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New Amazon Alexa skills: 'Tell me something weird,' sleep sounds, wizard jokes and more

New Amazon Alexa skills: 'Tell me something weird,' sleep sounds, wizard jokes and more

Have you joined the trend of making your home "smart" along with millions of other Americans? Of course this means your place is equipped with smart appliances and other devices that can be controlled remotely by an app on your phone.

An even easier way is to use your voice with the help of a virtual assistant. That's one reason Amazon's Alexa has become super popular.

But Alexa can do so many more things than just adjust the temperature on your smart thermostat. And the number of things she can do is constantly growing. Let's take a look at some of Alexa's new skills that you'll use all the time.

What's new with Amazon's Alexa?

If you have an Alexa-enabled device like the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, you probably already know some of the things the virtual assistant can do. Listen to music, get your morning news and traffic report, and find out what the weather is going to be like next weekend are a few of the popular things Alexa can help you with.

Alexa uses "skills" to help you with all of those tasks you ask her to complete. Skills are being added to her repertoire all the time.

Here is a list of Alexa skills that were recently added:

  • "Alexa, tell me about location-based routines."
    Get what you need when you need it. Now you can create a routine to start based on when you arrive at or leave a location. Go to the Alexa app > Routines to get started.
  • "Alexa, play me a health podcast."
  • "Alexa, help me get started in the New Year."
  • "Alexa, tell me something weird."
  • "Alexa, what is the price of gold?"
  • "Alexa, open 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.'"
  • "Alexa, what are my emails?"
    Now get your most recent emails through your Echo devices. Stay organized by linking your Gmail or Outlook email account in the Alexa app in Settings > Email & Calendar.
  • "Alexa, how old is Jennifer Lawrence?"
  • "Alexa, give me a wizard joke."
  • "Alexa, play Harry Potter quiz."
    Introducing the first official Harry Potter skill, from Pottermore Publishing and Audible. Test your knowledge and compete daily to win house points. Tap or click here to learn more.
  • "Alexa, will it snow tomorrow?"
  • "Alexa, give me a prank."
  • "Alexa, who won the Winter Classic?"
  • "Alexa, open Sleep Sounds."
  • "Alexa, give me some bad poetry."

As we said earlier, Amazon is adding new Alexa skills all the time. Which is why we're going to be doing a running series at Komando.com keeping you up-to-date on what's new. Check in with our Happening Now section occasionally for updates and you'll be an Alexa expert in no-time.

How to make Alexa call 911

If you have any Amazon Alexa-connected devices, you already know how helpful they can be. You might even have a few around the house, including in your family room, kitchen and your home office. But can Alexa help with more serious tasks, like in an emergency situation? 

The answer is yes, it now has a skill that could actually come to the rescue.

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