The last few weeks, I have posted on various fun aspects of Alexa, but did you know she’s actually pretty useful? She has mad skills… and I’m not saying that a figure of speech. She actually has mini-apps that can be enabled, called “skills.” You enable them through the Alexa app, then you can access them through your voice-activated Alexa devices. Some skills require more than just enabling; these are skills that need to get through some security. But once you set it up, you’re set.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of skills out there, but here are a few of my favorites for families.
- Pizza Hut and Dominos – You can place preset orders with only your voice. Great for a last-minute dinner while you get the kids situated after a long day at work. Dominos also has their Pizza Tracker available through Alexa
- Fitbit – connect your Fitbit to see your progress through the day. You will need to link the Fitbit through the skill page before you can get information, though.
- 7-Minute Workout – Get your 7 Minute Workout in without dealing with DVDs, streaming services, or looking at super in shape, Spandex bodies.
- Capital One – You can check your balance, available credit and even make a payment… with only your voice. You need to set up your account through the Alexa app (it uses security checks to make sure it’s you), and when you access it, you need to provide a four-digit code. Just make sure not to check it when Snoopy McInYourBusiness is hanging out with you.
- Uber – all you need to say is “Alexa, ask Uber to get me a car.” Boom. Done. Uber ordered.
- TV Time – You can ask Alexa when your favorite show comes on, or if movies featuring certain actors are going to be on TV. You can also ask for the TV listings for a given channel. Just say “Alexa, ask TV Time what’s on ABC tonight.” It’s like the old TV Guide channel… but without having to wait for your channel to come around because you missed it last time.
- Magic 8 Ball – It’s your classic Magic 8 Ball kind of answers. My kids like to ask it silly questions. I use it when I’m on the fence about serving up dessert after dinner. Magic 8 Ball knows if the kids deserve dessert, right?
- Geek Humor – If you like jokes about Sci-Fi, computers, and geekdom in general, this is the app for you.
- Goat Compliments – This is a cute app; the kids like goat sounds. But the sound may come at the beginning… so don’t be startled.
- 4AFart – My kids just love it. Long, hilarious farts for all to enjoy… without the smell! This is guaranteed to bring a laugh to all but the most serious kid. It’s the Whoopee cushion for a new generation.
- Laugh Box – It has fun laughs, and it makes kids laugh. But don’t do the Sinister laugh… kind of creepy. Warning, the laughs can get pretty long, and sometimes a little annoying. But the baby laugh is an instant mood lifter.
- 20 Questions – Your basic 20 questions game. Great for killing some time.
- Jeopardy! – Game show, plays one extra clue for 5 categories from that day’s show.
- Translate it – translates words and phrases into many languages. Great for someone still learning.
- Spelling Bee – geared towards 4&5 graders for spelling aloud
- Capital Quiz – Geography game with two modes: practice and quiz
- This Day in History – helps kids learn more fun facts about History.
Are there other skills you found and absolutely love? Share them in the comments below. Alexa’s always coming out with new skills, so share with us what you’ve found!
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