Below are five noteworthy Amazon Alexa skills worth trying, chosen from New, Most Enabled Skills, Food and Drink, and Customer Favorites categories in the Alexa Skills Marketplace.
To test out any of these skills, you can open the links below that lead to the Alexa Skills Marketplace, or you can just ask Alexa to enable the skill.
With the TED Talks skill you can search talks by speaker name or you can request talks that are funny, inspiring, persuasive, random, courageous, or jaw-dropping. Searches can also be done by topic, meaning you can tell the skill things like “Alexa ask TED Talks to find talks about world hunger,” or “Alexa ask TED Talks to find talks about women.”
The ability to skip to the next talk by saying “Next” allows you to peruse the offerings in a hands-free way, whether you’re listening to a TED Talks playlist inspired by a topic or you just asked for random talks.
This is a set of workouts — from Anheuser-Busch’s Michelob Ultra, which the company markets as a low-calorie beer for people with active lifestyles. Each workout was made to help a user burn 95 calories, the amount of calories in a Michelob Ultra beer.
You can pick a strength, conditioning, or mobility workout and choose to focus on upper body, lower body, or core. Once you make your choice, the short workout begins. Upon request, workout instructions can be shared in the Alexa app.
Promotional content can suck, and it often does, but this skill exceeds what you may expect from a beer company. It also doesn’t hurt to understand exactly how much work is required to burn away the calories of a single beer.
If you’re looking for other ways Alexa can keep you fit and healthy, check out last week’s selection of noteworthy Alexa skills.
This skill is very simple, and something you may either find a little endearing or a little creepy.
Say “Alexa, Good night,” and you will get responses like “Although I love the stars that dot the night sky, I love the stars in your eyes even more. While I sleep, I will think about my favorite stars and wait to be with you again” or “Day is over, night has come. Today is gone, what’s done is done. Embrace your dreams, through the night, tomorrow comes a whole new light. Good night.”
This feels almost like skills for quotes or inspiration (both can be pretty popular) but as something to hear to end the day instead of as part of a morning routine. Telling your intelligent assistant good night is another way to anthropomorphize Alexa, but the results are fun. Like the late-night poetry skill previously highlighted by VentureBeat, I hope Good Night continues to evolve.
Verse of the Day is an Alexa Flash Briefing that shares a Bible verse read by a human narrator in your flash briefings everyday.
The new skill appears to be no more than a week or two old but has already made it into the Top Enabled Skills category. Verse of the Day comes from Life.Church, maker of the popular Bible app in iOS and Android app stores that has been downloaded more than 250 million times. A Life.Church Google Assistant action was also made available this week.
This skill can tell you about cast and artists on The Voice, but as many of the reviews in the Alexa Skills Marketplace point out, The Voice Alexa skill would be 100 times better if it actually played any music. It may be worth giving The Voice an audition, but without any music, this skill seems sort of useless.