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Just Bought An Amazon Echo? Here Are Some Of The Best Alexa Skills To Help You Get Started

26 December 2016, 6:31 pm EST By Vincent Lanaria Tech Times
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The Amazon Echo is one of the devices most sought after this holiday season, quickly selling out online and flying off the shelves at physical stores.

For the lucky shoppers who managed to nab one, here are some of the best Alexa skills to help you get started in making the most of the smart speaker.

Call An Uber

Back in February, Uber announced the big news of integrating its services with Echo. Thanks to that, you can hail rides by telling Alexa to "ask Uber to request a ride" and "ask Uber to request an UberX" or get a status update with "ask Uber where's my ride?"

To start using the skill, just head to the Alexa app and configure your Echo's location, enable Uber under Skills, and link your Uber account.

Stream Songs Via Spotify

As a speaker, one of Echo's primary purposes is to blast music, and because of Alexa supporting Spotify, you can play any song that's on the streaming service's huge library using voice commands and even pick one out by playlist, artist, or genre.

Some of the phrases you'll find useful include "Alexa, play [song name] by [artist]," "Alexa, pause," and "Alexa, stop" — that is, if Spotify is set as your default player. If it isn't, you're going to have to follow those commands with "on Spotify."

To get everything ready, open the Alexa app, head on over to the Menu, and go to Music & Books. There, tap on Spotify and link your account.

Order Domino's Pizza

Need some food delivered to your home in a jiffy? Well, you can ask Alexa to deliver Domino's Pizza to your doorstep.

To place an order, simply say "Alexa, open Domino's."

As for the requirements, you're going to need a Domino's Pizza Profile and either a Recent Order or Easy Order, which you can set on your profile.

When you have that all prepped, you can just tell Alexa to "open Domino's and place my Easy Order," making it one heck of a convenient way to get pizza.

How To Set Things Up

Of course, first-time owners of Echo are probably wondering how to set everything up. Some are likely itching to.

It's simple, really. All you have to do is charge up your Echo, install Alexa on your phone, key in your Wi-Fi connection, and the app will help you go through the rest.

Your Choices: Echo, Echo Dot, And Tap

For the record, Amazon has three devices that'll let you take advantage of Alexa.

First up is the Echo, and it's the full package. That means the only possible downside to it is its $179.99 price tag.

Next up is the Echo Dot, and it's the most affordable option out of the bunch at $49.99. However, it's more like a smart hockey puck rather than a speaker.

Last but not least, the Tap is a $129.99 battery-powered smart speaker that's touted to last up to nine hours of playback. It's basically like the Echo, but since it relies on batteries to keep the lights on, the problem is that you have to tap it to call Alexa.

Wrapping Up

With all said and done, feel free to hit us up in the comments section below and let us know what you think of your new Echo and Alexa, especially if the virtual assistant's skills listed above got you off on a good start.

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