The Amazon Echo can do a lot of neat stuff, but its built-in features are just the tip of the iceberg. With third-party “Skills”, you can add further capabilities to the Echo, like adding events to your Google Calendar and even ordering pizza.
There are over 1,000 third-party Skills that you can enable for your Amazon Echo, and the number continues to rise. However, not all of them are worthy of your time, and while many of them include fun-but-useless little features, there are still a handful that are worthwhile. Here are a few third-party Alexa Skills that you should check out.
How to Add Skills to the Amazon Echo
First, before we dive deep into showing you what we think are some of the best Skills to install, it’s important to know how to add Skills to your Amazon Echo in the first place.
To add a Skill, start by tapping on the sidebar menu button in the top-left corner of the screen in the Alexa app.
Tap inside of the search box at the top where it says “Search Skills”.
Type in the name of a Skill and it will automatically begin searching for it.
Once the Skill appears, tap on “Enable” to add the Skill to your Amazon Echo.
Once it’s enabled and ready to go, you’ll see “Disable” instead of “Enable”.
Eight Third-Party Skills to Try
You can search through Amazon’s massive library in the Alexa app, but here are a few of our favorites to get you started.
If you’re in the middle of a diet or an exercise regime and need a good weight tracking platform, your Amazon Echo can actually help you out here. Weight Tracker allows you to tell Alexa your current weight, and it will keep a history of your progress.
You can say “Alexa, ask Weight Tracker to store 160 lbs.” and it will add that weight to the database. You can also set a goal weight and say “Alexa, ask Weight Tracker to set a target 140 lbs.”.
Once you get enough entries built up, you can ask for weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even yearly reports by saying “Alexa, ask Weight Tracker to get my weekly report.”
The Automatic is a neat little dongle that plugs into your car’s OBD-II port, and can retrieve all sorts of information that you can access from your phone. With the Automatic skill, you can also ask Alexa for that data.
You can ask Alexa things like how much gas your car has left, so you’ll know if you need to stop at a gas station before you even leave the house. You can also get information like how far you drove yesterday, last week, last month, or even the last year. Simply start off your voice commands with “Alexa, ask Automatic…”.
If you use Google Calendar and want an easy way to add events, you can do so with the Amazon Echo using the Quick Events Alexa Skill. Simply say “Alexa, tell Quick Events to add haircut on May 24 at 3pm.”
Even if you don’t provide all of the necessary information, Alexa will ask you for it, including what day and what time. You can also provide how long the event will last, so you can say “add haircut on May 24 at 3pm for thirty minutes.”
Have you ever dreamed about ordering pizza using your voice? And we don’t mean over the phone, but using a virtual assistant like the Amazon Echo. Domino’s Pizza has an Alexa Skill for this.
You’ll need a Domino’s Pizza Profile in order to do this, and you’ll need to create an Easy Order, but once you’re signed up, you can place your Easy Order through the Amazon Echo and even track its progress. It’ll tell you when it’s ready for pickup or when it will be delivered.
The only downside? You’re eating Domino’s pizza.
You likely know how to make the most basic of cocktails, but for the more advanced stuff you might need a little help. The Bartender Alexa Skill has over 12,000 drink recipes that you use.
All you have to do is say “Alexa, ask The Bartender what’s in a Tom Collins?” or “Alexa, ask The Bartender how do I make an Old Fashioned?” Alexa will tell you the ingredients, the amount, and the instructions for making the drink.
One of the most popular workouts is the 7-Minute Workout, which consists of several high-intensity exercises that take just seven minutes to get through. With the 7-Minute Workout Alexa Skill, you can have your Amazon Echo lead you through the workout without having to time everything yourself.
All you have to say is “Alexa, start 7-Minute Workout” and you’ll be guided through all the exercises.
Want an easier way to call an Uber? You can use your Amazon Echo to do so using the Uber Alexa Skill. Just link your Uber account with Alexa after you add the Skill, and it will use your Echo’s location as the pick-up spot.
All you have to say is “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride.” You can also be more specific with the type of Uber you want and say “Alexa, ask Uber to request and UberX.”
If you want to know how to say a certain phrase in a specific language, you can quickly as Alexa using the My Translator Skill. Simply say “Alexa, ask My Translator to translate where is the restroom in Spanish.”
The Skill supports a small handful of languages, including Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and even Polish, Hebrew, and Portuguese.