9 Useful Amazon Alexa Skills You Should Know
Get the most from Amazon Alexa after reading this post. We’re sharing 9 useful Amazon Alexa skills that you should know. Enjoy!
When asked about the future of technology, William Gibson, an award-winning sci-fi author noted, “The future is already here–it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
William had seen a future where chatbots would be the main point of contact between you and other worker bots.
Enter the world of Alexa, an intelligent digital assistant developed by Amazon, made famous by Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. These devices let you do hundreds of amazing things using Alexa’s voice commands.
When Amazon Echo debuted, it could only play music, set alarms, give the weather updates, and perform other cool stuff.
Today, Amazon Alexa skills have evolved, to the tune of giving us a glimpse into the future of an automated home that answer to our verbal commands..
Some of these Amazon Alexa skills are incredibly useful, but you may not have heard of them yet..
Read on to discover some truly useful Alexa skills that you should start using today.
These amazing Amazon Alexa skills will change the way you use your Amazon Echo. Don’t have an Amazon Echo yet? You can get an Echo DOT for only $49.95 shipped!
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1. Operate Smart Home Appliances
The smarter your home gets, the more appliances you’ll be able to control with your voice with the help of Alexa. This is a much more natural and easy way to control home automation devices vs. having to take out your smartphone and open an app.
SmartThings, Wemo and Openhab are just a few examples of Home Automation controller that work with Alexa.
For example, if you have a smart thermostat such as Nest, Ecobee or Honeywell, you can adjust the room temperature without lifting a finger. Smart home control is one of the most advanced & useful Amazon Alexa skills.
Just say, “Alexa, set the temperature to 72 degrees”, and Alexa will listen and act accordingly.
If you have smart lamps such as Philips Hue, you can say “Alexa, dim the bedroom lights” and it will do so with no additional effort on your part.
The list of smart appliances that Alexa can operate is growing every day.
You can even order your Samsung Powerbot to clean the floor! If you have a smart Powerboat, like the Powerbot R9040, just say, “Alexa, tell Powerbot to vacuum” and your Powerbot will start cleaning the carpet.
2. Find your lost phone
You misplaced your phone, and you can’t find it no matter how many cautions you rip out of your sofa. No problem, let Alexa do the searching for you using the Find My Phone skill from Trackr.
Just say, “Alexa, trigger find my phone.”
Echo will call your phone; then you can trace the ringtone to its location.
This skill comes in handy when you are alone at home.
3. Plan a Vacation
Planning a vacation has never been easier, thanks to Amazon Alexa that you can now do it without lifting up a finger.
First, you need to install the KAYAK Skill for Alexa to help you plan a trip.
This skill can track flights, check prices, and tell you where in the world you can go with that budget.
Just tell Alexa your budget, and KAYAK will scan the internet and tell you where in the world you can go.
To use it, just say, “Alexa, ask KAYAK where I can go for $750”.
4. Use Alexa as a Personal Trainer
Want to shed off some pounds? Alexa call also a assist in that department.
Enable the 7-minute workout skill that you can use as a digital substitute for personal trainer lessons.
Just say, “Alexa, start a 7-minute workout” and your virtual assistant will suggest tested exercises that are known to reduce fat, increase your metabolism, and improve your energy.
And the best part, Alexa will even allow time for breaks if needed. (I know I needed the breaks!)
5. Get Recipe Ideas and Have Alexa Help You Cook!
If you are a foodie or a chef who loves everything ‘cooking’, this is one Amazon Alexa skills that you will absolutely love.
There are several Cooking/Recipe Alexa skills, but we like the Allrecipes skill the most.
“The Allrecipes Skill from Amazon Alexa helps you get dinner done right every night by providing convenient hands-free access to 60,000 of America’s favorite recipes from Allrecipes.com; there is no need to tap, swipe, type, or squint to get the five-star results your family craves.”
To get started, say “Alexa, Ask Allrecipes what can I make with chicken, bacon and cheddar cheese?”
6. Order Pizza
Ordering pizza can also be done with the help of Alexa.
You can get pizza delivered to your house/workplace without more than saying a few words to Alexa. This will be really helpful on Gameday so you don’t miss any of the action!
Just enable Domino’s Pizza skill and set up an Easy Order. When you say, “Alexa, open Domino’s and place my Easy Order” you can relax knowing your pizza is on the way.
You can even use Domino’s tracker updates to find out where the pizza is.
7. Have Alexa Read You a book
Thanks to Audible, another property of Amazon, Alexa can now play your favorite audiobooks while you do your household chores.
Your book will sync across your devices, so you can pick up right from where you left.
Also, it does have some simple commands that let you set it to a timer, should you fall asleep. And if you miss some sections or words, you can go forward or backward by 30 seconds.
8. Check Your Bank Balance
Capital One members were the first to get an Alexa skill, although more banks & financial institutions are being added such as TD Ameritrade. This skill that has garnered quite a large number of positive customer reviews.
By connecting your Capital One account, Alexa can tell you your account balance, recent transactions, credit card payment due date, cash on hand, available credit, and more.
When you say, “Alexa, open Capital One“, it will give you all your credit card, bank accounts, auto loan, and home loan details.
9. Check Stock Prices
With an Alexa-enabled device, you don’t have to scour the internet looking for stock prices.
Alexa has several skills that offer this service, but all share the same pronunciation problem, so you’ll have to be very careful on how you pronounce words.
But if you add The Motley Fool Skill, you can use Alexa to check the stock price using a company’s natural name.
Just say “Alexa, ask The Fool for Apple” and Alexa will get you the stock price as well as the daily percentage change.
There you have it, the nine useful Amazon Alexa skills that you should know. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Honestly, there are hundreds if not thousands of Amazon Alexa skills for you to discover.
What’s more, each day, new devices and apps are becoming ‘Echo-friendly’, so seeing more skills in the future should come at no surprise.
Do you know of other amazing Alexa skills that deserve a place on our list? Tell us in the comments section below.