From ordering a pizza for you, to sorting out your shopping…
Your Amazon Echo isn’t just there to play music and give you weather updates. With Alexa voice commands built-in, it’s your 24/7 personal assistant - always evolving to make life that little bit easier.
Here are some of the best Alexa skills you can download to your Amazon Echo right now…
Ocado is the first UK supermarket to launch a dedicated skill for the Amazon Echo. It lets you add items to your online shopping basket using your voice.
For example If you’ve run out of garlic, just say: “Alexa, ask Ocado to add garlic”, and the item will be added to your next order automatically. You can even ask if your delivery is on time, the total bill of your order, and more.
Don’t feel like lifting a finger to cook? Then order a pizza. And if you’re feeling extra lazy, get Alexa to do it for you.
You’ll first need to sign up for an Easy Order account through the Domino’s website. But once you’ve done that, you only need to mutter the words: “Alexa, ask Domino’s to feed me”, and your Echo will take your order. Track your pizza order by saying: “Alexa, ask Domino’s to track my order”.
If you’ve got one of those fancy iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaners, you can command it to get to work with the magic words: “Alexa, ask Roomba to start cleaning.”
Your hands-free vacuum will automatically give your home the once-over. When you’re satisfied, just ask your Roomba to “stop cleaning”, and hey presto, it stops cleaning. To make it work you’ll need the iRobot HOMEApp, available on Android and iOS.
Nest Thermostats lets you control your home’s heating using your Android or iOS smartphone. Now, thanks to Alexa, you can make your home nice and toasty using only your voice.
Ask Alexa to set your chosen temperature in a room, or to decrease the temperature without having to press a button or reach for your smartphone.
Samsung SmartThings is a collection of connected smart home gadgets, that you can control using your smartphone. They include home monitors, motion sensors, power outlets, and more.
The list of SmartThings-compatible products is growing all the time. But with Alexa – you guessed it – you can control some of them by using your voice instead. Dim the bedroom lights, turn on your coffee machine, or if you’ve got a connected door lock from Yale, lock the front door while you’re tucked up in bed. Simple.
Transform Alexa into your Spotify-friendly DJ. Go to the settings within the Amazon Alexa app, and link your Spotify account with your Amazon Echo. Once that’s done, you can ask Alexa to play your music collection, your Discover Weekly playlist, or tracks from your favourite genres. And you can ask which song is playing at any moment, and Alexa will tell you.
Let there be light, with the Philips Hue Alexa Skill. It lets you turn your connected lightbulbs on, or off, and change their colour.
To get started, you’ll need to enable the skill in your Alexa app, link to your Philips Hue account, and say, “Alexa, discover devices” to bring your lights to life. This skill is only compatible with the Philips Hue bridge V2 (square shape) bulbs, but it’s surely a matter of time before more bulbs will work with it.
Do you already own an Amazon Echo? Let us know what your think about the new skills in the comments below. Or, if you'd like to try it out for yourself, head over to our sister company, Currys PC World, to find out more.