Intermediate: Get nerdy

8) Pop quiz

Alexa might be great at serving you helpful info, but she's also a big film and TV nerd – or, at least, her programmers are. That's because she's been built to understand and respond to a surprisingly large number of pop culture quotes and phrases, and she'll toss an appropriate reply right back at you.

Ask Alexa about the "Prime Directive" or "What's the first rule of Fight Club?" and you'll hear exactly what you want. Tell Alexa that "Winter is coming," meanwhile, and you'll get a random Game of Thrones quote. And for the paranoid users out there, yes, Alexa will tell you about Skynet.

In fact, there's a rather large list of things you should try asking Alexa about - here are some of our favourite nerdy Easter eggs.

9) Game on!

Play games without a screen? Granted, the Echo's games aren't exactly a match for Titanfall 2, but there are some worth tinkering with if your cat has decided to knock that pesky, human-distracting TV off its stand. 

Go to the app's menu and in the Skills section head to 'Games, Trivia and Accessories'. In the UK, most of the games are of the quiz variety, but there's more choice in the US: start with the strange experience of playing Tic Tac Toe (a.k.a 'Noughts and Crosses') against a robo-speaker, before moving onto Akinator, in which Alexa will try to guess the character you're thinking of by asking a series of questions.

But the most impressive game so far is surely The Wayne Investigation: it's a Batman-centric adventure that lets you make small decisions along the way. 

10) Get custom news

Just got home with the shopping and need a quick hit of the news (and your fantasy league team's fortunes)? Set up the Echo's 'Flash Briefing' and 'Sports Update' functions, which you can find in the app's Settings menu.

With Flash Briefing, you can add any number of news sources (including The Guardian, Sky Sports and various Beeb channels), then get your Echo to read out the latest news just by saying, "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" or even "What's new?". The Flash Briefings are even better on the Echo Spot or Show, thanks to the addition of a video component.

And with Sports Update, you can add your favourite teams and get a rundown of the latest scores.

Intermediate: Feed your brain

11) Get fit!

We understand: it's hard to squeeze in a workout when there's PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to play, Discover Weekly playlists to listen to, and unwatched Netflix shows piling up in the sink. But Alexa can alleviate your guilt - the 7-Minute Workout is one of the most popular Echo skills, and it runs you through a quick routine of simple exercises like jumping jacks and wall sits.

It's not the most comprehensive workout around, but it's better than nothing, right? The latest version adds images to the app, in case you're unclear on how each exercise works, and can track your total number of workouts.

12) Learn to make drinks

Want to spice up your next party? If you've already shown off your Echo's hilarious array of Easter eggs to your guests, it's time to ask it to help you mix some drinks. Enable 'The Bartender' from the skills store and start mixing.

You can ask it to tell you how to make a specific drink, like an Old Fashioned or a Dry Martini, or mention the ingredients you have handy to get a suggestion. After that's gone horribly wrong, return to making your tried and tested bowl of punch.

13) Read… er, listen to more books

Yes, listening to audiobooks does count as reading and, yes, the Echo is a suprisingly good way to catch up on that sci-fi epic that's too big to take on the train. Integration with both Audible and Kindle Unlimited means you've effectively added a library to your house.

Your Audible account will be automatically linked to your Echo. From there, it's just of a case of feeding it voice commands: "Alex, play the book [title]" will start it, while "Alexa, go back" will rewind one paragraph. You can also navigate using chapters by asking Alexa to go to a chapter number, or just "Alexa, next chapter" if it's droning on a bit.

You can also set a sleep timer ("Alexa, set a sleep timer for x minutes") if you want a bedtime story at night. Need some recommendations? Check out our some of our favourite audiobooks