Amazon Echo's 2 Year Anniversary: Top 100 Features
Top 100 Amazon Echo Features
After Amazon's "Fire Phone" flop the Echo was a mystery product that was destined to follow the same path. However in the 2 years since its launch, it's become one of the most innovative products of the past few years.
But how much has Echo and its voice powered assistant Alexa changed?
Discover the top 100 features since Amazon Echo's launch and how much it transformed the smart home, the internet of things, and AI assistants.
The Echo Dot
Echo's New Hardware & Daily News
1. Launch of Echo Dot
2. Amazon Tap
3. Second generation Echo Dot
4. Echo Spatial Perception
5. Local news flash briefings
7. Brand new slimmer design for Dot
8. New "white" color scheme
9. Echo skins and covers
10. ESPN radio
11. BBC and NBC news
12. TechCrunch and CNET
13. New Alarm Tones
14. Alarms from Finding Dory, Alec Baldwin, and Missy Elliot
15. CNN News and the Washington Post
16. Redesigned Amazon Alexa app for skills and smart home
17. Ask "what's on my shopping list?"
18. Traffic information for multiple points
19. Set multiple timers and alarms
20. Set sleep alarms
Amazon Tap and Echo Dot 2nd Generation
Some of the biggest 2-year changes occurred with new product launches such as the 1st and 2nd gen Echo Dot and the Amazon Tap.
In particular, the Dot was a smaller, cheaper Alexa enabled device that made these smart assistants far more accessible to the public.
The 2nd generation also introduced the gadget beyond the United States into the UK and Germany with a slimmer design, improved features, and Echo Spatial Perception.
Along with new devices, we saw updates to things like alarms/timers with new tones from "Finding Dory" and Missy Elliot as well as a slew of different news feeds and podcasts that can be accessed through the Echo.
Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music and Spotify Premium
21. Amazon Music Unlimited
22. Spotify Premium
23. Pandora music station
24. Bluetooth playback controls (pause, resume, skip songs)
25. Listen to Kindle books
26. Hear audiobooks from Audible with playback controls (skip chapters)
27. Set repeating alarms either daily, weekly, or weekend only
28. Local restaurant and business info from Yelp
29. Find out what's playing in theaters nearby including showtimes and movie info
30. Google Calendar
31. Order and Reorder Prime eligible items
32. Track Amazon packages
33. Customized sports update for favorite teams
34. Use IFTTT recipes to generate multiple commands/rules
35. Election news and information
36. Associated Press and Engadget
37. MLB.com gameday audio
38. USA Today
39. Amazon Alexa Easter eggs
40. Alexa skill set with over 4,000 skills
New Music Stations
Amazon's recent launch of Amazon Music Unlimited gives your Echo devices even more power with a low cost monthly subscription service of 3.99 a month.
The caveat is you have to have an Echo product and be a Prime member, but there are other options too. Alexa can play Spotify Premium songs, Pandora, or music from a Bluetooth connected device.
You can also control playback with pauses, resumes, and volume controls either within a music service or a Bluetooth device.
Those playback controls also pertain to audiobooks and your Kindle eBook collection with the ability to skip chapters and return to where you left off in the story.
Amazon Alexa Skills
Logitech Harmony, Domino's Pizza, and Uber
41. Domino's Pizza
45. Logitech Harmony Remote
46. Fitbit for fitness tracking
47. Amazing Word Master Game
48. 7-Minute Workout
49. TrackR to find lost phone
50. "The Wayne Investigation" for audio storytelling
51. "The Magic Door" choose your own adventure
52. Pickup Lines
53. Abra for Akinator
54. Ask My Buddy
55. Patron Tequila and The Bartender
56. OurGrocies for synched shopping lists across iPhone and Android devices
58. 1-Minute Mindfulness
59. Yo Mamma Jokes and 4A Fart (sound effects)
60. Campbell's Kitchen
20 Best Amazon Alexa Skills
Some of the greatest additions of the past two years have been in the form of "Alexa Skills".
A few premiere skills include Uber, Lyft, Domino's Pizza, Logitech Harmony, "The Wayne Investigation", and Capital One, but there are thousands of skills to choose from.
You can ask for a variety of crude jokes, sound effects, and recipes or perhaps listen to new audio stories, play games, and quiz yourself on a multitude of topics.
The possibilities are endless as more and more skills are added daily, but be on the lookout for higher quality skills to come. Amazon has partnered with so many companies that it won't be long before your favorites are on this list.
2017 will be an amazing year for newer, better Amazon Alexa skills.
Complete Smart Home Control
SmartThings and Nest Power Your Home
63. Wink & Phillips Hue
65. Automatic skill for cars
66. Alarm.com and Scout Alarm
67. August Home, iDevices, and SkyBell
68. Caseta Wireless
70. Nexia Home Intelligence
71. Haiku Home for fans
72. TP-Link Kasa
73. LIFX for colored smart lighting
74. Rachio Sprinkler control
76. Iris connected home control
77. Ecobee, Emerson, and Honeywell thermostats
78. BMW Connected
79. Genesis for G80 & G90 Hyundai Genesis auto owners
80. Control4 Smart Home
Amazon Is King of the Smart Home
Google's Home may be more intelligent than the Echo but its smart home skill-set does not compare to Amazon's.
With partners ranging from Nest and Insteon to TP-Link Kasa, Iris, and Yonomi; there's never been such a vast integration across so many platforms.
You can control your lighting, fans, TV, thermostats, smart locks, and even check your car's mileage/fuel level with "Automatic". Heck soon you'll be able to tell Alexa to start your car for you with skills like Genesis.
Alexa will be a huge platform for automakers in the near future.
Most of these skills also integrate with IFTTT so you can create multiple recipes to trigger combined actions. While not every smart home skill is perfect and there are several limitations, it's a sign that the internet of things market is ready to burst.
These integrations will only get better and better with time.
The Daily Show and More Entertainment
The Daily Show and "The Voice"
81. The Daily Show
82. The Voice
83. Food Network
84. TV Shows, Milo and SyFy
86. PGA Tour
87. Yahoo Fantasy
88. Cat and dog facts
90. Big Sky local weather app
91. Ooma for voicemails
92. Twenty Questions
93. Animal Game
94. Receive NCAA Football scores/schedules
96. Twitter Reader to read timeline, mentions, likes, trends, and retweets
97. Control scenes with Philips Hue, SmartThings, and Insteon
98. Alexa skills available at Amazon.com
99. Improvements to Alexa's AI
100. Google Home
The Google Home
Finally Amazon has begun to entertain us by bringing snippets from "The Daily Show, "The Voice", SyFy, and Food Network into users lives.
There's even a few skills like Milo and TV Shows to tell you about different movies/shows playing on cable and streaming channels like Hulu, Amazon Video, and Netflix.
Along with those gems and a few more games or smart skills, there's the bigger picture of improved AI and the launch of intelligent digital assistants with the arrival of Google Home.
The Echo has ushered in an innovative area where voice takes precedence over touch. Soon you'll see voice integration with Apple products, Sonos speakers, Sony devices etc.
It's been a profitable two years for the Amazon Echo, but this is only the beginning.
The next few years will push AI into the forefront that will truly launch a reworked future. Get ready because the intelligence era has just started.
While it may not seem like it now, the Echo may have done for personal AI and voice control what the iPhone did for mobile nearly 10 years ago.
Congratulations on your 2-year anniversary Amazon Echo; may the force be with you.