The best Alexa skills will assist you in getting the most out of Amazon’s personal voice assistant, which is built into Amazon Echo smart speakers and the best Alexa speakers, as well as a variety of other smart home gadgets. When the newly updated Alexa app is available, you can also summon Alexa hands-free on your mobile.
Amazon has introduced a list of new additions to Alexa, but the true trick to tailoring the smart assistant to the specific requirements is by Alexa skills. There are currently over 100,000 Alexa skills available, allowing you to navigate the best smart home equipment, order pizza, play quiz games, listen to the news and weather, shop online, and even start your car.
How Amazon Alexa can keep you busy during this pandemic
1. Alexa Guard
Alexa Guard transforms your Echo smart speakers into surveillance cameras, looking for warning signals such as glass shattering or your smoke detector going off. Your Alexa app will then warn you if it detects anything unusual, which could be quicker because you’re not at home.
You might also be interested in Alexa Guard Plus, which is basically an upgraded variant of the Alexa Guard. Alexa will not only notify you if there is a crisis, but it will also contact officials on your behalf. At $50 a year, it is the most affordable specialist tracking service available.
Other new capabilities of Alexa Guard Plus include better noise detection, which allows the Alexa-enabled systems to track noises ranging from babies screaming to footsteps, and it can play dog barking sounds if it detects intruders approaching your front door with a Ring unit.
Alexa Guard Plus in Away Mode
Alexa Guard was designed to protect your home when you’re gone, and Guard Plus expands on the concept in several exciting ways.
When Guard Plus is set to away mode, it can listen for any sounds that should not be in your home when it is clean. It will give you a message if it finds something.
After you’ve unlocked the functionality in the Alexa app, tell your Echo, “Alexa, I’m going.” This will put Guard in Away mode, and it will deliver Smart Alerts to your phone if it detects anything unusual, such as a smoke alarm or the sound of glass breaking. These updates would contain an audio sample, allowing you to listen for the noise yourself. You will also be able to Drop In on your Echo unit.
Amazon said it had a squad smash hundreds of different kinds of windows using items such as crow bars, hammers, rocks, and more in order for Alexa to reliably recognise the sound of a window breaking.
2. Send a hug
Are you missing your loved ones because you’re trapped at home? Sending a hug via Alexa lets your friends and family know you’re thinking about them in seconds. Simply say, “Alexa, give a hug,” to send a virtual embrace to all of your Alexa contacts.
It is important to maintain contact with everyone you care for. Our Echo Show 8 review explains how enjoyable video chats are, but do you know how to make a voice or video call with Alexa? When you want to catch up with others, you should use your Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Show to call them.
Simply say, “Alexa, send [contact] a hug” to send nonverbal affection to friends or relatives. If all is in order, they will receive the alert on their Amazon Echo devices that are linked (and a notification in their Alexa mobile app, too).
To ensure that this works, you can first check the configuration of your Alexa app to ensure that your contacts are syncing and that Alexa knows which of them have an Alexa account – and which do not.
If you have Alexa set to track your phone contacts, when you connect someone to your phone, this user will be added to your Alexa contacts as well. Here’s how to set it up and leave it alone:
1. Launch the Alexa app, then press To connect on the bottom menu bar, followed by the contacts icon (the people icon) on the upper right corner.
2. Press the More (three stacked dots) button in the same location on the next pad.
3. “Enabled?” appears halfway down the screen, below Import contacts. If it isn’t yet, tap Import contacts and toggle the switch to the on location.
3. Have access to exclusive Amazon deals
If you ask Alexa, “Alexa, what are your offers?” you’ll get a list of Amazon Prime member-only deals that need an Alexa-enabled gadget to use. After you’ve made a payment, you can ask Alexa for arrival status alerts and put a reorder. To get the sentences you’ll need to say to activate one of the best Alexa skills available right now, go to Amazon’s Voice Shopping website.
Now, just because you told Alexa to find you offers doesn’t mean you’re obligated to buy something. You can ask Alexa to add one of the discounted goods to your cart by saying, “Alexa, add this to my cart.” You will then return hours, days, or even weeks later to go to your cart to buy whatever you want. Just keep in mind that if anything was on the deals tab, it might not be the same price as when you first added it to your list. The most of such deals are time dependent, expiring at the end of the day, while certain Lightning Deals are only valid for a few hours.
Setting up Alexa to automatically order something for you is remarkably easy. Assume you’re sick of running out of necessities like toilet paper and coffee. (And, really, who isn’t these days?) Using the Alexa app, you can set up reminders for Alexa to prompt you to reorder the stuff you go through regularly. Simply go to ‘Settings,’ then ‘Notifications,’ and then choose ‘Shopping Notifications.’ Finally, you’ll see a button that says ‘Reorder Notifications,’ which you can use to help Alexa handle the task for you.
4. Obtain a weather forecast
Though Alexa has built-in forecast support, Big Sky is one of the best Alexa skills for providing reliable, up-to-date weather information. This is due to the fact that it offers hyper-local forecasts based on your street address. The service uses Dark Sky data that can supply data such as wind speed and humidity.
When you ask Alexa, “Alexa, tell me when there’s a severe weather alert,” the digital assistant will inform you if a severe weather warning is released in your region. You can disable this feature by telling Alexa, “Alexa, cancel extreme weather warnings.”
To enable the Big Sky ability, follow these steps.
- On the desktop tab, click the Allow Skill button, or you can say “Alexa, enable Big Sky.”
- If you’ve completed this, you must add your account in order for Big Sky to work.
- Launch the Alexa app, then navigate to the Big Sky – Account Setup card and click the Link Account link.
- After that, type your full address.
Under this, you’ll find a number of choices for customising the Big Sky ability and how you want to get weather alerts from Alexa. Among these choices are:
- Information – Choose the amount of weather information you want.
- Temperature – Choose whether you want to see the temperature in Fahrenheit or Celsius.
- Wind Speed – Choose between kmph and mph as the unit of measurement.
If you’ve been through all of the options, scroll down to the bottom of the screen and press the Submit button to finish the setup process.
Big Sky also has a premium option that costs $3 per year and has more features. For the premium edition, you will be able to connect several addresses and call them. This will aid when answering questions like, “Tell me about the weather at Dad’s place.”
5. Obtain nutrition advice
Trying to make any good dietary changes? If you need a place to start, you can ask Alexa for fast nutrition tips. While you can see a licenced nutritionist if you have ongoing questions about your diet, your voice assistant will provide some general guidance focused on Mayo Clinic-sourced safe lifestyle topics. Simply ask Alexa, “Alexa, give me a diet tip.”
The diet tips feature is built into Alexa which provides a full variety of balanced eating advice. The functionality functions similarly to a game of random trivia for healthy eating. Asking Alexa to “give me a diet tip” three times in a row resulted in a recommendation to drink unflavored coconut water over fruit juice, advice that herbs and spices are a healthier alternative to salt, and the “fun fact” that tomatoes are vegetables and a large one in a salad provides half of the daily vegetable consumption needed. The data in the feature were derived from the Mayo Clinic’s database, and the specifics have been converted into statements for Alexa to say.
The Mayo Clinic has previously collaborated with Amazon to carry its medical expertise to Alexa. The Mayo Clinic Answers on COVID-19 Alexa voice app released in April to address questions about the novel coronavirus and current pandemic. It was one of the first pandemic-based Alexa skills voice apps to be released after Amazon removed non-government voice apps related to the novel coronavirus. Back in 2017, the Mayo Clinic made a first aid ability open to Alexa. Alexa, on the other hand, pulls dietary information straight from the website.
Alexa’s 7-minute fitness ability will get your behind in shape. If you say, “Alexa, start 7-minute workout,” the virtual assistant will recommend workouts that have been reportedly tested to boost your appetite, boost your stamina, and lose weight. The greatest thing is that you can take breaks whenever you want.
6. Interact with Alexa in several languages
Every household does not speak the same language. If you live in an area where members of your family are fluent in more than one language, Alexa has a mode designed specifically for you. Multilingual Mode is one of the best Alexa skills since it allows you to converse in two different languages while Alexa understands both. The service is available in the United States (in English and Spanish), India (in Indian English and Hindi), and Canada (where Alexa will understand both English and Canadian French).
7. Listen to music
Alexa allows you to download music from a range of platforms (Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Sirius XM, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Tidal, Gimme, TuneIn, Pandora, Pandora Premium, and Vevo) and up- or down-vote songs as well as play exclusive playlists.
You may also use Amazon’s music library to build playlists based on unique events, eras, songs, or even your mood. You may also mix groups, such as “80s songs for running.”