Best third-party Alexa skills on Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo can do a lot of cool things, but its built-in features are just the tip of the iceberg. With third-party “Alexa Skills,” you can add extra functionality to the Echo, like adding events to your Google Calendar and even ordering pizza.
There are thousands of third-party Alexa skills that you can enable for your Amazon Echo, and that number keeps growing. But not all of them are worth it. And while many of them include fun but unnecessary little features, there are still a handful that are worth the effort. Here are some third-party Alexa skills you should check out.
How to Add Skills to Amazon Echo
First off, before we dive into the details of what we think are the best Alexa skills to install, it’s important to know how to add Alexa skills to your Amazon Echo in the first place. To get started, tap the menu button in the top left corner of the screen in the Alexa app.
Select “Skills” from the list.
Tap inside the search box at the top where it says “Search all skills” and type the name of an Alexa skill you want to install. Then press the Search button on the right.
If you’re not looking for a particular Alexa skill, you can also scroll down to explore them or tap “Categories” to narrow down the field a bit.
When the skill appears, tap on it to open it and see more information about it.
From there, tap “Enable Skill” to add the Alexa skill to your Amazon Echo.
Depending on the Alexa skill you install, you may receive contextual prompts, such as allowing the Alexa skill to use your location. Or you may be taken to a new screen where you’ll need to sign in to your account associated with the Alexa skill you’ve installed (like Lyft, for example).
Once the Alexa skill is installed and activated, you will see “Deactivate skill” appear, which means you are ready to go!
Seven third-party Alexa skills to try
You can search Amazon’s huge library in the Alexa app and experience Alexa skills for yourself, but here are a few of our favorites to get you started.
Domino’s and Pizza Hut
Have you ever dreamed of ordering pizza using your voice? And we’re not talking on the phone, but using a virtual assistant like Amazon Echo. Dominoes and Pizza Hut both have an Alexa skill for this.
You will need to make sure you have accounts created at any of the establishments, as well as an address and payment method entered. However, you can navigate menu items and order pizza right from the Echo without lifting a finger.
The only drawback? You eat Domino’s and Pizza Hut.
You probably know how to make the most basic cocktails, but you may need a little help with the more advanced stuff. The bartender has all kinds of drink recipes for you to explore.
All you have to do is say “Alexa, ask the waiter to make a grasshopper.” Alexa will tell you the ingredients, the amount and the instructions to prepare the drink. You can also search for drinks based on the ingredient you want to use, or just ask the bartender to surprise you with a random cocktail.
Alexa’s default weather reports do a good job if you just want the basics, but Big Sky is capable of injecting the Alexa weather forecast with a heavy dose of ********.
Obviously, you can ask Big Sky for just the basic forecast, but if you want more details, you can say things like “Alexa, ask Big Sky what the humidity is” or “Alexa, ask Big Sky what the humidity will be. The temperature at 5 pm.”
You’ll need to create a Big Sky account once you’ve activated the Alexa skill, along with entering your location and choosing from a few settings, but you’ll be up and running in no time.
Do you need to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Nightlight is an Alexa skill that allows you to turn on the glowing blue ring on her Echo for a period of time.
Just say “Alexa, turn on the night light” and the blue ring will light up. Sure, it wobbles a bit, but it should give you enough light so you don’t trip over anything.
Whenever you want to turn it off, just say “Alexa, turn off” or press the Echo wake button. You can also turn it on for a specific amount of time by saying “Alexa, turn on the night light for two minutes.”
If you’re a big podcast listener, AnyPod is perhaps one of the best podcast-related Alexa skills you can use.
Once activated, simply say “Alexa, ask AnyPod to play This American Life.” You can also fast-forward and rewind podcasts to specific lengths, as well as subscribe to podcasts you like.
You can even be broad in your podcast searches, so saying something like “Alexa, ask AnyPod to play Alec Baldwin” will tell AnyPod that you probably want to hear “Here’s the thing with Alec Baldwin.”
7 minute workout
The 7 minute workout is extremely popular and consists of various high intensity exercises that only take seven minutes. With the 7 Minute Workout Alexa Skill, you can have your Amazon Echo guide you through the workout without having to time everything yourself.
All you have to say is “Alexa, start the 7 minute workout” and you will be guided through all the exercises. Alexa will be waiting for him and will ask if he’s ready for the next exercise, which is a good idea.
If you want to know how to say a certain phrase in a specific language, you can quickly use Alexa using Translated. Just say “Alexa, ask Translated to say where the restrooms are in Spanish.”
You can also tell Alexa to “slow down” if you need to listen to the translation more closely, or just tell Alexa to “repeat” it and she will repeat the translation.
Translated supports a huge list of languages, including some pretty obscure languages like Catalan, Welsh, Basque, and others.