Awesome Things Alexa Can Do For You
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Is there anything Alexa can’t do?
Life is pretty good when you have a mini personal assistant sitting on your countertop just waiting for you to give her things to do 24 hours a day. Amazon Alexa has made her way into millions of homes across the U.S., and the popularity of smart speakers continues to grow.
But even if you own one of these Amazon connected devices, do you know all the beneficial tasks your little AI speaker can perform? We’ve rounded up some of the BEST features of Alexa enabled speakers.
Tackling everyday necessities.
Alexa, what are my deals?
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you probably know that you get exclusive access to Prime special offers. Get a daily dose of what’s available by asking Alexa for your deals.
Alexa, what’s the weather like this weekend?
Pretty basic, but oh so convenient! Instead of saying to yourself, “I wonder what the weather will be like,” just ask Alexa for an actual answer! You can also program Alexa to give you the weather report every day at a designated time.
Alexa, what’s my flash summary of the news?
Work smarter, not harder in the morning to get yourself ready for the day. Simply ask Alexa for a rundown of recent news headlines to stay up to date, all while you make your morning coffee!
Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.
Heading to the airport, need a lift downtown, or just don’t feel like driving yourself? Ask Alexa to arrange for an Uber to get you where you need to be in no time! This also works for the other popular car service Lyft!
Requires enabling the Uber skill.
Feeding you what your stomach desires.
Picture this — you tried a new (and complicated) recipe you saw on Pinterest and it didn’t go quite as planned. Save dinner by asking Alexa to order the usual from Domino’s! No muss, no fuss… though you’ll still have to clean up after your original dinner attempt.
Requires enabling the Domino’s skill.
Alexa, tell GrubHub I’m hungry.
Sometimes you just know it’s a takeout kind of night. By asking Alexa to open GrubHub, you’ll hear your 3 most recent takeout orders (ordered through Alexa), making reordering your favorite dishes a breeze.
Requires enabling the GrubHub skill.
Alexa, open OpenTable and make a reservation for Chili’s at 7pm.
Of course, there are nights where you just want to get out of the house. Make a reservation at almost any restaurant in seconds by using OpenTable.
Requires enabling the OpenTable skill.
Getting your fitness goals to happen.
Alexa, start my 7-minute workout.
Do you want to get in shape for the summer? Do you have 7 minutes? Enable the 7-Minute Workout skill and start getting fit in a snap!
Requires enabling the 7-Minute Workout skill.
This is for the ultra lazy (though, can you really be lazy if you’re wearing a Fitbit?) since it doesn’t take much to look at your wrist to check your steps status. If for some reason you don’t happen to have your Fitbit on you, or you don’t want to turn your wrist, you can ask Alexa where you’re at with your daily steps goal.
Requires enabling the Fitbit skill and compatible Fitbit fitness tracker.
Keeping tabs on your family.
Alexa, drop in on the living room.
This skill might have some people concerned for privacy, but know that the drop-in feature has to be approved on devices before it’s used. That said, once approved on a device, no other confirmation is needed when drop-in is initiated. By dropping in on another Alexa device, you open up an intercom dialogue between the devices. In theory, it’s perfect for calling kids down for dinner without having to shout or check in on any disconcerting sounds, but it is a little intrusive.
Alexa, Ask My Buddy to check in with my son.
Not that we want to think about it, but emergencies happen. With the Ask My Buddy feature on Alexa, you can send alerts to your contacts if you’re ever in a situation in your home and you can’t reach your phone to call for help. For example, you can say “Alexa, Ask My Buddy to alert everyone,” which will immediately send an alert to your entire network letting them know to check in on you right away.
On the brighter side, you can also send check ins to your network to let them know you’re alright. This is helpful when checking in after going out on a walk or running errands, or for kids when they arrive home from school. Based on how you set up this feature, alerts will be sent via text message / SMS, email, or even voice call and you can choose to send to everyone, or just one person.
While this feature is super helpful, Ask My Buddy is not a substitute for 911. In the case of an emergency, the proper authorities should also be contacted in addition to this service.
Requires enabling the Ask My Buddy skill.
Making your home and life essentials smart.
Alexa, ask Roomba to start vacuuming the kitchen.
I never thought I’d see the day where you could essentially tell your vacuum to start cleaning, but here we are in 2018 and iRobot has made it happen with Alexa! Seriously — with the iRobot Home skill, you can control your Roomba by telling it to start, stop, or schedule cleaning.
Requires enabling the iRobot Home skill and a compatible Roomba vacuum.
Alexa, lock the front door.
It doesn’t stop there. You can control Wink compatible lights, outlets, switches, locks, and thermostats ALL from Alexa when you enable the Wink skill. This means we’re one step closer to completely uninterrupted Netflix bingeing.
Requires enabling the Wink skill.
Alexa, start my Toyota.
Alexa can start your car for you. I repeat, ALEXA CAN START YOUR CAR FOR YOU. How wild is that?! By enabling the Toyota skill, you can turn your car on and off, lock and unlock doors, and even check how much fuel you have! But before you get too excited, note that you must have a compatible vehicle (which are just starting to be released). I think it’s safe to say more car companies will be jumping at this in the near future.
Requires enabling the Toyota skill along with a compatible Toyota vehicle.
Letting you have a little fun.
Alexa, let’s play Jeopardy.
You read that right! America’s favorite TV trivia game is available to play on Alexa — the opening dialogue even features Alex Trebek’s voice! When you enable the Jeopardy skill, you’ll get 6 new questions every week along with bonus questions if you’re really up for the challenge. Play against family and friends for bragging rights.
Requires enabling the Jeopardy skill.
Alexa, ask Board Games the rules on how to get out of jail in Monopoly.
You must live with a household of saints if you’ve never been part of a heated family game night. With Alexa, you can get instant clarification on specific rules and terms of play for your favorite board games.
Requires enabling the Board Games skill.
Alexa, flip a coin.
Sometimes you need a definitive answer on “this or that”, so why not enlist the help of Alexa to solve life’s qualms with a simple flip of a coin. Could you pull out a coin and do this yourself manually? Sure, but it’s more fun having a countertop AI device do it for you.
Giving you an outlet when you’re bored.
Are you a fan of pondering life’s mysteries? If so, you need to start hanging out with Philosoraptor (pronounced like ‘velociraptor’, just with a philosophy twist)! When you summon philosophy raptor, you get everything from non-sensical wisdom to roars – both of which will cure your boredom.
Requires enabling the Philosoraptor skill.
Alexa, what are some more things to try?
Not surprising, but your best source of Alexa capabilities is Alexa herself! Simply ask for more skills you can try, and Alexa will give you a rundown of popular commands.
Not enough? Make your own skill with Blueprints.
You don’t need to be a master at coding to make a fun skill for you and your family to use on your Alexa device! Head over to the Skill Blueprints page and check out the skills options that will guide you through customization in just minutes!