Amazon Alexa Skills: Here Are Some Of The Best To Make The Most Out Of The Virtual Assistant


At present, the gamut of voice-enabled virtual assistants who have bled into the "smart home" turf include Amazon's Alexa, which is most visible on Amazon Echo devices and Google Assistant, which is the centerpiece of the company's home peripheral called Google Home released on Friday.

With Apple's own virtual assistant Siri out of the running for virtual assistants inside the home, we're left to figure out which is better when it comes to smart assistants, Google or Amazon? While Google remains unbeatable in terms of the expansive stretch of content it can pull to deliver the best search results, it doesn't mean that Alexa can't pack a punch. In its own right, it hosts a hefty amount of capabilities that make it a worthy competitor.

There is a plethora of things you can ask Alexa to do, which Amazon now calls Skills, and they range from productivity tools to controls for your smart home.

You can ask Alexa to read the latest breaking story, turn the overhead fan, ask for random facts about random things, ask for recipes, ask which candidate will win this election, ask for a quote from the Founding Fathers and so much more.

Here are some of the best skills you can enable for Alexa right now.

For Health Nuts, Here Are Some Great Alexa Skills For You

If you have a Fitbit, you can enable the Fitbit skill to ask Alexa about your fitness. The more you use Fitbit, the more it can help you track your progress and keep you motivated to go shed off those extra pounds or maintain a healthy workout routine in general. You can ask it how you're doing on a particular day, how long you slept last night or how many steps you've taken during a run or a leisurely stroll.

To push the envelope a little bit more, you can enable the 7-minute Workout skill and engage in exercises that last, as the name implies, for 7 minutes, which is perfect for those who may not have a lot of time in their schedule for exercising.

On the dietary side, you can enable the Food Network skill for Alexa and ask for healthy recipes. You can even get information on upcoming episodes along with the whole programming lineup. If you follow a particular show on the Food Network, you can even ask Alexa to ask for recipes from that specific show.

Learn Something New Every Day with These Alexa Skills

For those flexing their brain muscles for a potential stint on Jeopardy or for those who just want a morsel of trivia every day, there are a host of Alexa skills prepared to heed to your intellect.

Ever wondered about the history of bacon? Do you know the exact year computers were invented? Or maybe you're interested in facts about eggs, dogs and even tacos? You can enable these skills for Alexa and learn something completely new about mundane things.

While you're at it, you can put your moxie and earned knowledge to the test by enabling the Jeopardy skill for Alexa. See if you can answer all questions correctly.

These Alexa Skills Will Make Your Home Smarter

These smart home-enabled Alexa skills will make you feel like you're inside a Mr. Robot episode. Turn on your Insteon lights or thermostats with the Insteon skill, or if you have a Logitech Harmony hub-based remote, you can enable the Harmony skill and ask Alexa to turn on your TV or Xbox and switch to Discovery Channel or Netflix.

You can also use the TP-LINK Kasa skill to turn on TP-LINK Kasa lights or switches, if you have them installed on your home.

You can visit Alexa's list of skills if the smart home products you purchased support Alexa. Amazon set up a special page that contains a guide for Alexa skills to help you get started.

Do you have an Alexa skill recommendation we might have missed? Feel free to share it with our readers in the comments section below!

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