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Amazon’s Alexa Has Some Answers to Questions You Probably Don’t Even Know to Ask.
Alexa is a top-selling gadget for Amazon, and the list of things it can do is ever increasing. Most people who use Amazon Alexa ask the same things over and over -but this virtual assistant can answer a lot of questions you’d never think of. Plus, with new “Skills” (commands) being added all the time, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.
But first, a little about Alexa for those of you who aren’t familiar with its capabilities.
Alexa is the cloud-based brain behind the Echo speaker. It’s a “virtual assistant” capable of voice interaction. You can ask Alexa to make to-do lists, set alarms, stream podcasts, play audiobooks and music, and provide other real-time info like weather, traffic, and news. Alexa can also control smart devices in your home if you install the Skills for them. However, unlike mobile-based virtual assistants like Apple’s Siri, Alexa is a dedicated, in-home device.
Here’s a basic list of what Alexa can do.
Now that you’ve got the basics covered, here are some fun questions you can ask Alexa.
(Remember to say “Alexa” before you ask the question.)
Education and Trivia
Whether you’re curious about when Napoleon was born, how to translate a term from Spanish to English or if you want a trivia fact, Alexa can inform you. Here are some fun questions to ask:
Alexa’s easter-egg commands will make you laugh.
These are just some of the things Alexa can do with its built-in commands. You can enable so much more by adding Skills to Alexa. For example, you can download a Skill from Domino’s Pizza, so Alexa can order a pizza with your favorite toppings. Or, download an Uber Skill, so you can ask Alexa to schedule a pick up for you. Download an app from Capital One, and Alexa can help you with financial management. You can also use the Alexa app on your smartphone to download additional Skills. Alexa can handle over 15,000 Skills, and the list is growing all the time.
Most are free to enable. Just go to Amazon and look under Alexa Skills to find them. Here are some that may interest you:
Cooking, Food and Drink: All Recipes, Save the Food, Bartender, Ingredient Sub, Anova Precision Cooker, Beer Calculator, Meat Thermometer, Best Recipes, Meal Idea
Fitness: 7-Minute Workout, 5-Minute Plant Workout, Fitbit, Track by Nutritionix, Guided Meditation
Entertainment: Radio Mystery, Short Bedtime Story, This Day in History, Valossa Movie Finder, Jeopardy
Finance: Capital One, Opening Bell, TD Ameritrade, Cryptocurrency Flash Briefing
Productivity: Giant Spoon (marketing), Quick Events (calendar)
Weather: Big Sky, Feels Like, Fast Weather
Travel: Kayak, Uber, Lyft, Airport Security Line Wait Times
Skills for Kids: Sesame Street, The SpongeBob Challenge, Amazon Storytime, NASA Mars, 1-2-3 Math, Word of the Day, This Day in History
Skills for Seniors: Senior Portal, VoiceFriend, EngAGE Workout, AARP Now News
It’s a good idea to check regularly to see what’s new with Amazon’s Alexa because she’s getting smarter all the time!