AMAZON Echo speakers were one of last year’s most popular gadgets, but users may be running out of things to ask Alexa.
We’ve rounded up some of the best Alexa skills, tips and tricks so you can make the most of your new virtual assistant.
Useful Alexa skills
“Alexa, give me a chocolate brownie recipe” – This uses the Allrecipes skill to provide detailed cooking instructions for chocolate brownies. The recipe can also be sent to your phone, if you need to pop to the shop for ingredients.
“Alexa, play music for sleeping” – Your Amazon Echo will play gentle music as you drift off. You can even tell Alexa to stop playing music in half an hour, so she turns off once you’ve entered the land of nod.
“Alexa, start a 7-minute workout” – If you’re not keen on forking out for a gym membership, Alexa can provide you with a narrated workout for free. Just don’t get mad at her if you’re feeling sore the next day.
“Alexa, what’s on BBC 1 tonight?” – The Echo can reel off some top content for you to watch this evening. You can also ask about specific shows, like when the next episode of The Apprentice is on.
“Alexa, roll a dice” – A handy tool for anyone who wants to leave their big decisions to chance. Alternatively, a great replacement if you’ve lost dice from a board game.
“Alexa, what Indian restaurants are nearby?” – If you’ve set up your location in the Alexa app, you can use your Echo to find restaurant recommendations in your local area.
“Alexa, play music everywhere” – This relatively new feature lets you play your music across all Echo devices in your home – great for parties.
“Alexa, read The Jungle Book from Audible” – Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale for kids is available as a free audiobook through the Amazon Echo.
“Alexa, set a repeating alarm for Tuesdays at 8am” – It’s no secret that Alexa can set alarms. But save yourself the effort of creating new ones all the time, and use this handy command to set up repeater alarms instead.
“Alexa, add milk to my shopping list” – Alexa can keep a running list of items you need to buy, which will be stored in your mobile app. That makes for easy viewing once you’re actually in the supermarket.
“Alexa, how long does it take to boil an egg” – Culinary queries needn’t be Googled. Alexa is a one-stop shop for all your basic cooking trivia needs.
“Alexa, ask Domino’s to place my Easy Order” – Enable the Domino’s Pizza skill in your Alexa app and set up a favourite ‘Easy Order’. Then you can simply order Domino’s deliveries just by using your voice, whenever you like.” You can even get updates on the delivery status by saying “Alexa, ask Domino’s to track my order.”
Fun Alexa skills
“Alexa, open Ditty” – Speak a message aloud, and the Ditty skill will turn your words into an actual song. You can even link your Twitter account to share your creations with friends.
“Alexa, drum roll please” – Does what it says on the tin.
“Alexa, rap for me” – She’s not quite Eminem, but Alexa can lay down some pretty sweet rhymes if you give her the chance.
“Alexa, tell me my horoscope” – The Echo can offer up predictions based on your star sign – but there’s no guarantee they’ll actually come true.
“Alexa, play rock, paper scissors, lizard Spock” – A fun variant on the traditional hand-sign game, as popularised by hit TV series The Big Bang Theory.
“Alexa, what’s the phase of the moon” – Cool, but not particularly useful unless you’re a druid, or a werewolf.
Alexa Easter Eggs
“Alexa, I have a cunning plan” – For Blackadder fans.
“Alexa, what’s the meaning of life?” – If you’ve read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you’ll love this.
“Alexa, open the pod bay doors” – An excellent throwback to classic sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
“Alexa, do you know Siri?” – When it comes to virtual assistants, it’s a small world.
“Alexa, who you gonna call?” – GHOSTB…actually, we’ll leave this one as a surprise.
“Alexa, what’s the first rule of Fight Club?” – Once you know, tell no one.
“Alexa, winter is coming” – This one will get you by until the last season of Game of Thrones finally arrives.