If you’re one of those people who prefer to keep the microphone off on a regular basis, you can use the Alexa app to do so. Then, you won’t have to worry about Amazon listening to you, or that other people can hear you talk. Simply hit the microphone button to enable the microphone again. During power outages or unplugged devices, Alexa will remember its last preferred setting and will revert to glowing red.
One thing that may concern you is that Alexa can listen to your conversations. Although it is passively listening, Alexa can still recognize and respond to your voice commands. For instance, you can use this feature to set a routine that will play soothing music before bed, or read the latest news as you go. You can also create routines that require you to only issue one voice command. You can even have your Alexa play your favorite music to wake you up in the morning.
Alexa’s ability to answer general knowledge questions is another way that it sets itself apart from Google Assistant. It taps into the vast resources of Google Search to offer a variety of useful information. However, Alexa does a great job with resolving common questions, such as the meaning of words and how to spell them. If you’re not comfortable with this feature, you can always disable it by using the Alexa app.