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Below are five noteworthy Alexa skills drawn from the Trending, New, Top Enabled, and Customer Favorites This Week categories of the Alexa Skills Marketplace.

In Alexa news, this week Amazon gave Alexa the ability to change the lighting color of any room, skills may now request user location data, and an analytics dashboard is now available to track skill performance.

National Day Tracker

Did you know today is National Empanada Day and National Take Your Parents to the Playground Day? Tomorrow is National Chinese Almond Cookie Day, National Cherish and Antique Day, and National Former POW Recognition Day.


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The National Day Tracker skill tells you about random national days of celebration for any day of the year. It’s fun and likely useless to the average person but of great potential value to content creators who need to plan ahead.

Zyrtec AllergyCast

This skill can be used daily to help you identify the cause of your allergy. The Allergy Impact score combines weather, wind, humidity, and even trending social media in parts of the United States to tell you not just if you can expect to have itchy eyes today but how specific allergens in your environment will make you feel.

Tricky Genie

Tricky Genie is a multi-choice game that brings you on adventures with a genie who is constantly trying to outsmart you. It can be fun but is less immersive than skills like RuneScape that use human narrators.

NPR Up First

Up First is a new NPR podcast for the day’s most important news, ranging from politics to pop culture.

NPR Up First joins a series of Alexa skills made to bring public radio to Alexa owners. There’s also NPR Story of the Day, NPR Hourly News Summary, and the robust NPR One. Considering the fact that listening to music and news are two of the most popular uses of smart speakers, featuring podcasts and public radio on Alexa makes a lot of sense.

Ambient Noise: Airplane Sounds

If you work or sleep better with the droning sound of commercial flight, give this skill a shot. It was made by Nick Schwab, a developer whose skills for thunderstorms and other ambient sounds have been some of the most popular in the Alexa Skills Marketplace.

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