Have an Amazon Echo™ smart speaker but not sure you're getting the most out of Alexa™, its virtual assistant? You came to the right place.
At Asurion, we help people learn more about their tech every day. From transferring photos from an iPhone® to a computer to 15 fun things to say to your virtual assistant, we make sure you get the most out of the devices you rely on.
In this guide, we'll show you how to make life easier with some of the virtual assistant's best skills and teach you more about what Alexa can do.
How to use Alexa skills on your Amazon Echo
Skills are like apps that help you do more with Alexa. You can use them to check the news, exercise, order food, and more. To use Alexa's skills list on your Echo, you can simply tell Alexa to enable a skill or you can open the Alexa app on your phone and follow the directions below. Make sure to download and install the app from the App Store or Google Play Store if you haven't already.
How to use the Alexa app to enable skills:
- Open the Alexa app, and tap More in the bottom-right corner.
- Tap Skills & Games, then tap the magnifying glass icon.
- Search for a skill, select it, then tap ENABLE TO USE.
How to use your voice to enable skills:
- Say “Alexa, enable [the name of the skill]."
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Best Alexa skills for finance
American Express® and Capital One® cardholders can use an Echo to transfer money, make payments, and check their balance just by asking Alexa to do so.
To see if your bank is compatible with Alexa—open the Alexa app and tap the menu icon up top, select Skills and Games, tap the magnifying glass, and search for your bank.
Want an easy way to stay on top of the stock market? Use skills like Opening Bell and TD Ameritrade® by saying, “Alexa, ask Opening Bell for the price of Amazon" or “Alexa, ask TD Ameritrade for the price of Google."
Best Alexa skills for news
Alexa makes it easy to keep up with the news you care about. For a quick briefing of the day's events, use the NPR Hourly News Summary Alexa skill for a 5-minute headline breakdown. Or use the Flash Briefing skill to get headlines from other newsrooms like CNN®, Reuters®, Bloomberg®, and more.
Best Alexa skills for weather
Want to know if you'll need an umbrella? Just ask Alexa for the forecast. Want more details? Use the Feels Like skill for a more in-depth prediction that includes the wind chill and heat index by saying, “Alexa, ask Feels Like for the weather in [your city]."
Best Alexa skills for productivity
The Alexa Quick Events skill is a great way to stay organized and on top of things—it lets you add events to your Google Calendar and check for scheduling conflicts. Just ask Alexa to open Quick Events, then ask her to add an event to a certain time slot.
If you're a fan of to-do lists, the Todoist® app is a handy way to stay on top of tasks. You can even ask Alexa to add items to Todoist and have Alexa read everything on your daily agenda.
Best Alexa skills for fitness
If you need exercise inspiration, Alexa has you covered. Say “Alexa, open the 7-minute workout" to have Alexa walk you through one and help you break a sweat.
Looking to clear your head? Ask Alexa to perform the Guided Meditation skill. The virtual assistant provides a new 3–8 minute meditation every day.
Best Alexa skills for food and drinks
Whether you want a new recipe or you want to order takeout, Alexa can make mealtimes easier. Love your Instant Pot but out of dinner ideas? Ask Alexa for Instant Pot recipes. For easy, quick recipe recommendations, try the Easy Meal Ideas skill.
If you don't feel like cooking, use the Just Eat skill to order delivery and track it.
And while Alexa can't make you a drink, you can ask for your favorite cocktail's ingredients when you need an assist. Bitters anyone?
Best smart home Alexa skills
Controlling your home's temperature, lights, and security has never been easier. You can use handy smart home skills like Ring™, Nest™ Thermostat, and Phillips Hue™ to control your home with your voice.
To connect smart home devices to the virtual assistant, say “Alexa, discover devices" or open the Alexa app and follow these steps.
- Open the Alexa app and select Devices.
- Tap the + icon, then select Add Device.
- Choose the device type and brand, then follow the onscreen prompts.
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