The best Alexa skills for your Amazon Echo speaker

All the skills you need to download for Alexa

The best Alexa skills
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Your Amazon Echo speaker can quickly become an essential part of your home, but Alexa is nothing without the skills that make it tick.

What are Alexa skills? Well, these are essentially apps that enable Amazon's voice assistant to connect to hardware and software to perform certain tasks. Whether it's turning your heating up or ordering some dinner, there are plenty of things your Echo can do - and the list of compatible services and devices is growing by the day, too.

Essential guide: Amazon Alexa missing manual

It's also worth mentioning that Amazon has made it easier to create your own Alexa skills with Alexa Skill Blueprints; a move that means anybody can create and publish to the store.

If you're looking to equip Alexa with some new skills, try these on for size. You'll find them on the Alexa Skills Store.

Quick look: Five essential Alexa skills

  • Spotify - Request music with your voice and now access podcasts and play them via your Alexa speaker.

  • Amazon Story Time - One for those with kids, have Alexa read a bedtime story.

  • Ambient Sounds - Fall asleep with the sound of the sea/forest/New York city streets for background.

  • Todoist - Quickly add items to your to-do list and get a read out of everything that's on your daily agenda.

  • Xbox - Power on/off, open games and even record a moment.

  • Allrecipes - Get recipes with instructions on your Echo Show screen-based Alexa smart speaker.

  • Twenty Questions - Not all Alexa games are fun - but twenty questions works seamlessly. As much fun as you can have with an AI assistant.

best alexa skills

Alexa music and TV

Spotify

The leading music skill for Amazon Alexa devices, Spotify gets pride of place on Echo speakers. It's one of the few services that you can select as a default service within the Alexa app, which means that any music you ask to be played will stream from Spotify automatically.

To enable: "Alexa, play [choice] from Spotify" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, play what's hot in [country]"

Apple Music

Apple Music is the second biggest music streaming service in the world, and if you've wanted to pair it with a smart speaker you were previously out of luck. That's not changed, and you can link Apple Music to your Echo speaker. Plus, you can listen to Beats 1 Radio. You need to enable the skill and link your account in the Alexa app first -and then you can get on to listening.

To enable: "Alexa, play [choice] on Apple Music" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, play Today's Hits on Apple Music"

Sonos

Now that there's an Alexa-enabled Sonos smart speaker, there needs to be a way to control said speaker with Alexa. Enter the Sonos skill, which will allow you to do just that. Want to play some jazz in the kitchen? Or turn down the volume in the living room? Your wish is Alexa's command.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Sonos" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, play jazz in the kitchen"

Xfinity

Now that there's an Alexa-enabled Sonos smart speaker, there needs to be a way to control said speaker with Alexa. Enter the Sonos skill, which will allow you to do just that. Want to play some jazz in the kitchen? Or turn down the volume in the living room? Your wish is Alexa's command.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Sonos" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, play jazz in the kitchen"

Top Music Chart

Can't keep up with the kids? Get Alexa to run down the top rated music in the United States with this nifty Skill. It might give you some inspiration, or a yawning realisation that you're well past it.

To enable: "Alexa, open Top Music Chart" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, how about the top albums?"

Ted Talks

You can't beat a Ted Talk for forcing information into your brain, and the warm fuzzy feeling of spending 20 minutes doing something intellectually superior. Alexa can play you Ted's excellent short lectures, and who knows, you may learn something.

To enable: "Alexa, open Ted Talks" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, ask Ted Talks to find talks about nature"

Radio Mystery Theater

Use your super-techy smart speaker to evoke the days when families would crowd round the radio, hungry for entertainment – like a sort of crackly Netflix. Essentially a compendium of radio shows from the early 70s, Radio Mystery Theatre offers up retro stories guaranteed to leave you high on nostalgia, if nothing else.

To enable: "Alexa, Open Radio Mystery Theater" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: Just say "Alexa, next" to skip an episode. Resuming where you left off is a common complaint with an otherwise highly-rated skill.

Star Wars Quotes

Love Star Wars? This skill can throw out famous quotes from the movies at will. Delivered with all the panache as Luke Skywalker and the other lads, we’re sure. May the Force be with you (other quotes are available).

To enable: "Alexa, open Star Wars quotes" Alexa Skills Store.

Try: “Alexa, give me a quote from Star Wars Quotes”


alexa smart home skills

Alexa smart home skills

If you've got an Echo, chances are it's not the only smart device populating your home. It's the most sociable though, and it's using this chatty nature to strike up conversations with the rest of your connected tech.

Smart home showdown: Alexa or Google Home

The result is an all-round smarter home controlled simply by your voice. These are the best Amazon Echo Skills for creating a truly connected home.

Ring

Want to see who's at your front door but have your hands full and can't grab your smartphone? Enter the Ring skill for Echo Show, which'll give you a live feed of who is (or isn't) at your door, assuming you have a Ring setup in place of course.

To enable: Install from Alexa app and link account or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, show my doorbell"

Nest Thermostat/Camera

Got a Nest product? These skills are a must. If you've got a thermostat, there’s the Nest Thermostat skill, which you can use to tell Alexa to turn your heating up or down, making breaking out the Nest smartphone app feel like a relic of personal comfort as dated as actually standing up and fiddling with the thermostat manually.

You can be specific with where you want the temperature changing too by saying things like, "Alexa, change the Hallway to 20 degrees" or, "Alexa, raise the bedroom by four degrees" without having to touch a thing. If you've got a Nest Cam, there’s also the Cam skill, which lets you view your footage right from your Echo Show.

To enable: Install via Alexa app, link accounts

Try: "Alexa, what's the temperature?" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Lifx

Probably one of the nicer and more affordable smart lightbulbs, Lifx's line doesn't need a hub to use with Alexa – it only needs the skill to be downloaded, and of course, your voice to tell Alexa to turn on and off the bulb.

To enable: Install via Alexa app, link accounts

Try: "Alexa, dim Kitchen lights by 10%" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Philips Hue

It's time to get precise with your voice-controlled lighting. Philips Hue and Alexa play nicely together, meaning you can say things like "Alexa, dim the living room lights to 20%" from the comfort of your favourite chair.

To enable: Install via Alexa app, link accounts

Try: "Alexa, set bedroom to red" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

August Smart Home

If you have an August Lock and Connect on hand, and installed, just head into the skills menu of your Alexa app and download August Home. Link up the accounts and you should be set to control your locks with the sound of your voice. Magic.

Read this: The best smart locks - tested

To enable: Install via Alexa app, link accounts or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, is the front door locked?"

Logitech Harmony

Another hub system that gives Alexa omnipotent powers over everything in your home, Logitech's Harmony skill provides the Echo power to control your connected TV, among other devices. "Alexa, tell Harmony to turn on the TV", "…turn up the volume" and "…pause my movie" are just a few of the commands you'll be flinging your TV's way the next time you've misplaced the remote.

To enable: Install via Alexa app, link accounts or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, pause Netflix"

iRobot Home

The point of a Roomba is to take some of the hassle out of cleaning your home, and the Alexa skill can help make life even easier. Just tell it to get your Roomba to start cleaning, or to stop cleaning, or to dock. Best of all, if you notice something weird going on, you can simply say, "Alexa, ask Roomba what it's doing."

To enable: Install via Alexa app, link accounts or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, ask Roomba to start cleaning"

Burglar Deterrent

If you watched Home Alone and thought, “I’d love to be able to leave my house looking like it was occupied”, rather than, “I’m deeply unsure of the parenting on show here”, Burglar Deterrent might be right up your street.

The skill will see Alexa play sounds out of relevant devices to mimic the presence of people going about everyday chores and activities, just in case any ne’er-do-wells are listening at your keyhole.

To enable: "Alexa, open Burglar Deterrent" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, ask Burglar Deterrent to protect the living room"


alexa kids skills

Alexa skills for kids

Alexa can step in to give you a hand entertaining the children. There won't be a dull moment with this set of skills.

Amazon Story Time

An essential skill for parents, just say, "Alexa, ask Amazon Storytime to read me a story" to get a properly narrated short story, from the Amazon Rapids app library and Audible. They're suitable for children aged 5-12.

To enable: "Alexa, open Amazon Storytime" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Science Buddy

Science Buddy is a kid-friendly quiz around the subjects of earth science, physics and biology. You get ten multiple-choice questions, with three options. Get those brains turning over.

To enable: "Alexa, open Science Buddy" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Repeat the question"

Draw It

Getting bored of the kids asking you what they should draw? Draw It doesn't just offer them ideas, it describes how it should be drawn, and they have to guess what the subject is as quickly as possible. Great for entertaining groups and solo kids, it's a good skill for developing creative minds.

To enable: "Alexa, open Draw It" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa tell Draw It to start a game"

Spelling Bee

Designed to test kids' spelling knowledge, Spelling Bee can be be played solo or with friends. Not only that, but you can ask for a word's definition, an example sentence, and its language or origin.

To enable: "Alexa, open Spelling Bee" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, ask Spelling Bee to play a game"

Animal Sounds

A firm favourite among The Ambient's offspring, Animal Sounds plays the call of 30 animals, from boring old cats and dogs to leopards, bears and sea lions.

To enable: "Alexa, open Animal Sounds" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Try: "Alexa, ask Animal Sounds to visit the elephant."

Panda Rescue

Like an Alexa-powered Tamagotchi, your children are placed as lead carers for a rescued panda. Check in every couple of days to make good choices and keep that panda well cared for.

Try: "Alexa, open Panda Rescue" or visit the Alexa Skills Store


alexa news and weather skills

Alexa news, sports & weather skills

One of the best things about Amazon Echo is waking up and asking Alexa for your daily briefing before you head out for your day. These are all accessible as part of your daily Flash Briefing. Keep on top of Flash Briefing content by heading to the Alexa app and going to Settings > Flash Briefing. You can turn items on and off from here. When getting your Flash Briefings, you can skip through by saying "Alexa, next".

BBC News

If you just want to hear the big stories of the moment from all over the world, the BBC skill is a good one to go with. It'll add the latest world headlines from the BBC World Service directly to your Flash Briefing.

To enable: "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

The Daily from The New York Times

Every day, five days a week, for 15 minutes, The New York Times puts together an audio briefing of the most essential news you need to know before you start your day. It's in-depth and a good companion to your morning cup of coffee.

To enable: "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Reuters TV

If you're looking for a quick rundown of the latest news, you'd be hard pressed to find a better option than Reuters TV. You'll get a quick selection of straight news, perfect for your Flash Briefing every morning. If you've got a Show, you'll get a video version of all those news clips.

To enable: "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

ESPN

The wide world of sports produces so many goals, touchdowns, home runs and slam dunks that it's hard to keep track of them all. The ESPN skill will give you a daily gulp of sports news, delivered from the people behind SportsCenter.

To enable: "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

On This Day

It’s great to get a bit of perspective, and hearing about historical events that occurred on a given date is a useful way to gain some. This skill will add some historical context to your morning briefings, reminding you of events from the annals of time.

To enable: "Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?" Or visit the Alexa Skills Store

The Daily Show

The news can often be depressing and sad, so leave it to the people at Comedy Central's The Daily Show to put a funny spin on things. Every morning during your daily briefings you'll get a quick recap of the best bits from last night's show.

To enable: "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Golf Channel

Keep up with news from the PGA tour can be difficult, but with this handy Alexa skill you can get leaderboards on demand. You can say stuff like "Alexa, ask Golf Channel for the PGA Tour leaderboard" and "Alexa, ask Golf Channel who is winning the European Tour" for a quick run-down of the state of play.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Golf Channel" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Big Sky

A really top-rated weather skill, you can just ask, "Alexa, ask Big Sky for the weather in three hours" or even "Alexa, tell Big Sky to give me a weather fact" to really get your meteorological geek on.

To enable: "Alexa, start Big Sky" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Space Weather

When you've got Amazon Weather – which just works when you say "Alexa what's the weather" and Big Sky (above) you're well sorted for whether you need your umbrella – but try Space Weather for something different. Just say,"Alexa, start Space Weather" to get current solar wind speed, chances of a solar storm and the solar flux. Out of this world.

To enable: "Alexa, start space weather" or visit the Alexa Skills Store


The best Amazon Alexa skills for your Echo smart speaker

Alexa skills for bedtime/sleep

Like drifting off to the sound of the sea? Alexa has some great relaxing sounds – and you can ask "Alexa, turn this off in 10 minutes" (or any time period) so you're not disturbed later.

Ambient Sounds

Ambient sounds has every conceivable sleep sound to drift off to imaginable, and a bunch you couldn't possibly dream up. They're all essentially listed as separate skills, so just say "Alexa play [enter sound]" to get started – we've listed some ideas below. If you say,"Alexa play Ambient Sounds" it will give you a mind-boggling list of the entire range.

  • Thunderstorm Sounds
  • Ocean Sounds
  • Rain Sounds
  • Wind Chimes
  • Fireplace Sounds

To enable: "Alexa, play Ocean Sounds" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Sleep Sounds

Another incredible range of sounds to fall asleep to, just say "Alexa, play Sleep Sounds" for a list of everything from 'rain on a tin roof' to 'pink noise'. We shudder to think what that might be.

To enable: "Alexa, open Sleep Sounds" or visit the Alexa Skills Store


alexa health and fitness skills

Amazon Echo exercise and health skills

Alexa isn't just a butler and an educator, it's a personal trainer too, whipping you into shape with its metallic tones. If you're trying to keep fit or get a jump on that 2019 beach bod, these are the health and fitness skills you should try.

The Body Coach

Joe Wicks doesn’t show any signs of letting up — the hugely popular health and fitness personality has infectious enthusiasm and great recipes and workouts. Now, Alexa can access seven different 15-minute workouts from The Body Coach. The skill can pick up the last workout you did and replay it, or you can choose from any of the seven if you’d prefer.

To enable: "Alexa, start the Body Coach" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask the Body Coach for my last workout"

Push Up Century Club

Ever wanted to increase your ability to do push ups? Of course you have. That's why you need to try the Push Up Century Club skill with Alexa. Letting you set a fitness foundation based on your current level, Alexa will determine which set of reps you should start with. Then it'll guide you through a workout complete with 30-second breaks in between.

To enable: "Alexa, start push ups" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, start push ups on day five"

ALOP Pilates

Exercise doesn't have to require you entering Beast Mode; it can be a little more measured too. This skill has Alexa guiding you through a beginner's pilates class where you'll just need the Echo and a mat. From there, it will take about 20-30 minutes to complete, and you can run it as regularly as you like.

To enable: "Alexa, start pilates class" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

1-minute Mindfulness

For those who want to meditate and gain a clear mind, try this skill on for size. It's really just relaxing sounds that play for a minute, but hey, maybe that's all you need to recharge.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Mindfulness" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask Mindfulness for a peaceful meditation"

Zyrtec Daily AllergyCast

Allergies can be crippling. Unfortunately, it's often difficult to know when or where they'll come and get you. Enter the Zyrtec Daily AllergyCast skill, which will give you an allergy forecast that includes pollen counts. Plus, it'll tell you the dominant allergens in the area so you know exactly what'll make you miserable.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Zyrtec" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask Zyrtec for my AllergyCast"


The best Amazon Alexa skills for your Echo smart speaker

Amazon Echo games

Once you've focused on your home and body, it's time to have some fun. Thankfully, Alexa's not a stuffy digital assistant, it likes to let its hair down occasionally too. These game skills are testament to that.

Jeopardy!

The Echo Show version of this skill is superior in one regard: there's a screen that adds to the authenticity. You can see the categories and questions, making everything a little easier to manage. The regular version is still fun, but those title cards just hit you in a fun, nostalgic sort of way that's hard to beat.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Jeopardy!" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Bingo

A classic with a futuristic twist, you'll need to download bingo cards for this game if you don't already have them, but having Alexa on hand to call out numbers is quite useful and adds to that "authentic bingo hall" experience.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Bingo" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, call the next number"

Lie Swatter

Can you tell if someone is lying or not? Time to put it to the test. The Lie Swatter host will share several crazy facts, and everyone else will have to guess whether they're true or false. Simple, addictive and, with the right people, absolutely bonkers.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Lie Swatter" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

6 Swords

Love playing Dungeons & Dragons but don't have a dungeon master? It is a fine art, after all, so it's understandable if you can't find a good one. Enter 6 Swords, based on the first version of the classic role-playing game. Let Alexa remember where you are and what you're doing, and use simple commands to get through the game. You can play with up to five other people.

To enable: "Alexa, enable 6 Swords" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, what am I carrying?"

Skyrim Very Special Edition

No joke, Bethesda's biggest game is now available to play with Alexa. The Elder Scrolls title lends itself to a voice interface in interesting and hilarious ways; this one's for the old-school D&D lovers.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Skyrim" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Use shout"

Akinator

If you haven't tried Akinator before, it's a game where a cartoon genie tries to guess what you're thinking of by asking a series of questions – with scarily accurate results. And now it works with Alexa! Just don't be creeped out when not one, but two robots are reading your mind.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Akinator" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Twenty Questions

Don't like Alexa working out what you're thinking about? Fine, just turn the tables and have a go at trying to crack its thought process instead. Who's for a game of Twenty Questions? Once you've instigated a game ("Alexa, play Twenty Questions"), you've got, yep, you guessed it, 20 questions to work out what animal, vegetable, mineral or other Alexa is. Be warned, Alexa is a crafty opponent.

To enable: "Alexa, play Twenty Questions" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Curiosity

If you've ever needed a little intellectual stimulation, or your conversation is stalling and you want to spice it up with something interesting, then Curiosity is for you. This skill presents you with two topics, you choose one and it'll tell you an interesting fact about art, history or science. It's kind of like feeding your brain, except what you're feeding it is totally random.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Curiosity" or visit the Alexa Skills Store


The best Amazon Alexa skills for your Echo smart speaker

Amazon Echo travel skills

Wherever you're trying to get, and however you're trying to get there, your Echo can help – you just need the right skills and the right questions. They can't help with delays, but this lot can make your journey a little bit easier.

Uber/Lyft

Sync your Uber and/or Lyft account through the Amazon Alexa app to allow access, and from there you can use the rideshare apps. Just make sure your location is correct so the driver can find you. You can also request arrival statuses, cancel ride requests and for Lyft, even rate drivers. The Show version of the Uber app will even give you a look at your driver's ratings and where they are.

To enable: Install from Alexa app and link account or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride"

NYC Subway

If you're in the Big Apple and need some help with the labyrinth that is the New York City subway system, NYC Subway has your back. It constantly checks the status of the subway lines, telling you which ones aren't rated "Good Service" and can tell you whether there are any issues with a specific line.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Subway" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask subway for the status of all lines"

Bay Area Transit for Caltrain

In the San Francisco Bay Area, BART and Caltrain are a one-two public transportation punch. While they serve totally different areas, they can be combined to move around the entire Bay Area. Figuring out all the timings is the tough part, but this skill will let you know when and where they'll stop, and how they connect.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Bay Area Transit" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, when is the next Caltrain?"


The best Amazon Alexa skills for your Echo smart speaker

Amazon Echo food skills

It turns out that Alexa is a pretty good sous chef, setting your alarms and making sure you don't forget that you need to pull those muffins out of the oven. But it can also help you in the kitchen in other ways. Bon appétit!

Allrecipes

You'll surely find something to cook in Allrecipe's library of 60,000 recipes. Alexa will even help you out, asking how much time you have to cook and what kind of food you want. On the Show it'll provide visual step-by-step instructions. If you don't have a Show, you'll just get voice instructions. If you don't have all the necessary ingredients, Alexa can send them to your phone for when you're at the grocery store.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Allrecipes" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask Allrecipes for a recipe with chicken, bacon and broccoli"

Save the Food

You've spent your hard-earned paycheck on food, but sometimes you've bought too much and can't finish it all before it expires. That's where Save the Food comes in. You just ask what the best way to store food is, and Store the Food will let you know how to keep it fresher longer. No more wasted food!

To enable: "Alexa, enable Save the Food" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask Save The Food how to store asparagus"

The Bartender

Easily one of our favourite skills. The Bartender helps make a cocktail, responding with the exact ingredients required and how they should be mixed. If your Echo is in the kitchen or by the bar, it would be a sin not to have this skill installed.

To enable: "Alexa, enable The Bartender" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, tell The Bartender to surprise me"

Grubhub

If you've had a long day and you're just not in the mood to cook, and you can't get Just Eat, you can turn to Grubhub. All you have to do is say "Alexa, tell Grubhub I'm hungry." Then you get to choose from three of your past orders to re-order. Simple.

To enable: Install from Alexa app and link account or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask Grubhub to order food"

Starbucks Reorder

You're in dire need of your current go-to Starbucks drink, the Pink Drink, but you just know the line is going to be insane. Just turn to the Starbucks skill, which allows you to quickly and easily re-order your go-to Starbucks order.

To enable: Install from Alexa app and link account or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, tell Starbucks to start my order"

What Beer

We like beer – so why not take things up a level with the What Beer skill. You can pretend that all beers don’t taste pretty much the same by asking What Beer to pair different foods to brews – which makes an interesting talking point until all that beer kicks in.

To enable: Install from Alexa app and link account or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask what beer goes with a burger?”

Food Network

Love cooking but aren't so good with written instructions? The newly relaunched Food Network skill for Echo Show has video recipes hosted by your favourite network personalities. Or, you can just say "Alexa what's on Food Network right now?" and watch that to get in the mood to cook.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Food Network" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Give me the recipes on TV right now"


The best Amazon Alexa skills for your Echo smart speaker

Other Alexa skills we love

Todoist

A skill from one of the best reminders and to-do listing apps out there. From the Alexa skill you can add to-do list items and tick them off - helping you to stay organised hands-free. Of course, Alexa will also flag reminders of stuff on your list. It’s an essential download for Todoist users – and a great reason to try it out if you’re not.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Todoist" or visit the Alexa Skills Store. You need to link your Todoist account.

Top command: "Alexa, add pick up the kids tomorrow at 4pm to my to-do list.”

Wiffy

It's the age old question: what's the Wi-Fi password? With this one, you can just say, "Alexa, ask Wiffy for the Wi-Fi password" to find out. Goes without saying that you shouldn't use this one if there are people who you might not want to grant access, but otherwise it's a real time saver.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Wiffy" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask Wiffy what is the Wi-Fi password?"

Xbox

The Xbox skill for Alexa lets you control your console in all manner of ways using your voice: power it on/off, launch a game of your choosing, record a moment, turn the volume up/down, and even start a party. Requires an Xbox account.

To enable: Install the Alexa app and sign into your Microsoft account to link the two, or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, turn on Xbox"

Guitar Tuner

A must for any guitar player. Alexa will sound out each note in turn, helping you to tune your strings. It's a simple skill, but as any musician will attest, a mighty useful one.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Guitar Tuner" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask guitar tuner to tune note A"

Translated

Amazon is working on a real-time translator for Alexa, but in the meantime this skill should help you get by. Alexa can translate short sentences from English into one of 36 languages, and will read them more slowly if you're having trouble with the intonations, or you can ask it to repeat the phrase entirely.

To enable: "Alexa, enable Translated" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, translate hello to [language]"

Plex

If you're a user of Plex's media aggregator, the Alexa skill is worth a try: it lets you access all your stored movies, shows and music with Alexa, meaning you won't need to reach for the remote. You can ask for a specific title, or just ask, "Alexa, ask Plex to suggest something to watch".

To enable: "Alexa, enable Plex" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask Plex what's on deck"

TrackR Find My Phone

We've all been there, frantically trying to find your lost phone with no friends around to let you call it from their handset. Don't worry though, set your phone up with TrackR, and the next time you misplace it, Alexa will to help you find it.

To enable: Install from Alexa app and link account – needs partner smartphone app. Or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask TrackR to ring my phone"

The best Amazon Alexa skills for your Echo smart speaker

Amazon Echo Show Skills

The Echo Show literally adds a whole new dimension to the Echo skills you know and love. The only problem is that because the device is so new, a lot of developers haven't been able to optimise for it yet. Regardless, there are a handful of really good skills for Amazon's new screen.

WikiHow

In the age of the internet, the answer to any problem is just a few clicks away. Or, a simple voice command away. The WikiHow skill will give you video walkthroughs on how to do pretty much anything. Just say something like, "Alexa, ask WikiHow how to tie my shoes".

To enable: "Alexa, open WikiHow" or visit the Alexa Skills Store

Top command: "Alexa, ask WikiHow how to poach an egg"



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