The power of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant lies in its huge library of skills, which you can install to add new features to your Amazon Echo or another compatible device. Not all of the 7,500 skills on offer are worth bothering with, but there are plenty of good ones that can enhance your smart speaker in all sorts of useful, surprising and fun ways.
Cool Amazon Alexa New Secrets Tricks
1. Order your weekly shop
It’s very easy (perhaps a little too easy) to buy your shopping through Amazon, but it doesn’t always offer all the items you might want in your weekly shop.
In August 2017, Ocado became the first supermarket in the UK to launch an Alexa skill, allowing customers to do their grocery shopping through the voice assistant.
You need an Ocado account to use the skill, but once you’ve set this up and enabled it using the Alexa app, you can use the Ocado Skill to add products to your basket, ask which products are currently in season and get help using them in recipes. You can even ask “where’s my order?” to confirm a delivery time.
2. Learn something instantly
If you’re no good at mental arithmetic and can’t be bothered to open the calculator app on your phone, you’ll be glad to know that Alexa can help with simple mathematical problems.
Try asking “Alexa, what’s eight plus 17?” and it will answer immediately with “25”.
Your Amazon device can also define words for you. Say “Alexa, what’s the definition of gregarious?”, for example, and you’ll be able to impress friends with your expanded vocabulary in no time. It’s not just single-word definitions it can help with, either, but entire topics.
Say “Alexa, Wikipedia Ancient Rome” and Alexa will read out the corresponding entry.
3. Play audio using your voice
If you buy an audiobook from Amazon’s audiobook company, Audible (www.audible.com), you can ask Alexa to read it to you. Say “Alexa, play Dan Brown Origin on Audible”, for example, and the assistant will start reading. There are other helpful commands you can use while listening, such as “Alexa, pause” and “Alexa,
resume” if you want to stop and start the audiobook, and “Alexa, next chapter”
to skip ahead.
If you have a Spotify subscription, you can connect your Premium account to your
Echo and ask Alexa to play your music and playlists. Simply say “Alexa, play my playlist ‘Classical’ on Spotify” to listen to all the tracks in that playlist.
3. Easily keep track of time
Next time you’re cooking and you need to set a timer, ask Alexa to set one for you. Just
say, “Alexa, set a timer for 30 minutes” or whatever you need. You can check how much time you have left on the timer by saying “Alexa, how much time is left on my timer?”, or cancel it by saying “Alexa, cancel my timer”.
You won’t even need to look at your watch anymore because Alexa can tell you the time. Just ask, “Alexa, what’s the time?”.
4. Save money on petrol
Fuel Finder is a simple yet highly effective Alexa skill that finds the cheapest price for petrol and diesel in your local area. You will need to grant Alexa access to your location services for the skill to work. Just ask: “Alexa, where’s the cheapest diesel?” or
“Where’s the cheapest petrol in Cheltenham?” for details and directions.
5. Relax by breathing deeply
If all that talking has left you feeling stressed, you may like to try the Breathe skill. This breathing coach for Alexa guides you through a quick five-minute breathing exercise that you can do several times a day to calm your mental state and help you relax.
Just say, “Alexa, start deep breathing”, “Alexa, ask deep breathing for the breathing exercise”, or “Alexa, ask deep breathing to breathe with me”, and Alexa will guide you through the exercise.