab from the bottom navigation bar
  3. Tap the person icon in the upper right corner
  4. Search for "Mom" (insert your contact name)
  5. Under Permissions, toggle on "Allow Drop In"

Pro Tip #2: Turn on do not disturb to prevent drop-ins. Just say "Alexa, turn on do not disturb" to make sure you don't get any drop-in visitors while you're sleeping!

Panic Attack or Coronavirus?

This article caught my eye because I was wondering exactly this about a week ago when I started having trouble breathing.

I'd been struggling with a head cold and fatigue, and these days it's impossible not to wonder if you have Coronavirus at the slightest show of any cold-like symptoms. I was also losing my sense of taste (I'd recently read a few articles suggesting this was also a common symptom, although I probably lost mine just because I was stuffed up!), and my worries about whether I had "the big C" really started to escalate.

Spoiler alert: I managed to regulate my breathing, and fast forward to today, I'm pretty sure I just had a bad head cold and good dose of high anxiety.

Tap/click here to read this helpful article (which I wish I'd read earlier!) on differentiating coronavirus-related breathing difficulty versus shortness of breath resulting from panic or anxiety.
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Katherine Prescott
Founder, VoiceBrew
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