Amazon’s Alexa is the cloud-based brain behind Echo/Dot/Tap. It is similar to Apple’s Siri and Google Home. Similar to these devices, Alexa gives the benefits of a personal assistant at your fingertips. With just the sound of your voice, it searches the Web, shops online, creates a to-do list, and delivers weather reports. It even controls smart-home devices. Alexa offers thousands of skills that aid your everyday life. Here’s what you need to know about Alexa skills:
WHAT IS A SKILL?
Basically, a skill is Alexa’s version of an app that you can add to your Echo/Dot/Tap and enable new capabilities. Currently, Alexa performs around 8,000 skills. This number continues to rise with the further development of technology, and new skills launch almost every week. Amazon has now released an Alexa Skill Kit that makes it easy for anyone to learn basic programming and create skills to add to their Alexa. Best of all, once a skill is added to your account, it is then compatible with all connected devices in your home. These skills help to further expand Alexa’s assistant capabilities.
SKILLS, NOT FEATURES
Skills are completely different than features. For example, features are embedded into the device, while skills are more of a third-party app that can be added to Alexa. It’s very similar to adding apps to your smartphone. There are a wide variety of skills that can be added to Alexa. Some skills are geared towards news, like the BBC News skill and the CNN Flash Briefing skill. There are also skills for social networking, such as the Twitter Reader skill that reads your timeline, retweets, likes, mentions, and provides trending topics. There are thousands of skills that are compatible with Alexa.
Adding skills to Alexa provides the user with multiple benefits. Obviously, you can ask Alexa to perform a wide variety of tasks with just the sound of your voice. Better yet, you can also connect Alexa to your smart-home. This gives you the ability to control things like light dimming and temperature control, all without needing to move a muscle. This can be extremely beneficial to anyone, but especially beneficial to those that have trouble moving around.
Alexa is an Amazon created personal assistant that takes personalization to the next level. Alexa’s skills can provide help in anyone’s life, from reading the stock market, to changing the temperature in your house. These skills give users an expert personal assistant at their disposal. Alexa’s skills take the electronic personal assistant to the next level.