20 Alexa Skills to Try as 2020 Ends
2020 made voice assistants a bigger part of people’s lives than ever and voice app developers continued to add and improve Alexa’s library of Skills. Amazon’s updates to the voice assistant often seemed to crowd out the ones build by other developers, but even Amazon can’t account for every interesting voice app idea. Discerning trash from treasure among the crowd isn’t always easy, of course, but here are 20 Alexa Skills, a mix of new arrivals and old favorites, that we think are worth checking out as the year comes to an end.
1-2-3 Math is an educational voice app from Sermo Labs that teaches math to kids. This year, it won the Webby award in the voice education and reference category and usage has blown up as parents with kids at home tried out new educational technology.
The Art Museum Alexa Skill connects people to a curated selection from the Art Institute of Chicago in a multimodal experience and was the winner of the Alexa Skills Challenge: Alexa Conversations contest this year
Another impressive educational voice app, Bamboo English is the latest addition to Bamboo Learning’s library of AI-powered teaching guides and helps students and their parents with English lessons in vocabulary, spelling, reading, and more.
Big Sky provides a hyper-local weather report based on street addresses and users can set alerts about specific weather events. There’s also a premium subscription with detailed radar images.
Find My Phone is a basic but incredibly useful skill, Find My Phone calls your mobile phone to help you locate it. The skill also allows additional phone numbers to be added so you can help others find their phones at your home.
Amazon offers a free year subscription to this cooking app, including 2,300 cooking classes and more than 80,000 recipe guides that Alexa can save or pick out ingredients from to put on a shopping list.
The IKEA Home Alexa Skill gives voice control over IKEA smart home products, but its also on the short list of smart home skills that Alexa can operate without needing a command, using its newly released Hunches feature to estimate when a user would want lights on or off, for instance.
Culinary AI for smart speakers and smart displays that recommends recipes and guides users through the creation of the meal. Klovechef can help set up meal plans, grocery lists ahead of time, along with audio and visual guides to prepping the meal.
MoonPie MoonMate brings the snack cake brand’s quirky Twitter personality to Alexa as a strange roommate perfect for quarantine, sharing jokes, philosophical comments, and slightly off-kilter compliments.
The Mayo Clinic Answers on COVID-19 skill was one of the first pandemic-related Alexa skills published after Amazon deleted non-governmental voice apps related to the novel coronavirus. It shares up-to-date and reliable information about the disease and what individuals can do to avoid infection.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory created this surprisingly in-depth skill, which offers up-to-date information on the Mars Curiosity Rover and its experiments. The skill can also answer a lot of general questions about Mars and NASA’s Mars missions.
The streaming service became available this month on Amazon smart displays, with Alexa carrying out search and play requests.
Audioburst’s News Feed skill creates a unique and personalized news bulletin built from the user’s choice of radio and podcast episodes.
The ubiquitous digital money broker’s skill lets you manage your PayPal accounts, including sending or requesting money by voice.
An audio personal trainer for a quick mix of exercises. It offers a choice of different intensity levels and is designed to mix things up so you don’t get bored.
A new, award-winning app that offers drinks recipes based on flavors and types of alcohol, offering recommendations from professional mixologists as well.
One of the newest ambient sound skills from Invoked Apps, the skill plays the sounds you might hear in a quiet car to help you sleep.
Created with the Alexa for Apps feature, the TikTok Alexa Skill enables voice commands for hands-free recording and voice search via the Alexa mobile app or with Echo Buds earbuds.
Valossa Movie Finder is a good tool for finding movies, especially if you can’t remember the exact name. It can identify a movie based on details you remember as well as suggest others you might like based on factors like genre and release year.
Yonomi connects smart home devices, including from different brands, allowing users to create new voice commands that can adjust multiple smart devices at the same time, like turning down the lights and turning on the television simultaneously.