ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Amazon Echo's 2 Year Anniversary: Top 100 Features

Updated on November 6, 2016
Chriswillman90 profile image

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

Source

Top 100 Amazon Echo Features

On November 6, 2014 the Amazon Echo was officially launched for Amazon Prime members, and nobody had any idea what to expect.

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

Source

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

6. Amazon Echo for UK and Germany

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

Source

Logitech Harmony, Domino's Pizza, and Uber

41. Domino's Pizza

42. Uber

43. Lyft

44. 1-800-Flowers

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

57. StubHub

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

61. SmartThings

62. Nest

63. Wink & Phillips Hue

64. Insteon

65. Automatic skill for cars

66. Alarm.com and Scout Alarm

67. August Home, iDevices, and SkyBell

68. Caseta Wireless

69. Yonomi

70. Nexia Home Intelligence

71. Haiku Home for fans

72. TP-Link Kasa

73. LIFX for colored smart lighting

74. Rachio Sprinkler control

75. Vivint.SmartHome-Complete

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

85. KidsMD

86. PGA Tour

87. Yahoo Fantasy

88. Cat and dog facts

89. Garageio

90. Big Sky local weather app

91. Ooma for voicemails

92. Twenty Questions

93. Animal Game

94. Receive NCAA Football scores/schedules

95. EarPlay

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.

Your Turn

What are the biggest Amazon Echo updates since its 2 year launch?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • touch4laptop profile image

      Eslam Elewa 5 months ago from United States

      the shape of amazon echo is really fantastic and fit with every thing in home

    • profile image

      AskMyBuddy 5 months ago

      Great summary / review of the last two years for Alexa.

      Thanks for placing AskMyBuddy 54th! We also have a birthday, 1 year old 11/13/15

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 5 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Fantastic, it's a really great skill that continues to gain traction.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
      Author

      Krzysztof Willman 5 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      It's a cool design, if you've seen Google Home I prefer the Echos cylinder to the Homes plug-in like look.

    Click to Rate This Article