10 Nifty Amazon Echo Features You Need to Try – PCMag
Amazon Echo devices can do a lot more than set timers and tell you the weather. You can also ask Alexa, the voice assistant that powers Amazon’s smart speakers and displays, for the news, traffic information, sports scores, recipe ideas, measurement conversions, math solutions, and a whole lot more.
Alexa has the answers to many of life’s little—and big—questions. Is the star of the old movie you’re watching still alive? How tall is Tom Cruise? What is the meaning of life? Or, the next time you’re bored or lonely, ask Alexa to tell you a joke. We can’t promise you’ll laugh, but the assistant can likely at least make you smile (or cringe).
Most Echo owners are already familiar with the aforementioned use cases, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Alexa’s capabilities. Alexa supports tens of thousands of third-party skills that can help you control smart home devices, stay on top of your to-do list, order food, relax, and much more.
If you need some fresh ideas, we’ve gathered some of the more novel, lesser-known Alexa features you should try on your Echo devices.
1. Test Your Trivia Knowledge With Jeopardy!
If you enjoy trivia games, the free Jeopardy!(Opens in a new window) skill is a must. Just say “Alexa, open Jeopardy,” to test your knowledge across a range of categories including sports, pop culture, travel, world history, and more. It features the voice of Jeopardy! host Mayim Bialik, so you can feel like you’re right on stage in competition with Ken Jennings. And it offers new clues every weekday, so you can tease your brain for hours on end. PCMag features editor Eric Griffith says the Alexa Jeopardy! skill is a big hit in his house and that his family plays every day.
2. Check Your Symptoms and Talk to a Doctor
Wondering whether you’re sick with allergies, the common cold, or COVID-19? Alexa can help. Just say, “Alexa, check my symptoms,” and it runs through a series of questions and shares possible causes for your symptoms. Like a real-life medical professional, Alexa asks for your age, gender assigned at birth, primary symptoms, when they started, the severity of your pain, and more. Then, it uses all of that information to make an evaluation.
If you prefer to speak to a human with a medical degree, Alexa can connect you with a Teladoc provider 24/7, too. Just say “Alexa, I want to talk to a doctor.” The voice assistant takes down the reason for your visit, tells you the expected cost, and schedules an appointment. Teladoc visits on Echo devices cost as little as $0 with insurance or $75 without.
3. Schedule an Uber or Lyft
Rushing to get ready for a night out on the town? With Alexa, you don’t even need to grab your phone to order an Uber(Opens in a new window) or Lyft(Opens in a new window). Just say, “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride,” and the virtual assistant schedules you an UberX. The Lyft skill works the same way; both are free to enable and conveniently let you check your ride status by voice.
4. Have a Laugh With Big Fart
As mentioned, Alexa’s lame dad jokes often fall flat. If you need an actual laugh, ask Alexa to launch …….