Let’s face it, there is a good chance that you got some sort of new smart speaker this year, or at the very least you gave one. Amazon’s family of Alexa devices had some incredible sales this holiday season, and they are now in millions of homes. But now that you have a smart speaker in your home, what can you actually use it for? Beyond the traditional tasks of asking for the weather and calendar updates, we collected five of our favorite Alexa skills ot get the most out of your device.
When it comes to an all-encompassing living room entertainment device, it’s no secret we are fans of the Xbox One X. Now thanks to a new Alexa Skill, you can control your Xbox with the power of your voice. You can turn your device on and off, pause movie playback, take a screenshot of the gaming action.
Alexa Away Mode
If you are the kind of person who wants a little extra security around your home, Alexa has a special Away Mode skill that can help. When activated, your Alexa speaker will mimic the sounds of people in your home carrying on a conversation. Think of it as a really high-tech version of leaving talk radio on a radio when you leave. Just make sure you have a lamp or two on, to really help fool would-be thieves.
For all of you pet owners out there, make sure you teach your Alexa speaker the MyPetDoc skill. This particular skill allows your Alexa to act sort of like a WebMD client, but for your pet. If you ever have a dog that eats something they shouldn’t, or a cat that has developed a weird limp, this particular skill can really help. Obviously, an Alexa skill will never replace a trip to see a proper veterinarian, but it can help you sort out the emergency issues from the small problems.
Board Game Answers
There are few things we love more than a good game night. Sometimes though, we forget some of the rules, and trying to dig through Google for the right answer isn’t the funnest experience. With Board Game Answers, you can now just yell at your Alexa device and get an answer. As a bonus, this a great way to call out those friends who like to adjust rules as the game goes on. Just let Alexa tell them they are wrong and save yourself from looking like a jerk.
This Day In History and Word Of The Day
If you want a fun way to start your day, fill your morning with some interesting knowledge. You can learn a new word and expand your personal lexicon, or perhaps you will learn about some interesting historical figure or moment that you can share at the office. Regardless, for someone who has a hard time getting moving in the morning, these little nuggets knowledge always manage to help wake up our brain.