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Worst Amazon Alexa features you should avoid

Worst Amazon Alexa features you should avoid
© James Copeland | Dreamstime.com

Have you heard? Amazon's Alexa now has 10,000 skills, or voice-activated apps, that are designed to make your life a lot easier. (Click here for a full list of commands you should be using.)

The best part is they speed up everyday tasks. Instead of opening up a computer, then logging in, typing in a website address to pay your bills, do research for work, order pizza for your kids or get a ride, you just talk.

"Alexa, how long are the lines at the airport?" "Alexa, close the garage door." "Alexa, start 7-Minute Workout." Then, Alexa's chatbots answer back on Alexa-enabled devices like Echo or Fire TV.

That's the point of smart home technology. It makes your life easier, whether it's with trivial tasks or something more serious, like ordering groceries if you're unable to leave the house.

Yet, while many of Alexa's 10,000 skills are helpful or just fun, many are duds. This is probably why many people use only 3 percent of Alexa's skills more than once or twice.

So, what are Alexa's worst skills? Here are 10 duds. (Plus, keep reading for a bonus Alexa skill you definitely don't need!)

1. Random Password Generator

Although it's extremely important for you to keep your devices secure with a complex, not-easy-to-hack password, this Alexa skill just rattles off password suggestions, up to 100 characters in length. That's it.

This is an example of a fart app. These are skills on Alexa and other voice-activated virtual assistants, like Google Home, that have one, silly function. You might get a giggle out them, but their usefulness ends there.

2. Cat Facts

Oh, sure, cats are fun. Just ask millions of YouTube viewers who can't get enough of cats riding on Roomba vacuums, falling out of trees or falling into fish tanks!

But the usefulness of hearing cat facts is short-lived for most of us. When you ask Cat Facts for a fact, it can rattle off one from its library of 100 facts. When that's no longer fun for you, you can always ask, "Alexa, tell Cat Facts to say meow."

3. Superhero Sidekick

This is one of many Alexa skills that some of you might just love. At least, you might the first time you use it. Then it's downhill from there.

Superhero Sidekick tells you an inspiring phrase, like one that Robin might say when Batman's feeling down. The next time you're feeling like you'll never defeat the Joker, Superhero Sidekick might come in handy.

4. Haunt Hunter

Like many of Alexa's worst skills, this one has an enticing name. You might be so intrigued that you install it. But, after asking a few times, "Alexa, find me a haunted place," you might prefer getting back to life's more arduous tasks.

5. Remember Your Keys

I know what you're thinking. "That sounds really useful."

Well, it would be if this Alexa skill actually told you where your keys were or alerted you when you're leaving the house without them. But, instead, Remember Your Keys is much less useful than that.

If you say, "Alexa, open Remember Your Keys," it'll ask if you have your keys. If you don't, it'll just tell you to go find them.

6. Pat Facts

Do you know a guy named Patrick? Whether you do or you don't, do you want to know random facts about him? If so, you can say, "Alexa, ask Pat Facts something about Pat."

7. GraphTheory

To be fair, this is one of many Alexa skills that can be educational or even entertaining. GraphTheory can enlighten you about the mathematical features of graphs. If you're like me, though, you'll just respond, "Alexa, delete GraphTheory."

8. The Grand Tour

Amazon's streaming show, "The Grand Tour," has a voice-activated skill. In it, the show's three hosts, formerly of the massive U.K. reality show hit, "Top Gear," chat about the show and play games.

Although that sounds promising for fans of the show, this skill is a bust. You jump through a lot of hoops for not much reward. If you download the skill, then watch an episode, you're quizzed with three questions about that episode.

What do you get for that? A video extra that's a little more than a tease for the show.

9. Worst Roommate

This Alexa skill sounds promising. But it's like the Magic 8 Ball of Alexa apps.

If you're looking for a roommate to offset some of your bills, it could be helpful to get information about potentially bad ones.

Yet, Worst Roommate simply says a random name when you ask, "Who's the worst roommate?"

10. Moon Age

In a virtual world where random facts can get really random, Moon Age might top the list. Unless, that is, you'd like to know which day of the moon's cycle it's in.

Bonus: How Many People Are In Space?

You can ask, "Alexa, how many people are in space?" You'll get the answer of how many people are currently in outer space and their names, too. But do you really want to know that?

Your Turn

With 10,000 Alexa skills and counting, there are many duds that aren't a good use of your time. So, which Alexa skills do you think are duds? Let us know in the comments.

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