What the Tech? Alexa Skills - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What the Tech? Alexa Skills

Posted: Updated:

I admit, when I first heard about Amazon's Echo device I thought "that's cool, but who needs it?" And that's coming from a gadget lover!

I bought one anyway and started using it mostly for music. I could ask Alexa to play music from any artist, a specific song or album, or to just surprise me with the latest releases.

WE'VE GOT SKILLS | Add the WRCB Alexa Skill to your Echo, Tap or Dot

But now Amazon has added about 10,000 new 'skills' to the Echo devices (Echo, Tap and Dot) and I'm getting a little carried away.

There are skills even power users don't know about.

  1. Ask Alexa to tell you a joke. They're not always funny, but some are LOL. Go see for yourself.
  2. Name that tune. If you can't think of a song title but can remember a few words and melody just ask "Alexa, what's that song that goes...." and chances are good she'll play it.
  3. Step by step in the kitchen. Want to know how to make the perfect chicken soup? An Alexa skill will walk you through each step at a recipe she finds.
  4. Turn on/off lights, security systems, adjust thermostats and even control some connected coffee pots. Roomba recently released an Alexa skill so all you have to do is tell her to start cleaning.
  5. Shop. If you're a Prime member with 2-hour Prime Now delivery, Alexa will order what you're looking for and have it delivered in less time than it may take to run to the store.
  6. Ask "where's my stuff" to find out when your Amazon orders will arrive.
  7. School lunch menus. Some schools have built their own lunch menu skills so you can ask "what's for lunch at the high school today" and she'll tell you. That'd get used every day at our house.
  8. Add items to a shopping or to-do list. iOS just enabled a skill that will add items to the stock iPhone/iPad list app.
  9. Play games. Challenge Alexa to a trivia game. There are dozens of categories available in Alexa's "New Skills" list every Friday.
  10. Finances. Recent skill from Capital One allows Alexa to assist with your spending. Ask "How much did I spend" to get how much and where information on expenditures.

So, I was mistaken. Alexa and the devices she runs on, including Fire TV, Kindle Fire and the Amazon app for Androids and iOS are pretty amazing and a glimpse of what the future holds for voice-activated messaging.

Amazon says the Echo devices were the #1 product purchased last Christmas and in recent months Amazon has sold out of the devices at brief times

There's also a skill available for Channel 3 that will read you the day's top headlines. Get yours here!

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
Powered by Frankly