Things You Didn’t Know Alexa Can Do

Alexa is becoming increasingly versatile as its skills library expands; with over 26,000 skills, it can assist with just about every aspect of your life. Although you probably already know that Alexa can play just about any music you can think of (“Alexa, play Bob Marley.”) or tell you about the current temperature (“Alexa, what is the current temperature?”), Amazon’s virtual voice assistant, which got its name partly because “x” is rarely used in English, can just do so much more. In fact, there are Alexa skills that can help you in every sphere of your life, from work, routine daily activities and to family life.

Six Alexa skills for winning at work

Getting up for work after a late night can be challenging, but Alexa can help smooth out your morning routine. It can set a wake up call at 5 a.m., gently easing you from dreamland with your choice of music. Of course, you need to know what the world outside your doorstep looks like before you hit the road. It can check the weather for you so you know if you should pack an umbrella as well as give you the current updates on the traffic with the best route to take. Got a big client coming in tonight who loves fusion? It can make recommendations on the best fusion restaurants in town (“Alexa, what are some top-rated fusion restaurants?”)

Increasing numbers of workers either work from a home office or find that they need to juggle work responsibilities after hours. Whether you are FaceTiming in your pajamas or simply putting in some extra hours before the weekend, there are many Alexa skills that help you do your job quickly and efficiently. For example, it does research: It will probably not be able to help you get that PhD that you’ve always wanted, but it can help you get the right information to finish that report for a client. And if you give it enough time “alexa clean my house” can become a real option. If you are on the hunt for a new position, it has your back with the Interview Prep skill (“Alexa, ask Interview Prep for a question.”).

Five skills for every day

You know that you need to clean the kitchen floor, but grabbing a broom is the last thing you feel like doing. If you have a Roomba, it can help (“Alexa, ask Roomba to begin cleaning the kitchen”). Whether you have an athletic teen in the house or several dogs, sometimes your daily cleaning could use a boost from a fresh scent. Scenting services company Prolitec’s Aera fragrance system works with Alexa to deliver a better smelling room with only a simple voice command.

Have you ever had that moment where you reach in to grab that carton of milk for your cereal only to find that someone put it back in the fridge empty? It can help: by having the assistant order groceries on demand, you can ensure that you never run out of milk again (well, maybe). Impatient shoppers can even track their purchases (“Alexa, where’s my stuff?”). There is even an Alexa skill that helps you cook: Whirlpool’s connected microwaves allow you to say things such as “Alexa, microwave for 60 seconds at medium power” to get dinner on the table quickly.

Three skills to make family time relaxing

Families are squeezed for time, but everyone needs some time off. The Alexa is there to help. For example, multiple timers can be set so kids can keep track of homework, reading and TV/video time, making it easier to stay on task or move on. Perhaps you’re exhausted after a hard day but the kids still want to cuddle up with a story before bed. It can entertain them (and you) with a suitable bedtime tale while you get in one last snuggle and kiss goodnight (“Alexa, tell a BedTime Story to Timmy.”). After the kids are tucked in, you can help yourself have sweet dreams by getting it to narrate a kindle book you have downloaded.

Doing more for you every day

Modern life is extremely busy, and most of us could use a helping hand. With its rapidly expanding skill library, it can perform many functions that can help you with your daily life (you can even find a new skill every day). From adjusting the environment in your connected home to helping with the most routine home and work activities, Alexa provides the support you need to power through your day.

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