List of Mastermind Commands

Mastermind does a LOT. Here is a list of everything that you can have Mastermind do.

Use same Gmail to sign in link Mastermind Skill and Apps

Use the same Gmail login on all Mastermind apps and skills. The Gmail is only used for identifying you as the same user across multiple devices (Amazon Echo, Android app,Chrome Browser). The Gmail address does not have anything to do with which email is synced for notifications.

You bought instant access for $15 but Alexa keeps saying you are Beta Pending

1. Unlink the Mastermind Skill in the Amazon Alexa Skill Store. Re-enable and re-link Mastermind with the gmail address that we emailed you the “Welcome to Mastermind” email.
2. If 1 did not work, then say “Alexa Switch User”. See the section below for more details if you are interested in knowing more.
3. If 1 and 2 didn’t work, reboot your phone and try again.

4. If all of the above didn’t work, please email us at support from the Gmail address we sent the invite to. Please confirm that you performed all the steps above.

If you do want to change the email associated with your account, please contact support

You got into the Beta but Alexa keeps saying you are Beta Pending

If you are finally accepted into the beta, only to try to use Mastermind and hear the “Beta Pending” message, please try the following in order.

1.Unlink the Mastermind Skill in the Amazon Alexa Skill Store. Re-enable and re-link Mastermind with the gmail address that we emailed you the “Welcome to Mastermind” email.  Please do the same for the Mastermind Android app (logout and log back in)
2. If 1 did not work, then say “Alexa Switch User”. See the section below for more details if you are interested in knowing more.
3. If 1 and 2 didn’t work, restart your phone and try again.

4. If all of the above didn’t work, please email us at support from the Gmail address we sent the invite to. Please confirm that you performed all the steps above.

You are having trouble linking the Mastermind Skill from your phone via the Alexa app

Please “force close” the Alexa app on your phone. Please make sure you have the latest version of the Alexa App from either Google Play or the Apple App Store. Re-launch the Alexa app and try to link Mastermind again.

If the linking process is still not working after force closing the Alexa app and updating the app, please do the following from your computer:

Go to your computer, open Google Chrome browser and try linking from there (make sure any popup blocker is turned off because you need to login to Gmail):

US and other non UK countries (use the computer web browser on your laptop)

UK (use the computer web browser on your laptop)

If you are getting “The Phone did not respond in time” repeatedly turn off “Battery Optimization” for Mastermind app in the “Android System Settings”

Please try follow the steps below (steps may vary slightly on your phone so please adjust accordingly):

  • Go to your Android phone and go to the System Settings
  • Look for Battery
  • In a setting under the Battery screen, you will see Battery Optimization. Click on that. 
  • Then select “All Apps”
  • Find Mastermind in the list and select “Don’t Optimize”. 

The reason this is happening is that Android puts applications in “doze mode” which means that apps like Mastermind cannot send any responses when your phone has been sitting idle for a while (and not plugged in). Doing the steps above will ensure that Mastermind can always respond when you ask Alexa.

For the more technically inclined, even though we are using high priority cloud messaging and upstream messaging using Google Cloud Messaging when our app is put into Doze mode, the messages do not get sent up until Android provides a connectivity window (every 5 minutes or so, which is too late for a response!). The only way to ensure that Mastermind is ALWAYS responsive is to turn off Battery optimization. We are as efficient as possible as battery usage goes so we won’t run down your battery. 

Say “Alexa Switch User” if Mastermind is all setup and still Alexa doesn’t understand

Alexa can have multiple users on the same Echo. If you setup the Mastermind skill and linked your Mastermind app on your phone all correct with the same gmail and yet Alexa just keeps saying “I wasn’t able to understand”, it could be that you are in somebody else’s account (your spouse?) on your Echo. Before sending us an angry email saying you tried everything, give “Alexa Switch User” a try and then try Mastermind again and see if that works.

Your Contacts List is empty

Please follow these steps first.

  • Open the Mastermind app. Go to the Mastermind app settings.
  • In the Troubleshooting section, click on Re sync contacts.

Within 10 minutes, your contacts should be synced. Ideally, you will see a notification on your phone mentioning that your contacts have been uploaded.

In the odd case that the above steps do not work, we would recommend uninstalling and re-installing the Android app on your phone (re-grant all the permissions etc).

If you get a do not have permission message, but your Android app says you have all the required permissions

  1. First go to the Android app, and hit the Permissions button on any of the cards in the app. Then wait a few seconds and try asking Mastermind again the same command. In 90% of the cases, this should be all you need to do.

Do the following steps only if the above step did not work

1. Uninstall the Mastermind app from your phone (make sure the icon is gone from your app list) and re-install from Google Play.
2. Login (using the same gmail login you used before when you paid and the same login you used to link Mastermind on Alexa)
3. Re-grant all the permissions
4. Wait a couple minutes for Mastermind to process your contacts
5. Ask Mastermind to send message

Look at your Alexa App Settings/History if Mastermind seems to lookup or do the wrong thing

For those who are curious to see what Alexa actually hears, go to the Amazon Alexa app on your phone, open the Settings and then go to History. Then start saying Mastermind commands (ask Mastermind to lookup contact is often a good one).  Then start saying names of your friends (better if they have non-anglo names). You will see exactly what Alexa gives us to work with. We have to match that to something meaningful. You will see why writing Mastermind was extremely difficult and required us to do some complex phonetics and artificial intelligence algorithms to just get it to work. We really hope Amazon is going to do a better job of speech to text soon.

Say “Yes” or “No” when sending a text or making a call.

Don’t say “Right”, “Correct”, “Sure”, “Yes Please” or “You bet” or “Nope”

Alexa still responds better to simple “yes” or “no” responses than when you try to be polite or clever. When using Mastermind stick to the “Yes” and “No” confirmation responses. Being polite is nice, but it leads to Alexa not understanding what you mean. Artificial Intelligence is still in its early days.

For our UK users, if “Start Casting” doesn’t do the right thing, try say “Casting” the American way!

Alexa is misinterpreting the way you say “Casting” with the British accent and often sends us the command that you are either trying to start “kasting” or start “costing” (and we then try to launch an app on your phone that has a similar name). We are going to have another way to start casting in a subsequent release (maybe “Alexa Ask Mastermind to Turn On Chromecast”). This will resolve this Alexa misunderstanding your accent business. But for now, if you are fed-up, just say casting how an american would say it and 1/2 the time Alexa gets it right and we can Cast to your TV instead of launching an app on your phone.

If “Ring my phone” is not working try changing the Ring My Phone Sound and restart your phone

Some users on Android 5.0 have reported that ring my phone is not working on Samsung devices. Try going to the Mastermind Settings and under the “Ring My Phone and Notification Sounds”, change the Ring My Phone Ringtone to something other than the default. You might need to restart your phone one time for the setting to stick. Then try asking Mastermind again.

If your Notifications suddenly stop showing up on Alexa, the Chrome browser or Chromecast, try restarting your phone

If you know you have notifications but they don’t show up on either Alexa (via “Ask Mastermind What was that” or “Ask Mastermind to Get My Notifications”), try restarting your phone. This has been known to fix this type of rare issue.

Can Mastermind make a phone call through the Amazon Echo?

Mastermind has everything built in to make a call through Alexa (essentially making a bluetooth call). However, as of today, Amazon Echo and Dot devices don’t support bluetooth call pairing.

We have found a simple workaround to enable completely hands free calling from Alexa. The caveat is that you will need to buy one more piece of hardware at home (a bluetooth speaker with a microphone that supports mobile voice calls). With a device like this, you can use Mastermind to make and receive phone call completely hands-free through Alexa and the above bluetooth speaker/mic without touching your phone. The interaction would go like this:

Alexa, ask Mastermind to Turn on Bluetooth (this pairs your phone to the bluetooth speaker)

Alexa, ask Mastermind to Call John Smith (the call will be initiated by your Alexa and the interaction will be on your bluetooth speaker/mic. The phone might still be in the bedroom charging and you never have to touch it.)

…after the phonecall

Alexa, ask Mastermind to Hangup

You can either choose to leave your phone paired to your bluetooth speaker or you can choose to disconnect the pairing by saying “Alexa, ask Mastermind to turn off Bluetooth”.  

It is unfortunate that the Amazon Echo does not support phone calls through their bluetooth pairing yet, but we hope they enable that in the near future. A device like Jabra Speak510 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker for Softphone and Mobile Phone (please note that we are not necessarily recommending this product, just that we are in the early test phase and it seems to be doing an adequate job) can be the bridge to allow hands-free bluetooth calling through Mastermind and Alexa till Amazon supports bluetooth phone calls directly on the Echo.  

Here is a Youtube video of how to make phonecalls using Mastermind on Alexa:

Do you have a Youtube Channel with videos of how to use Mastermind?

Yes! Please subscribe to the Youtube channel here:

Why iPhone support is planned for late 2017

Apple support is planned for late 2017. The key premise of Mastermind is full accessibility of your phone from Alexa without touching your phone. 30 features spanning SMS text messaging using your carrier assigned number, making phone calls, getting all your notifications, launching apps, getting data usage etc.

Apple gives 3rd party applications very limited ability to integrate deeply with the phone. We do not want Mastermind users to sign up for a completely new SMS/Phone number. Users should be able to use their existing phone number so they can use a service they are already paying for and not confuse their friends and family with a new number. Unfortunately, as of right now Apple neither allows third party applications to send or receive a text message on your behalf nor place an outgoing phone call for you. We are trying to figure out if there are acceptable workarounds to these restrictions that Apple puts on third parties even if the iPhone user is completely ok with an app like Mastermind to do things like send messages and make phone calls.

So Apple users, stay tuned. We will have something great for you. It may just be of a slightly different flavor than the dish we are currently serving your Android cousins.