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Top 10 Amazon Alexa Skills for Echo Dot

Updated on September 13, 2016
Chriswillman90 profile image

Krzysztof is a lifelong future tech junkie investigating the latest stories from companies like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon.

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Top 10 Newest Amazon Alexa Skills

These are the 10 best new Amazon Alexa skills for your Echo devices that you can enable.

The newest premiere skills will provide more entertainment from your favorite shows and a lot more usefulness from popular smart home brands.

So get ready to talk with Alexa some more and activate these ten fantastic skills that are too good to ignore.

10. Lyft

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"Alexa, Ask Lyft for a Ride"

Lyft is Uber's favorite cousin because it can summon you a vehicle whenever/wherever you need in minutes.

Pros:

  • Request a ride from home or work addresses
  • Ask Lyft where and how long it'll take to arrive somewhere
  • You can rate your driver

Cons:

  • Issues with linking to accounts

The Lyft skill is able to provide the same level of convenience that Uber does with a few added features.

You can ask Alexa to summon a car, ask how long it'll take, how much a Lyft Plus will cost, and additional features such as being able to rate your driver.

Based on reviews, the only issue is that occasionally Alexa can't link your existing Lyft account, which can get frustrating.

Overall this is a much-needed skill that enhances the usefulness of your Echo product.

9. August Home

"Alexa, Ask August to Lock My Front Door"

You can now use August's smart locks to safely lock up your home from the comfort of your bedroom.

Pros:

  • Ability to lock either front or back doors
  • You can check the status of your locks
  • Comfort and convenience

Cons:

  • Problems with linking account
  • Unable to unlock your doors

The August Smart Lock skill offers convenience and security because now you can tell Alexa to lock your doors from the comfort of your bed or couch.

Additionally if you're not sure whether a door is locked or not, then you can check the locks.

However besides sporadic account linking issues, most people complained about the inability to unlock your locks. This was included for cautionary purposes, but I can see why it would be a hindrance.

That's why the Yonomi Smart Home skill might be a better alternative for locks.

8. The Daily Show

"Alexa, Ask The Daily Show for News"

Alexa gets into the entertainment business with news, updates, and more information from everyone's favorite, "The Daily Show".

Pros:

  • Short clips and highlights of latest episodes
  • Find out about upcoming guests
  • Show information include where and when it'll be on

Cons:

  • Complaints about low volume
  • Not enough content

A cool entry into the entertainment field, The Daily Show skill provides show info including dates/times, snippets of its latest episode, and info about upcoming guests.

Unfortunately reviewers complained about the low volume and lack of content. I highly doubt show-runners would ever play the entire show on your Echo but longer clips could be nice.

Generally this is a nice idea that'll likely bring new headliners in the future.

7. WaPo Elections

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"Alexa, Ask WaPo Elections About Donald Trump"

WaPo Elections or Washington Post give you political tidbits about favorite candidates as well as polling and delegate numbers.

Pros:

  • Details on election results and recent polls
  • Offers short news clips pertaining to the election
  • Primary, caucus, and delegate numbers

Cons:

  • Doesn't always work
  • Alexa doesn't understand certain commands

WaPo Elections is great if you want a quick recap of poll and delegate numbers or the latest election news.

If you can get the skill to work, you'll receive detailed primary and caucus figures from every US state.

Indeed there's been issues with the skill malfunctioning or offering inaccurate responses due to flawed Alexa commands, but if developers can tweak this skill, then it'll be a great addition to the Amazon Echo.

6. Honeywell Total Connect Comfort

"Alexa, Lower Bedroom by 3 Degrees"

As a cheaper alternative to Nest, the Honeywell skill can offer you cooling comfort via voice control.

Pros:

  • Lower and set temperature to your thermostats
  • Honeywell is less pricey than other smart thermostats
  • Offers usability and convenience

Cons:

  • Invocation names are too long
  • Lacks functionality
  • Connection, setup, and location difficulties

Honeywell sounds like a fantastic option versus the more expensive Nest thermostats, but there are a lot of disgruntled reviewers.

On the positive side, you have the ability to set and lower your temperature wherever you are at home, but that convenience is limited.

The setup can be annoying, the invocation names are long, there are connectivity issues, and it lacks functionality. You can't run programmed schedules, ask for the current temperature, or ask for thermostat settings.

You might be better off creating an IFTTT recipe if the cons are too much to handle.

5. Big Sky

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"Alexa, Ask Big Sky for the Weather in Three Hours"

Big Sky is a personalized weather skill that packs in details for the biggest enthusiasts.

Pros:

  • Hyper-local hourly forecasts
  • Immediate weather alerts and statements
  • Much more accurate and detailed versus standard weather feature

Cons:

  • Doesn't always work or can't link to your account
  • More features would be welcomed

If you want the most detailed weather assistant, then you need to enable Big Sky.

Once you link your account, you can receive very accurate local weather conditions for your street including Hi and Lo temperatures, humidity, and rain chances. Any weather alerts are also explained in great detail.

The biggest problem is that every now and then it either doesn't link your account or stops working entirely. Luckily you have Alexa's standard weather feature if that happens.

Furthermore people crave even more details such as the UV index, but you can't be upset at what it already does.

Big Sky is the ultimate weather skill, and it's a great addition to your Echo.

4. Potterhead Quiz

"Alexa, Open Potterhead"

With "Fantastic Beasts..." coming soon and the newest book, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", out this is the perfect time to brush up on your Harry Potter knowledge.

Pros:

  • Nostalgic fun
  • Test your Potter smarts
  • Easy and great for anyone

Cons:

  • Alexa fails to launch skill

I've had trouble getting this skill to launch but when it works, it's a lot of fun.

You can test your smarts, challenge your nostalgic self, and relive the books/movies that people have adored for years.

It's a must have skill for any Potterhead if you can get it to operate.

3. The Tickle Monster Game

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"Alexa, Launch Tickle Monster"

Family-friendly skill that's fun and eliminates classic rainy-day boredom.

Pros:

  • Family oriented
  • Simple to use
  • You can add/reset names to play

Cons:

  • Some may find it dull over time

Tickle Monster is great for families and can be a lot of fun. You can add or reset names and find out who you'll tickle next.

It's a good way to pass the time during boring moments with the added benefit of bringing families together.

The skill itself may seem dull because it doesn't offer a lot, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun or useful.

2. Patron Tequila

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"Alexa, Ask Patron to Find a Spicy Margarita"

Patrón Tequila provides tequila and cocktails recipes, recommendations, and information about other tasty drinks from your home.

Caution: You must be 21+ before using this skill. Alexa will ask that you verify your account before proceeding.

Pros:

  • Discover new drink and recipe ideas
  • Step-by-step guide to making tequila cocktails
  • Fun, useful, and informative

Cons:

  • Verifying your age is required for everyone

Patrón Tequila expands on the Bartender skill by offering Tequila cocktail recipes, drink guides, and recommendations for those who love tasty, sweet drinks.

You can get recipes for flavors and ingredients that you want, and even learn how to make your own cocktails. Alexa provides the sass and knowledge to make this drink skill less cumbersome than most.

However everyone has to verify their age before accessing the skill, which requires setting up an account first. While it may be a nuisance, I do admire the cautious approach from the developers.

1. Discovery Channel's Shark Week

"Alexa, Ask Shark Week for a Fact"

A must-have when shark week comes around, but you can get educated too.

Pros:

  • Countdown to shark week
  • Many shark facts
  • The smooth voice used in the skill

Cons:

  • Comes off like a radio advertisement

Discovery Channel's shark week is always fun and now Alexa can tell you the next time it comes around.

If shark week has passed, then you can still get tons of cool shark facts through a smooth voice that's a lot less robotic than Alexa.

Initially the skill does read like a radio ad, but the fun and education provides more than a typical commercial.

Your Turn!

What's the best new Amazon Alexa skill?

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    • profile image

      Angela Thompson 5 months ago

      About a year ago I was ready to give up wasting money on purchasing countless brands of tablets for myself and family. Every tablet ended up in the trash within months - days due to mostly charging issues. I decided to try one more tablet because of a recommendation before giving up on tablets altogether. That tablet was the Amazon Fire and I am so glad that I did. Since then I have purchased 3 more Amazon Fire tablets for my husband and 2 kids. I have nothing but greats things to say about the Amazon Tablets. So when I first heard about the Alexa dot, I immediately started my search and could not wait to get Alexa. It all sounded too good to be true and very cool. Well it didn't take long before I brought her home and Alexa became a immediate hit with my family as soon as I plugged her in. Alexa definitely exceeded my expectations and continues to amaze us as her skills grow. As I began reading up on her capabilities, I was surprised and disappointed by one thing that Alexa is unable to do. I assumed being a Amazon product that she would also bring additional amazing functions by being able to connect her to the Amazon tablet. That's my only disappointed with Alexa.

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      Krzysztof Willman 5 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I'm happy to hear about your mostly positive experiences with Amazon and Alexa. I can guarantee that the company will continue to tie Alexa to its other products especially the Fire brand. If there's functionality missing now then it won't be missing for too much longer. You already have her working with Amazons streaming platform and there is some function on the newer tablets like the Fire HD 8. The tablets are excellent I agree and it seems like you've been pretty much satisfied with that too.

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