The best Alexa skills that are worth checking out

All the devices that are a part of the Amazon Echo family are excellent options, based on your needs and budget, if you’re looking to get a smart speaker. However, the one constant, and the reason they are all equally capable, is Alexa. You can talk to Amazon’s AI assistant to get a lot done. But the true power of Alexa lies in third-party Alexa skills, providing a lot of new features and capabilities.

There are over 30,000 (and growing rapidly) Alexa skills currently available. Here are some of the best Alexa skills that we think are worth checking out!


News and Weather

Amazon Alexa | Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Echo Dot.

There are quite a few Alexa skills for those looking for news and weather. Here’s just a few favorites:

CNN Flash Briefing

This Alexa skill gives you the latest in breaking news in the US and more on the weather, entertainment, politics, and health from CNN. This will become a part of your daily flash briefing.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Fox News

You get the latest news from Fox News with this Alexa skill. Like most of the other news skills on this list, this becomes a part of your daily flash briefing.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

BBC

For a worldwide headlines update, get the BBC skill to hear the latest from the BBC World Service. This will also be added to your daily flash briefing.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

The Daily from The New York Times

This is a recorded 15-minute show that is ready by 6 AM every morning and is hosted by Michael Barbaro. This will also be added to your daily flash briefing.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

The Washington Post

Get the latest headlines, political analysis from national political correspondent James Hohmann, and more with the Washington Post skill. You can also play the weekly Know Your News quiz. You can set up a breaking news alert as well by enabling notifications.

  • “Alexa, open Washington Post.”
  • “Alexa, ask Washington Post for headlines.”
  • “Alexa, ask Washington Post for a news quiz.”

Big Sky

You can always ask Alexa for the weather, but the Big Sky skill allows hyper-local hourly weather forecasts tied to your or another street address. Of course, you can also check up on other places around the country and the world as well.

  • “Alexa, open Big Sky.”
  • “Alexa, ask Big Sky if it will [rain/be sunny/ becloudy] in/at [time period or specific time].”
  • “Alexa, ask Big Sky for the weather [day/date] at [specified/saved addresses].”

Finance

What is Alexa? | All New Echo

Want to learn more about economic, get advice on investing, and more? Here are a few Alexa skills worth looking at:

Marketplace

Marketplace is one of the leading business news programs in the US. You get a clear exploration of how economics news affects you with stories, conversations, and anything else that is newsworthy. Hosted by Kai Ryssdal. This becomes a part of your daily flash briefing as well.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Thirty Second Money Tip by Nick True

This skill is exactly what it sounds like. Get the best money advice with regards to learning how to spend less, invest better, and save more with daily tips in just thirty seconds. This is also a part of your daily flash briefing.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Bank Helper

Sofia is your Bank Helper and gives you the latest information about the highest bank savings account and C.D. (certificate of deposit) rates. You can also get general answers about savings accounts and C.D.’s, and the best places to find them.

  • “Alexa, open Bank Helper.”
  • “Alexa, ask Bank Helper for today’s C.D. rates.”
  • “Alexa, ask Bank Helper for bank account savings rates.”

Education and Reference

Below you’ll find some of the best Alexa skills that are educational – and incidentally some of them can be pretty entertaining too, like “on this day”.

Life Hacks

The Life Hacks skill is a nice way to listen to some useful life hacks for day-to-day activities. There are definitely some interesting ones that you may have never thought about. The list gets updated with new life hacks every week.

  • “Alexa, open life hacks.”

Word of the Day Flash Briefing

You can also learn something new with the Word of the Day skill. As the name suggests, a new word is introduced every day and includes information like its definition, etymology, and examples of how to use it in a sentence. This will be added to your daily Flash Briefing.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Ripley’s Weird Minute

Get your mind away from the everyday political, entertainment and other news, at least for a minute. With the Ripley’s Weird Minute skill, you get to hear weird news from around the globe every day. This also gets added to your daily Flash Briefing.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

On This Day

On This Day tells you interesting events that have occurred in the past on that particular date. It’s definitely a nice and simple way to learn something new, and increase your knowledge and love of history.

  • “Alexa, open On This Day.”

wikiHow

wikiHow is one of the leading how-to guides around. You can get step-by-step instructions for almost anything and everything with the wikiHow is a must-have Alexa skill.

  • “Alexa, open wiki How.”
  • “Alexa, ask wiki How how do I [any activity].”

TED Talks

Explore a vast archive of TED Talks from a variety of technology magnets, global leaders, and thought leaders. You can listen to the latest talks, search by topic, or look up a specific speaker. You can also pick a random broad category like jaw-dropping, funny, inspiring, courageous, persuasive, and more.

  • “Alexa, ask TED Talks to play the latest talk.”
  • “Aexa, ask TED Talks for something [category].”
  • “Alexa, ask TED Talks to find talks about [topic].”

Food

There are numerous Alexa skills devoted to ordering food, getting recipes, and similar. Here are just a few of our favorites:

Pizza Source

Pizza source lets you order pizza and other related items. You can create and modify orders, or re-order previous ones. All orders are handled leading quality brand name restaurants and in most cases, a relevant discount coupon is added automatically where applicable.

  • “Alexa, start pizza source.”
  • “Alexa, start pizza source and….[tell me my order/send in my order/create a new order].”

Best Recipes

Best Recipes by Hellmann’s and Best Foods give you great recipe ideas for any occasion. You can narrow down your search based on the type of meal, the ingredients you have available, or just specific dishes. You can browse through recipes and recipe collections and receive the full recipe via email.

  • “Alexa, open Best Recipes.”
  • “Alexa, ask Best Recipes what’s for dinner.”
  • “Alexa, tell Best Recipes I’m hungry.”

Easy Meal Ideas

Easy Meal Ideas gives you, well, easy meal ideas. You can make great meals using simple ingredients and items that you will generally have in your kitchen, fridge, or pantry. It isn’t a step-by-step guide though, but most people can manage these recipes without the need of precise, measured ingredients.

  • “Alexa, open/start/launch Easy Meal Ideas.”

Random Restaurant

Random Restaurant uses the Yelp API to suggest nearby restaurants based on your query. You can specify budgets (cheap/not too expensive/fine dining) and cuisines and Alexa will suggest a name.

  • “Alexa, ask Random Restaurant for a [budget][cuisine] restaurant.”

Games and Trivia

There are quite a few Alexa skills for those looking to play a game. Most of these are trivia games and the like, though there are even ‘voice based’ RPGs and more. Here’s just a few of our favorite amazon Alexa games, for more check out our guide.

Would you Rather

 This is a simple but rather addictive game where you make the choice between two silly situations and you find out whether other players around the world agree with your selection. There is now a multi-player mode as well to allow you to enjoy this game with others who are with you.

  • “Alexa, play/start/open would you rather.”

Song Quiz

Think you know everything about music? Play Song Quiz to test your knowledge. With over a thousand songs from the last six decades, challenge others in live competition or compete head to head against players around the country. Guess the correct song and artist to get points.

  • “Alexa, start/open/play song quiz.”

Guess my Name

Guess my Name is another fun game where you have to guess who the person or what the thing, animal, or place is by asking Alexa a series of questions. There are a bunch of free categories available but you can also unlock premium categories like US States and Countries around the world.

  • “Alexa, open Guess my Name.”
  • “Alexa, ask Guess my Name to play [category like famous actors].”
  • “Alexa, ask Guess my Name to play [mode – single/multi player].”

Question of the Day

Question of the Day asks you a new question each and every day to test your knowledge of arts, literature, science, entertainment, and more. It’s a great way to improve your trivia knowledge and you can also collect points and see how others are performing.

  • “Alexa, ask/start/play Question of the Day.”

Trivia Hero

Trivia Hero gives you sixty seconds to answer as many trivia questions as you can. You can play as a single player or against up to 20 other people. After you are done with the available 250 questions, you can also opt to buy the premium pack that adds another 250.

  • “Alexa, open/play Trivia Hero.”

Categories Game

This is one of my childhood favorites and remains as fun when playing it on the Echo. Alexa will pick a random letter and you then have to name an animal, a country, a thing, and other categories starting with that particular letter.

  • “Alexa, open/play Categories Game.”
  • After Alexa tells you the starting letter and category you respond with “[Category],[Name].”

Fitness

Alexa skills that can help you lose weight? Sign us up! Here are just a few of our favorites:

Five Minute Workout – Core and Cardio

As the name suggests, you get a fast moving five-minute routine packed with fat burning and core strengthening exercises.

  • “Alexa, open Five Minute Workout.”
  • “Alexa, pause/resume.”

6-Minute Full Body Stretch

Increase or flexibility and range of motion with the 6-minute Fully Body Stretch program. You can also combine it with the other workouts on this list to get a full and longer workout in.

  • “Alexa, open/start full body stretch.”

Workout Coach

Workout Coach provides a customizable version of the tried and tested 7-minute workout program. You can customize the number of 7-minute sets you do, the order of the exercises, whether background music plays or not, and the type of coach (standard, affirming, drill sergeant). You can also ask to make an exercise easier or harder or generally ask for help.

  • “Alexa, open Workout Coach.”
  • “Alexa, open Workout Coach and customize.”
  • “Alexa, ask Workout Coach for help.”
  • “How do I make this easier/harder.”
  • “Alexa, pause/resume/previous/next.”

Pro Workout

Pro Workout gives you a full body workout with a trainer guiding you. Do as many rounds as you can, breaks are built-in, and no equipment is required.

  • “Alexa, open/start Pro Workout.”

Movies, TV, Music, and Radio

Learn what’s on, find more about your favorite movies, and more with these Alexa skills.

IMDB’s What’s on TV Briefing

Get a daily list of the top five trending TV or streaming shows for the day based on IMDB’s trending data. The list is refreshed daily and published seven days a week. This is added to your daily Flash Briefing.

  • “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?”
  • “Alexa, what’s in the news?”

Movie Ratings

This skill tells you the IMDB movie rating for any movie and then decide whether it is worth watching. As long as the movie is listed on IMDB (regional too), this will work.

  • “Alexa, ask Movie Ratings for the rating for [movie].”

Chart Music

You can get the top songs on any BillBoard charts with this skill. You can specify how many songs you want to be listed and the specific chart as well.

  • “Alexa, open Chart Music.”
  • “Alexa, ask Chart Music for the top [x] songs in the [specific chart].”

Radio Mystery Theater

Go back to the old days before the Internet and enjoy dramas from the golden age of radio with Radio Mystery Theater. There are quite a few stories available with excellent music, voices, and acting.

  • “Alexa, open Radio Mystery Theater.”
  • “Alexa, previous/next/pause/resume.”

Travel and Transport

Place Finder

This skill gives you a list and other information about a variety of local places like restaurants, banks, gyms, bakeries, hospitals, shopping malls, and more. Just ask to find a type of place and you will get a full list.

  • “Alexa, open Place Finder.”
    “Alexa, ask Place Finder to find [type of place/business].”

KAYAK

You can use the KAYAK skill to track flights, check prices of flights, hotels, and rental cars, discover new destinations, and plan your travel. If you have a KAYAK account with your credit card information saved, you can even book hotels at your selected destination using your voice.

  • “Alexa, open KAYAK.”
  • “Alexa, ask KAYAK how much it costs to fly from [place] to [place].”
  • “Alexa, ask KAYAK to book a hotel.”

XE Currency

If you are traveling to a different country and are wondering about currency conversions, use the XE Currency skill to do the math. You can find out about conversion rates and perform basic conversions. The rates are updated every minute and reflect any market movements.

  • “Alexa, ask XE what is [currency] worth?”
    “Alexa, ask XE what is the exchange rate between [currency1] and [currency2].”
  • “Alexa, ask XE how much is [x][currency1] in [currency2].”

Uber

You can ask Uber for a ride and choose the type of car you want. You can set and change default locations, ask for ride status, or cancel a ride. You can also switch between Amazon Household accounts to use different Uber accounts.

  • “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.”
  • “Alexa, ask Uber to call me a [car type – Uber X, Uber Black, etc.] from [preset location].”
  • “Alexa, ask Uber to change my default pickup location.”

Lyft

The Lyft skill works almost the same way as the Uber skill. You can request a ride, find out how much a ride will potentially cost, and you can even rate your Lyft driver. Keep in mind though that Lyft for Alexa uses the Home address saved in your Lyft app and will only a send a car for pickup to that location.

  • “Alexa, ask Lyft for a ride.”
  • “Alexa, rate my driver [x] stars.”
  • “Alexa, ask Lyft how much a Lyft from Home to [location] costs.”

For Kids

Amazon Storytime

Amazon Storytime is a free Alexa skill that offers a collection of professionally narrated short stories that are ideally suited for kids between the ages of 5 and 12. The stories are curated from the Amazon Rapids app and Audible.

  • “Alexa, open Amazon Storytime.”
  • “Alexa, ask Amazon Storytime to read me a story.”
  • “Alexa, ask Amazon Storytime to read me a bedtime story.”

Freeze Dancers

This skill makes Alexa ask your kids to dance in silly ways and then freeze when the music stops. Features a variety of different dance moves and is great for kid’s parties.

  • “Alexa, open/launch Freeze Dancers.”

Kids Sing Along

Let the budding singer in your child thrive with the Kids Sing Along skill. Specifically built for kids aged 5 to 9, the skill will play a nursery rhyme, kids movie or show tune, and songs they’ve learned from Pre-K to 2nd Grade and they have to finish the next stanza. The song continues if they get it right and they will also earn badges if they do well.

  • “Alexa, open Kids Sing Along.”
  • “What’s my score.”

Kids Animal Sounds

Kids Animal sounds is a simple Alexa skill that lets your child ask for and listen to what an animal sounds like. There is already a long list of animals available and more are being added continuously.

  • “Alexa, open/start Kids Animal Sounds.”
  • “Alexa, continue.” – to visit the next animal
  • “Alexa, ask Kids Animal Sounds to visit the [animal].”

Help

Find my Phone

Find my Phone lets you call your lost phone using Alexa. Recently, support for adding and calling other numbers has also been added to this skill.

  • “Alexa, find my phone.”
  • “Alexa ask find my phone to add another number.”
  • “Alexa, ask find my phone to call [name of different saved number].”

Ask my Buddy

Ask my Buddy is a great way to ask your contacts for help, or just let them know that you are doing okay. You can set up a Personal Alert Network and Ask my Buddy will immediately send an alert to a specified contact or everyone on the list. Alerts can be sent via text messages, emails, or even voice calls. This isn’t a replacement for 911 but is a useful way to use your voice to get some help when you can’t reach your phone.

  • “Alexa, ask my buddy to send help.”
  • “Alexa, ask my buddy to alert [contact].”
  • “Alexa, ask my buddy to check in with everyone.”

So there you it for this roundup of some of the top Amazon Alexa skills that you should definitely check out! Keep in mind that this list is just around 50 out of the over 30,000 that are currently available, so there’s a whole lot more that Alexa is capable of, courtesy of these third-party skills. You can find the complete list here.

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