The skills are mini applications that exploit the artificial intelligence of Alexa, they are the key to really take the most out of the Amazon Echo device. To help you choose the best Alexa skills, we have compiled the basic ones that include music players, weather news, cooking recipes, games to play in groups and controllers for smart homes.
Unlike a mobile app, in most of the cases there is no need to download, but simply to activate the selected skill in Alexa.
Best Alexa skills:
• Big Sky for the weather forecast.
• Trivial Pursuit, Magic Door and Song Quiz for group games.
• Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and Top Charts to listen to music.
• Food Network to see recipes.
• The Bartender to see cocktail recipes.
• Washington Post, Times, El País to know the news.
• Ring for surveillance devices in smart homes.
Best Alexa Skills for the weather forecast
Alexa’s built-in weather forecast is suitable for all users but if more precision is needed we recommend Big Sky. Once we activate it, we can just say:
“Alexa, ask Big Sky for the weather in three hours”
“Alexa, ask Big Sky when the rain will stop”
“Alexa, ask Big Sky if I need a jacket”
Best Alexa Skills to play games
One of the most mythical games to play as a family is Trivial Pursuit. It can be played by the controls of the Amazon Echo and we can incorporate as many players as we want. To play we can say:
“Alexa, open Trivial Pursuit”
“Alexa, repeat the question”
Another game with which to discover one of the best Alexa Skills is the Magic Door. It is an interactive narrative in which we decide how to continue the story in a group and it leads to great surprises. We can say:
“Alexa, open Magic Door”
“Alexa tell me more”
“Alexa turns back”
To finish, the most popular game of the moment in the Alexa Skills is likely to be Song Quiz, since it has more than 10 000 ratings. The idea is to listen to music and try to guess the name of the song or band. We can ask:
“Alexa, open Song Quiz”
“The song is Everglow, by Coldplay”
Best Alexa skills to listen to music
Spotify, the classic of the streaming services, is very simple to synchronize with Alexa in case of Spotify Premium accounts. All we need to do is to activate the skill.
“Alexa, play Coldplay’s Everglow song on Spotify” / Apple Music.
To play it on Amazon Music it is not necessary to specify the source. We can also ask for a playlist like this:
“Alexa, give me a happy playlist”
“Alexa give me a playlist to sing in the shower”
Best Alexa skills to cook
Tablets have already been our favorite tech tools in the kitchen, but now we have Echo, too. The best part is that we have our hands free for cooking. One of the best Alexa skills is Food Network. It includes recipes from the TV show with the same name and from reputable chefs.
For example, we can say:
“Alexa, look for recipes with eggplant and parmesan”
“Alexa, what is the Food Network’s menu today?“
We also love a skill called The Bartender. It helps us to prepare cocktails like a professional bartender. We only have to choose one or some ingredients and it will guide us step by step to elaborate it.
Alexa’s best skills to keep up to date with the latest news
Most of us know that Alexa already comes with a predetermined news curator. However, we can also choose our preferred media outlet because practically all the medias have a skill at their disposal. For example New York Times, Spiegel and El País. We may say:
“Alexa, read the news section of the Times”
Best Alexa skills for Smart Homes
The skills of smart homes are very varied because, unfortunately, they depend on the brands of the devices that we have at home. That is to say, if we have intelligent bulbs of a mark and remote controllers of both, we will need to download them both on our smartphone to synchronize them with Alexa.
For those who have surveillance devices connected to alarms and cameras of the Ring brand, the skill allows us to access all the information they provide. They can tell us if they have been used, if the doors have been locked or the cameras have been activated. To do this, we just say:
“Alexa, lock my front door.”
“Alexa, answer the front door.”
For our smart TV, the best Alexa skill could be Smart TV Remote. It controls the volume, changes the channel and accesses the library of multimedia files. If we have a television subscription service like Amazon Prime, we can simply ask Alexa to open the content we want.
“Alexa, play Colette”
If, on the other hand, we have other services, it will depend a lot on the brand. With Netflix for example, only the latest smart TVs with the Fire TV app have the option of synchronizing with Alexa.