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Most Useful Skills and Features to Add to Your Alexa

Most Useful Skills and Features to Add to Your Alexa

Smart Home devices have become a common addition to households across the world. And it is easy to see why. Offering almost instant responses, information, and actions with just the right demand. But there are some super useful skills and features that you may just be unaware of.

How to Add Skills

Many of you may be used to just asking Alexa to do something and getting the right response. But for many skills, it’s not as simple as that. You need to download the skill or game onto the Alexa through your Alexa app. It’s very easy to do so. If you have already set up your Alexa, you will have already gone through all the steps with the Alexa app.

If not, then make sure you download the Alexa app and connect the device to your Alexa. From there, you can head to the skills page along with the menu. From there it is as simple as searching for the skill you want it to learn and installing it. From there, all you must do is ask Alexa the associated phrase and it will respond. With that out of the way, let’s go into our selection for some of the most useful skills.

Tweet Reader

For those who love to look through Twitter and keep up to date with their favourite celebrities and news, the Tweet Reader skill is a good tool to have. This skill will read the latest tweet from any of your favourite profiles. Once installed, all you have to say is something along the lines of “Alexa, ask Tweet Reader for the latest tweet by …” And it will read the most recent post.

Sports Updates

Within the Alexa App, you can set your sports updates just how you want them. Within the settings section of the Alexa App, you can find a tab dedicated to sports. Here you will find a changeable list. What you want to do here is add all your favourite teams and sports. Once set up, just Alexa to give you your sports update, and it will give you a personalised response.

Stopwatch

When you are on a timer, fumbling about on your phone to pull one up can be a bit of a nuisance. With the stopwatch skill on Alexa, you can easily get one going just by asking. The skill is simple. Once installed, simply ask Alexa to start the stopwatch. Or even restart, delete or continue. A very handy tool if you are cooking, doing exercise and so much more in your home.

Spin the Wheel

Have a debate in your home? A spin of a wheel is often the fastest and easiest way to get things set or settled. Most of us don’t have a wheel on hand, and why would you? But at the same time, trusting random wheel websites online isn’t a great option. With the spin the wheel skill, you can give Alexa up to 10 options and it will randomly select one. Once installed, just say “Alexa, open spin the wheel” or another phrase on those lines and you can start spinning.

Phone Finder

It is a massive pain when you can find your phone. Especially if you are in a rush for work. You’ve tried calling the phone, but it’s on silent. With the Phone Finder skill, this worry is resolved. By connecting your phone to the Alexa and getting this skill, you can just ask “Alexa, open Phone Finder and find my phone” and it will cause your device to ring at full volume and with vibration.

Big Sky

All Alexa models will have a weather skill on them as a standard. But Big Sky takes it to the next level. Giving you instant updates on accurate forecasts and more specific locations. Big Sky uses Tomorrow.io, a hyper-accurate service that provides real-time weather forecasts to many important and popular apps. With this skill installed, you can ask Alexa to open Big Sky and you will get very accurate weather updates based on your location.

Alexa Guard

If you are a bit concerned about your home when you are out, then Alexa Guard is a skill that will help ease your nerve. Alexa Guard detects and alerts you of numerous sounds, like the sound of breaking glass, carbon monoxide or smoke alarms. The base guard service is free, but there is Alexa Guard Plus which you can subscribe to if you want extra help. Once the skill is set up, you can simply say “Alexa, I’m leaving” and it will instantly enter guard mode. Or if you want to shut it off, you can say “Alexa, I’m home.”

Multilingual Mode

The multilingual mode will most likely already be installed on to your Alexa the moment you get it. But it is an extremely useful skill to have, especially if you have family members or friends who speak different languages. It’s super simple to use as well. Simply say “Alexa, speak English and Spanish” and it will start speaking to you in either of those languages.

Drop-In

Drop-In is a feature that allows you from one Alexa device to open a conversation with another connected device. Or you can communicate from your phone to your Alexa. And this is very useful say if you have a smart doorbell or intercom and want to let the person visiting that you are out. Or if you want to talk to someone who is in a different room to you. All you must do is connect all the devices you have, make sure the skill is in place and then ask “Alexa, Drop-In on …”

Connect to Other Devices

Dropping in on other devices is just one small part of Alexa’s connectivity. In fact, there are a lot of different connections and commands that are capable with Alexa. Smart Lighting is a good example. If you have lighting like the Philips Hue Bulb, you can control the lighting of your home. Like what colour the bulbs set to, whether they are on or off, timers and so much more. And there are a lot of skills that are tied to these. As for Philips Hue Bulbs, you would need the Philips Hue skill. And this goes for many smart devices like locks, doorbells and so much more. But it is worth it in making your home smarter.

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