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Top 10 Amazon Alexa Skills for Echo Dot

Updated on August 7, 2017
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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10 Best Amazon Alexa Skills for Echo Dot

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.

Top 10 Alexa Skills for Echo Dot

From #1 to #10
1. Discovery Channel's Shark Week
2. Patron Tequila
3. Yes Sire
4. Potterhead Quiz
5. Big Sky
6. Honeywell Total Connect Comfort
7. SiriusXM
8. The Daily Show
9. August Home
10. Lyft
For details on each skill, read on....

10. Lyft

Source

"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

Summary:

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

Summary:

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

Summary:

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. SiriusXM

Source

"Alexa, Play Classic Vinyl on SiriusXM"

Access one of the most premium streaming subscriptions from anywhere with SiriusXM for Echo.

Pros:

  • Easy to link and setup
  • Available for all access trials and internet radio or paid subscriptions
  • Full navigation control to your favorite channels by name or number

Cons:

  • Limited to one Echo device at a time
  • Can be buggy with linking issues and technical glitches
  • Alexa doesn't always give out correct channel or request

Summary:

SiriusXM has been a stable of satellite radio for cars, and now it's available for every Echo device.

You can navigate either by channel name or number as long as you have a subscription (paid or all access), which is easy to setup/link.

However there's recently been several bugs related to the skill including the inability to link to accounts, connect to your account, and other technical glitches such as Alexa misunderstanding channel requests.

SiriusXM is one of the most popular and ambitious Alexa skill to date, but there's clearly a lot of glitches to work out before its potential is truly realized.

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

Summary:

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

Summary:

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

Summary:

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. Yes Sire

"Alexa, Play Yes Sire"

A game of feast or famine with this choice-based family friendly game that puts your king's rule to the test.

Pros:

  • Multitude of questions and scenarios
  • Fun for the whole family
  • Funny, witty, and interactive

Cons:

  • Difficult to win and hard to hear the narration sometimes

Summary:

A highly reviewed decision based skill with a lot of different questions and possible scenarios. A great medieval theme and an excellent compliment to the popular app "Reigns".

Interactive, funny, and fun for the whole family if you're bored.

There are very few negatives but sometimes it may be difficult to hear the narration and it can be challenging, which may not be such a bad thing.

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

Summary:

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

Summary:

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?

See results

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    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 11 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.

    • profile image

      Angela Thompson 11 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.