The Amazon Echo is among the very best tech gadget one can buy, and while it’s great for finding out the weather or controlling my Phillips Hue bulbs, it can do a lot more.
There are a ton of abilities and third-party”abilities” the Echo can learn how to boost its functionality. Some allow you interact with external hardware, while others just give you access to additional information.
Below are 15 things you can do that make the Amazon Echo worth its admission price. On top of that, not one of these skills or abilities require any other hardware, so as soon as you’ve got the Echo you’re good to go.
1- Order an Uber
This is among the Echo’s newest abilities, but stating”Alexa, order an Uber” and having an Uber hailed, along with a time estimate spoken to you personally is a game-changer. It makes the process of using the app seem obsolete.
2- Initiate a seven-minute workout
I started performing the seven-minute workout once I bought my Pebble smartwatch. It is another case where I couldn’t find the ideal program for your job. When you’re exercising, the very last thing you want to do is look at your phone. Initiating a workout with your voice and receiving audio cues for when it is time to change exercises is a significantly better experience.
3- Add and check events from the Google Calendar
This was initially possible through the third party automation agency IFTTT (In case this then that); seemingly Amazon heard a lot of folks were using it. You can now request Alexa to add events to your calendar, and then see what events you have coming up. Plus, as it syncs through Google’s servers, any time you add an event through the Echo it will show up on your phone and pc, also.
4- Purchase a pizza
While it only works with Domino’s, it is possible to ask Alexa to order you a pizza, and a sexy, refreshing Domino’s pizza will appear in your door. Hopefully this ability will become popular enough that more brands hop on board. Ordering things through Alexa feels as time goes on.
5- Play a Batman-themed audio adventure
If you have got Batman on the brain, you can perform”The Wayne Investigation,” an Echo-based audio-adventure game. It is a choose-your-own-adventure fashion game in which you’re investigating the death of Batman’s parents, and showcases an exceptional means to utilize the Echo.
If you have got a bunch of audiobooks through Audible, it is possible to ask the Echo to play among these . It’ll recall where you last left off on any of your other devices and make a chapter marker when you are done listening, so you’re able to grab on your telephone or tablet computer later. I use this one on occasion, and I am always surprised at how well it functions.
6- Read Kindle novels
If you believe playing audiobooks is trendy, this ability is much cooler. If you’ve got a Kindle book, you can ask Alexa to read it to you and it will. This turns any book you have in an audiobook; if you are somewhat skeptical about the speech quality of this Echo, do not be. It is not as smooth as an audiobook, but Alexa’s voice does not seem super robotic or weathered.
7- Get drink suggestions
Amateur mixologists rejoice, Alexa is here to help you. Throughout the Bartender skill, you can inquire Alexa how to make different kinds of cocktails, and it will read the recipe out. Just remember to drink responsibly.
8- Track your Amazon packs
An ability I use far too frequently, you can ask Alexa”Where’s my bundle,” and it’ll tell you the whereabouts of your latest Amazon order. It’ll also tell you when it is due to be sent; this really is a very helpful skill to utilize around the holidays, when you’ve got a lot of packages coming your way and being sent to others.
9- Listen to a TED Talk
The TED conference has drawn heads of businesses, entrepreneurs, and political and religious leaders together to give exceptionally educational talks. This Alexa skill gives you access to TED’s library using just your voice. You can ask to hear the latest talk, or ask to listen to a talk about a particular topic. Either way, you will be better informed each time you use this ability.
10- Help get to relax or sleep
If you need to listen to ambient noise to fall asleep, then this Alexa ability can help. You can request the Echo to play a particular sound, cycle through different sounds by stating”Alexa following” or”Alexa previous,” and specify a length for the sound to play with. There are 20 sounds to cycle, so you need to be able to find a choice to assist you to sleep or relax.
11- Get local news
The patch is a hyper-localized news source that is present for towns and cities of any size. Alexa includes a Patch ability for many towns, and if you’d like to start you day with local news, this can be your very best option.
12- Get your ETA
This ability hooks right into external support that asks for your present location and lets you set several potential destinations. Once it’s been set up, you can ask your Echo how long it is going to take to get to some of your destinations given the current traffic requirements. It is a handy skill to have if you drive into work, or would like to know about any potential delays.
13- Get nutrition facts
If you’ve ever wondered”how many calories are in a slice of bacon,” why not ask? This ability can let you know about the quantity of fat and protein are in food, besides telling you the number of calories and carbohydrates it has.
14- Keep time while playing an instrument
Experienced musicians may have some trouble keeping time. Should you want a little help keeping yourself in the right tempo, this skill can help. You are able to define a certain BPM (beats per second ) count, and fix both the speed and quantity of the metronome on the fly.