As Amazon’s personal assistant, Alexa has the skills to do a wide range of tasks. Alexa has been built into the Amazon Echo smart speakers, although it can be used with other smart home devices as well. Amazon has developed a great number of features with Alexa. You may not be aware, but Alexa has more than 100,000 skills. From controlling a smart home device to ordering pizza or even starting your care, you can even do this.
Keep in mind that not all skills are created equal. Some offer more value than others. For this reason, these are the 30 skills that will help users to get the best value from the assistant.
1. Exclusive Deals from Amazon
By asking Alexa about her deals, you’ll get an overview of the Prime member deals. You’ll have to have an Alexa-enabled device to order these deals. If you want to know more about what other deals Alexa can provide access, visit the Voice Shopping page on Amazon’s site. This will give the users the sentences needed to get these deals.
2. Check the Weather
Big Sky is the program that Alexa uses to provide weather information. Alexa has support for forecasts, but this is a great skill because it will provide incredibly specific forecasts just based on your street address. You can also use it to get specific information such as humidity or wind speed if you want more details.
3. Manage Potential Disagreements
If you’re tired of getting into family arguments, you may be surprised to hear that Alexa comes with family management skills built-in. You can ask Alexa to change the subject, and this assistant will immediately help the conversation to change to another subject. When trying this out in the office, Alexa may recommend that you discuss the latest book that you read. It might also suggest telling favorite jokes. This is an excellent asset if you need an objective source to break the tension.
4. Talk in Different Languages
If you live in a multi-cultural home, then you may have family members who aren’t fluent in English or speak multiple languages. Alexa can manage users who speak more than one language. The multilingual mode allows you to talk to Alexa in two different languages. The service is available in the United States, India, and Canada. Alexa even understands some regional differences, such as Canadian French.
5. Donate Money
If you want to donate without opening your wallet, Alexa can help you with this. Specify where you want the money to go and how much you wish to donate. You can also just command Alexa to make a donation. Not every charity works with this, but there are over 270 charities where this feature works. Doctors Without Borders, the American Heart Association, and the Wikimedia Foundation are just a few options.
6. Get Some Pet Help
If you notice that your pet seems to be sick, then MyPetDoc is an Alexa skill that’s available. You can describe the symptoms that you’re seeing. Alexa will ask any additional questions and then provide advice. If Alexa doesn’t have any ideas of what’s happening with the pet, it will forward the conversation to a vet who will call you in a few minutes. Keep in mind that while this is a great skill but should not be used to replace a standard office visit.
7. Get Help With Cooking
Easy Meal Ideas is a good option when you want recipes that are quick and easy. You can even use Alexa to get some specific options for seasoning. Morton’s Salting Sous Chef will tell users how to salt anything that is being cooked. It also provides general tips on using salt. If you want to look at recipes with your Echo Spot, you can ask Alexa to show you recipes and then choose your favorite.
8. Listen to Audiobooks
If you want to hear books on tape, then you can use your Echo to listen to books while doing other tasks. Audible is a mobile audiobook service that’s easy to set up and use with Alexa. You can play your current book through the speaker and even use your voice to control the speaker. You can also listen to Kindle books through an Alexa speaker. However, with this option, they will be read with Alexa’s voice rather than the narrator that you get with Audible.
9. Call Other Alexa-Enabled Devices
Your Alexa-enabled device can make or receive voice and video calls to other devices with Alexa. Alexa can access your address book to your find contacts. It’s a hands-free way to make calls.
10. Play Some Tunes
If you enjoy music, you can easily stream music with Alexa from several services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Pandora, and more. With each of these options, you can downvote or upvote the music you enjoy. The music library on Amazon allows you to choose playlists based on activities or preferences. For example, you could ask Alexa to play 90’s music for running. Amazon Music comes free on the Echo.
11. Use Alexa for Personal Fitness
If you need some guided exercise, then Alexa can give you a quick workout to meet your preferences. If you ask for a seven-minute workout, for example, the assistant will provide you with exercises to remove fat, improve energy, and contribute to a healthy metabolism. You can even take breaks as needed.
12. Check Spending Habits
If you have the American Express credit card, you can manage your account. Ask Alexa to open your Amex, which will then connect you to your account. This allows you to check your balance, make payments, review any new charges, and even check your credit score.
13. Look for Restaurants
If you’re hungry and don’t know where to go, Alexa can give you some handy information. Ask Alexa for information about restaurants around you. Information about the restaurant’s hours of operation or their address is a great asset to have. You can use Alexa to call the restaurant for delivery, pickup, and more as desired.
14. Get a Clean Place
Alexa can’t clean your apartment on its own, but some of the skills you don’t care to do yourself can be easier with Alexa. For example, if you have robot vacuums, you can turn them on and off with Alexa. Vacuuming has never been easier.
15. Play Games
Alexa likes to have fun and can help you enjoy your day. You can use its trivia-related skills to get started, but there is a wide range of options. For example, Lizard, Spock, bingo, and even tic-tac-toe are games that you can play with Alexa. This is also an area that’s changing all the time. Make sure to check out the Games section of the Alexa app to see the most updated list.
16. Schedule Meetings
If you have access to other people’s calendars, then you can schedule meetings with contacts. Alexa can even be used to suggest meeting times as it has access to schedules. If a conflict comes up after the meeting has been scheduled, you can ask Alexa to change the meeting. This assistant works with a variety of calendars. Some options include iCloud, G Suite, Microsoft Outlook, and Gmail. If you’re tired of trying to sync up times to set up meetings, Alexa takes the guesswork out of the process.
17. Watch Your Favorite Shows
There are several ways that you can use Alexa to control your television. If you have a Logitech Harmony remote, then you can link the remote to Alexa directly. Once it’s hooked up, then you can use Alexa to turn on the television, pause any programs without having to use the remote. This doesn’t mean you have to be limited to a Logitech remote to use this skill. You can also control DVRs with Tivo Bolt, Premiere, or Roamio. Dish, Frontier, and Fios customers can also use Alexa to control their TVs.
18. Teach Alexa Something
Alexa isn’t just a way to provide answers. It also is a learning assistant that uses crowd-sourcing to grow its knowledge base. Alexa will often ask Amazon users to share their knowledge on favorite topics. If you want to share your unique knowledge, you can answer questions thorough Alexa, provided that it doesn’t already know the answer. Once you’ve submitted answers to questions, you’ll find that you can earn badges, based on how many questions you’ve answered as well as how many times your answers are shared with Alexa customers.
19. Help with a Pregnancy
Well, Alexa can’t guarantee that you’ll have a stress-free pregnancy, but this handy assistant can help you with some pregnancy needs. The What to Expect guide is the best skill that Alexa provides for parents who are expecting. You can use it to get tips, guides, and advice on your pregnancy. You can also customize it to match your due date. It’s even handy after you have the baby as Alexa will provide guidance for your newborn’s first year of life.
20. Get First Aid Advice
If you need some advice in case of emergencies, Alexa is ready. With sills from the Mayo Clinic, Alexa can provide some basic first answers for a variety of needs. Alexa can even provide information on how to perform CPR. Keep in mind that this skill is only designed for instructional purposes. It’s not designed to replace emergency services, so users are encouraged to call for help for more serious needs.
21. Get Emergency Assistance
You can set up the Ask My Buddy skill if you want to be prepared for any emergencies. This will send a notification via text, phone call, or SMS to a preselected contact. If you’re in an emergency and can’t reach your phone, it’s a great way to tell people that you need help. It won’t be a substitute for 911 but can be helpful if you just need some help from friends.
22. Get Detailed Explanations
Many people don’t understand how Alexa arrives at its conclusions or gives the answers that it does. If you feel like you don’t understand why then you can ask Alexa to explain its response, Alexa will then respond with an explanation of why it answered in the way that it did. This feature is an excellent way to find out more about a topic or query you may have.
23. Connect with Fitness Devices
If you have a Fitbit, then you probably have a step goal that you’ve set. The Fitbit skill lets you ask how many steps you’ve taken. It can also be used to determine how well you’ve been sleeping. Any other metrics that your Fitbit can track can also be reviewed without having to look it up on your phone or other devices.
24. Stay Updated on the Latest Events
NPR Hourly News is one of the best ways to stay updated on what’s been happening. This five-minute briefing is updated every hour, so it’s the best way to find the most up-to-date news. If you want to test your knowledge of the news, then you can use their Wait Wait Quiz (https://www.amazon.com/NPR-Wait-Quiz/dp/B07MN6D4K2) that’s based on the comedy show. You’ll have to fill out the blanks in trivia questions that are based on the week’s news. If you manage to answer five or more correctly, then you could have your name mentioned in an episode of the show.
25. Get Your Car Started
If you hate starting your car in cold weather, why not give yourself some help? Several auto brands allow you to start your vehicle remotely, although this likely won’t work if you have an older vehicle. You can also use Alexa to lock or lock up the car; it can also be used to change the interior temperature in the car. You can even use it to turn the lights off or on if you happen to forget this. Some of the car brands that offer this include MyFord Mobile, EV Car for Tesla, and Hyundai Blue LInk
26. Turn Lights Off or On
If you’re worried about leaving the lights on when you’re not at home, then why drive yourself crazy? You can turn to Alexa to control the lights, provided that they’re connected. You’ll have to have a smart light or a smart plugin order to use this. However, it’s a handy feature to have in a home. These skills are available for several smart-home platforms. Options include Lutrol, Control4, and others. It’s relatively simple to connect Alexa to your lights.
27. Follow Teams
If you have a favorite sports team, then you probably are trying to stay current with what’s happening. In the Alexa app, access Settings. When you come to the Sports Update section, save your favorite teams. The digital assistant can then provide you with information such as the current score and the upcoming schedule. All of the major schedules are included, such as the NCAA, MLB, NFL, and others. Once you’ve entered your team in the Sports Update section, you can just ask Alexa for your sports update.
28. Listen to Podcasts
If you have podcasts that you want to listen to, then Anypod is something you need. You can use Anypod to stream podcasts to Alexa speakers. Search by the name if you already know the podcast. You can also subscribe to new podcasts and skip through podcasts while listening. If you pause any episode, it will restart when you last left. Included in the 3000+ library with Anypod, you’ll find favorite such as RadioLab, The Moth, Serial, and many others.
29. Control the Temperature from Afar
Regardless of where you are, smart thermostats are a good way to be more efficient with your bills. Nest, Honeywell Lyric, and others can all be connected to Alexa. This will allow you to change the thermostat just by speaking. If you were to use one of the higher-tech options such as the Ecobee 5th generation, this one even has Alexa already built-in. You can then control the thermostat directly instead of having to talk to an Echo Dot or Echo.
30. Keep Up-To-Date on Mars
Mars has become an area of interest to thousands of people. If you want to know what’s going on with the Red planet, then the NASA Mars skill will let you keep up with the Curiosity rover. You can also use this to get answers to some of the common questions about the planet.