#parent | #kids | These are the Best Alexa Skills for Amazon Echo devices you can use in 2022 | #sextrafficing | #childsaftey

Amazon’s Echo lineup has many great smart speakers that can make your lives easier by automating some everyday tasks. You can use these speakers to summon Amazon’s virtual voice assistant Alexa to automate day-to-day activities like turning off the lights. But there’s more to Alexa than simply checking on the weather or turning off the kitchen lights. Did you know that you can use Alexa Skills to get a lot more things done?

That’s right, there are thousands of skills in the Alexa Skills store that are capable of making Amazon’s digital assistant a lot more useful than you think. Not all the Alexa skills in the Skills store are worth checking out, of course. Well, we took one for the team to comb through thousands of Alexa skills to pick some of the best ones for you to try. Here’s a list of the best Alexa skills that you can use with your Amazon Echo speakers or any other Alexa-enabled devices in 2022:

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What are Alexa Skills?

Alexa skills, in general, refer to the individual capabilities of Amazon’s digital voice assistant. The skills allow Alexa to perform various tasks including answering your questions, controlling various smart devices at your home, and more. Alexa can do a lot of things on her own without having to install/enable a new skill from the Skills store. But, you will have to activate the ones developed by third-party developers manually via the Alexa app on your phone or from the Alexa web portal.

You can download the Alexa app on your smartphone using the download links below:

How to enable Alexa skills?

Here’s how to enable Alexa skills using the Alexa app on your smartphone:

  • Open the Alexa app and select More from the menu at the bottom.
  • Now, look for an option named Skills & Games and select it to enter the skills page.
  • On the next page, choose the search button on the top and enter the name of the skill you want to install.
  • Once you’re on the skill’s listing page, select the Enable to use option to enable the skill on your account.

Best Alexa skills

Now that you know what Alexa skills are and how to enable them, let’s check some of the best Alexa skills out there right now.

Note: We’ve included both free as well as paid Alexa skills to this particular list. Also, a lot of the skills mentioned in this list may not be available in your region, so be sure to search for them in the Alexa skills store or find alternatives that work in your region.

Alexa Guard

Amazon’s Alexa Guard is a simple yet clever way to turn your Echo speaker into a security device that can listen to signs of trouble when you’re away from home. With Alexa Guard, your Echo speaker can listen to smoke and CO alarm sounds, glass break sounds, and even activity sounds via the microphone and sends alerts about the emergency on your smartphone. Additionally, Alexa can also turn on the smart lights in your house to make it look like you’re home if/when it hears the sound of someone breaking in or any other activity when you’re away.

Alexa Guard skillYou can also choose to subscribe to the Alexa Guard Plus which will allow you to call the emergency helpline hands-free from your Echo speaker. With Alexa Guard Plus, your Echo speaker can also make the sound of dogs barking or a siren when it detects an activity inside your home. You’ll obviously need a lot of Echo speakers — preferably one in each room of your house — along with other smart home devices for this to work. With Alexa Guard, all you have to say is, “Alexa, I am leaving“, to turn your Echo speaker into a DIY security device. Alexa Guard and the Alexa Guard Plus are only available in the US right now, so keep that in mind.

Get your daily news from Alexa

Alexa’s built-in news curator works very well to deliver the latest headlines from a bunch of reliable news sources. There are different ways to ask Alexa to read you the news. For instance, the “Alexa, play live news” command will pull in all the headlines from dozens of topics. But if you want to listen to sports news in specific, then you can say, “Alexa, play live sports news“. Additionally, you can also ask Alexa to curate headlines in your regional language too. In India, you can say, “Alexa, give me Tamil news“, to listen to the news in Tamil. The best thing about this skill is that there’s no need for a setup and it works automatically when you Alexa for news.

Amazon shopping with Alexa

shopping on Amazon with alexaIn addition to helping you automate some of your day-to-day tasks, Alexa can also help you shop on Amazon with just your voice. From signing you up for Amazon’s Prime membership to adding items to your shopping cart, Alexa can be very handy for shopping. You can also just say, “Alexa, what are my deals?“, to make Alexa read out a bunch of Prime member-exclusive deals for you. You can choose to complete the purchase with just your voice or have Alexa add them to your cart for you to check out later. You can also visit Amazon’s voice shopping page to learn more commands that’ll help you shop on Amazon.

Get a detailed weather report with Big Sky

Big sky skillAlexa, as you probably already know, has built-in support for weather forecasts. This is probably one of the most used commands when it comes to smart speakers in general. But did you know that you can get a more detailed weather forecast from Alexa? The Big Sky is one of the best free Alexa skills you can use with your Echo speakers. With this skill enabled, Alexa can fetch you highly detailed weather reports. We’re talking up-to-the-minute weather report here. One of the best things about Big Sky is that it’ll give you forecasts based on your street address. All you have to do is enable the skill, link your account by entering your address, customizing metrics, and you’re good to go. Just say, “Alexa, ask Big Sky if it will rain” once you’ve enabled the skill and listen to a detailed weather report.

Listen to audiobooks

If you enjoy reading books but don’t have the time to sit back and pull out your Kindle or open a hardcover copy from your favorite author, then Alexa has got you covered. You simply ask Alexa to read you a book while you’re doing other things. A simple command like, “Alexa, read me a book“, will make Amazon’s digital voice assistant recite the book you’re currently reading or listening to on Audible. For those that don’t know, Audible is Amazon’s mobile audiobook service with a huge library of audiobooks. This is a great way to finish your books through an Alexa-enabled speaker.

Relaxing ambient noise

Ambient noise alexa skillYou deserve a good night’s sleep after a long day of work. if you’re having trouble falling asleep or you’re unable to take your mind off things and just relax, then Alexa can help you with that too. With the Ambient Noise skill, Alexa can play the soothing sounds of thunderstorms, rain, ocean, wind chimes, and more. Search for the Ambient Noise skill in the Alexa Skills store and enable it. You can say, “Alexa, ask Ambient Noise for a list“, and pick the one you feel like relaxing to.

Bedtime stories for kids

Short Bedtime story alexa skill listingYes, Alexa can help you put your kids to sleep with the Short Bedtime Story skill. One of the best things about this particular skill is that you can customize these stories for your children by putting their names in the story. You can do this by visiting the companion website, the link for which can be found within the description of the skill’s listing in the Alexa Skill store. Notably, you can also use the same website to disable any stories you don’t want your kids to hear. It’s a great skill for those who want to take some time off and let Alexa put the kids to sleep at night.

Manage Zoom meetings

Zoom Alexa skill listingAlexa can help you manage your Zoom meetings for you with the help of the Zoom companion skill. Once enabled, you can just say, “Alexa, ask Zoom to show my upcoming meetings“, to give you a glimpse of what your day looks like. The Zoom skill is meant to be used on your phone as your command can directly trigger Alexa to open the Zoom app on your phone. In addition to looking at your list of meetings for the day, you can also use this skill to start a new one or join an existing meeting to which you’ve been invited to join.

TED Talks with Alexa

If you like listening to podcasts and talk shows then you might want to check out the TED Talks Alexa skill. This skill, as the name suggests, will let you listen to TED Talks. You can just ask Alexa to find the TED Talk you want to listen and she’ll find the right one and start playing it over your Echo speaker or on your phone. If you don’t have a specific TED Talk in mind, then you can also specify the sort of TED Talk you want to listen to. Even a simple command like, “Alexa, ask TED Talks to find talks about fitness“, should work.

Get recipe ideas from Alexa

Easy meal recipes skillIf you happen to have an Echo speaker or an Alexa-enabled device in your kitchen then it might be worth checking out the Easy Meal Ideas skill on the Alexa skill store. There’s no shortage of Alexa skills when it comes to cooking but the Easy Meal Ideas skill suggests some quick and easy recipes for you to try out.

Alexa as a workout buddy

Alexa 7 minute workout skillIf you lack the motivation to exercise at home, then you can use Alexa as your workout buddy with the help of a bunch of workout and fitness skills. With the 7-minute workout skill. you can use Alexa as your trainer. Once you enable this skill, you can simply say, “Alexa, start a 7-minute workout“, and start a 7-minute workout that includes some tested exercises.

This day in History

this day in history Alexa skill store listingThis particular skill will trigger Alexa to give you a quick rundown of noteworthy historical events that occurred on today’s date. This educational and reference skill works very well to pique your curiosity and keep your mind sharp. What’s more interesting about this skill is that you can either ask for the historical events that occurred on today’s date or specify a different date to Alexa.

Ask Alexa to clean your apartment

If you have one of the best robot vacuums that work with Alexa, then this skill is for you. Once your robot vacuum cleaner is set up and ready to go, you can trigger Alexa with command specific to your vacuum and send the robot to clean your house. This hands-off cleaning experience is supported by a bunch of robot vacuum cleaners on the market including the Dreame D9, the Shark ION AV751, and more.

Ask Alexa to schedule a meeting

This one might be a bit of a stretch but you can also ask Alexa to schedule a meeting with your contacts. Alexa will, however, need access to both yours as well as your contact’s calendar for this to work. Once given access to the calenders, Alexa can then suggest meeting times based on both of your schedules. The supported calendars for this particular skill include iCloud, Gmail, G Suite, Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Outlook, and more.

Getting help during an emergency

Ask My Buddy skill store listingThe most valuable help, as they say, is the one that’s available to you when you need it. If you are in an emergency at your home and you don’t have access to your phone or can’t contact your emergency contact, then you can use the Ask My Buddy skill to alert someone in your Personal Alert Network. While this skill isn’t an alternative to 911 or a similar emergency service number in your region, it’ll ensure someone in your trusted network knows that you need help. You can choose to alert either just one contact or all your contact with a single command. Ask My Buddy will then send a text message, an email, and even a voice message to the contacts.

Start and prep your car for a drive

Hyundai blue link alexa skillWhile this isn’t supported by all the cars, several auto brands let you start your vehicle remotely using Alexa. You’ll have to download the Alexa skill specific to your car for this to work, so keep that in mind. Hyundai’s supported cars, for instance, use the Hyundai Blue Link skill. Ford cars use the MyFord Mobile skill and more. In addition to remotely starting your vehicle, you can also use Alexa to lock and unlock your car’s doors, change the interior temperature, and more.

Ask Alexa to read tweets

Tweet reader skill in AlexaThis unofficial Twitter Reader skill can pull out the latest tweet of your celebrity or personality. You can use this particular skill to go through the tweets of pretty much anyone with an open profile. All you have to say is, “Alexa, ask Tweet Reader to read tweets of [your person of interest]”.

Play games with Alexa

You don’t always have to wake up Alexa to ask a burning question or to control your smart home. You can also play some fun games with Alexa and have a good time when you’re bored. There are a bunch of different games to choose from including Jeopardy, RuneScape, Twenty Questions, Magic 8-ball, and more. While some of these games like Jeopardy may require you to install a third-party skill, others like Twenty Questions and Magic 8-ball can be played directly without having to install anything new. Try asking Alexa to play a game of Twenty Questions with you now, it’s fun!

Other miscellaneous skills

A lot of Alexa skills, as we mentioned earlier, don’t require a manual activation via the Alexa app. Many of them are enabled by default and all you have to do is trigger them with your voice command.

  • Ask Alexa to open a fortune cookie: Alexa can crack open a fortune cookie for you at any given time. All you have to say is, “Alexa, open a fortune cookie“.
  • Ask Alexa to interview you: You can ask Alexa to conduct a mock interview for you if you’re about to tackle an interview in real life. Simply say, “Alexa, interview me”, to make Amazon’s digital voice assistant ask you questions that you may hear during a job interview.
  • Alexa open stopwatch: This is perhaps one of the most basic skills you can use, but it may come in handy if/when you don’t have a smartphone or a stopwatch next to you.
  • Alexa, open Deep Breath: This skill will take you through a deep-breathing exercise to reduce stress and make your body relax.
  • Alexa, compliment me: What’s better than starting your day with a small piece of compliment from your very own digital voice assistant.

More Alexa Skills

While we’ve covered only a limited number of skills in this article, there are thousands of others available for Alexa. You can easily search them on your app, or head over to alexa.amazon.com to browse through a selection of categories. And if you think the Alexa Skills library doesn’t have the one you want, then you can also use the Alexa Blueprints portal to create your skills too.

Well, that brings us to the end of this particular topic. There are thousands of Alexa skills that are waiting to be explored, so be sure to check out the Alexa app or visit the Alexa portal to check the available skills. This is an ever-evolving list of Alexa skills, so be sure to bookmark this page and visit frequently to see the new additions. Also, if you think we missed any of your favorite or most used Alexa skills, then be sure to let us know by dropping a line in the comments below.

All these Alexa skills can be used on Echo speakers or any other Alexa-enabled devices. We tested these Alexa skills using an Echo Dot (4th gen) speaker, which we also think is a great option to consider if you’re new to the world of Alexa and smart speakers. Be sure to read our Echo Dor (4th gen) speaker review to learn more about this product.

    Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen) speaker
    Almost all the benefits of the full-sized Amazon Echo, including the full Alexa ecosystem, for a more wallet-friendly price.

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