It has been exactly a year since we first unboxed and reviewed the Amazon Echo, and Siri’s cousin, Alexa. In that year, Alexa has learned many new tricks (mostly through having acquired new “skills”), as well as having a baby (Amazon Dot) and a low-energy clone (Amazon Tap). Here are some of the new tricks that Alexa has learned in the past year.
For each of these, open your Alexa app on your phone, go to the Skills section, and then search within the Skills section.
Have Alexa Order Domino’s Pizza over Your Echo
In order to have Alexa order you a Domino’s pizza, and have it delivered to your home, you do have to set up a Domino’s pizza profile, over at Domino’s. Curiously, even if you are in the U.S., you do this at the Dominos.ca website (starting at dominos.com will still land you at dominos.ca).
Within your Domino’s profile you can set an “Easy Order”. Then, you just tell your Echo “Alexa, open Domino’s and place my easy order,” or “Alexa, open Domino’s and reorder” (this will reorder your most recent order). You can also say “Alexa, ask Domino’s to track my order” and it will tell you the status of your order.
Have Alexa Call You an Uber
With her new Uber skill, Alexa can have an Uber car sent to your house to pick you up and give you a ride! You will need to set your location in your Alexa settings on your phone in order to enable this skill. Then find the Uber skill in the Alexa app Skills area, and click Enable!
Once enabled you can say “Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride,” or “Alexa, ask Uber to request an UberX”.
Have Alexa Order Flowers for You
If you have a 1-800-Flowers account (or if you are prepared to open one) you can have your Echo send flowers! After setting up the 1800Flowers skill in your Alexa app, log into your 1800Flowers account, and link your account to your Echo. Then you can send one of four predefined bouquets and floral arrangements to your recipient!
Find Flight and Travel Information and Track Flights with Kayak
You can have your Echo find and track a whole host of information through Kayak, and you don’t even need a Kayak account to do it!
Here, from Kayak’s FAQ, is a list of examples of things that you can ask Alexa to do with Kayak all prefaced by the command “Alexa, ask Kayak….”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to set my home airport to __.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to change my home airport to __.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to remove my home airport.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to track a flight.” (This will have Alexa prompt you for more information about what flight you want to track.)
“Alexa, ask KAYAK when the flight from Boston to Chicago departs.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK when the Delta flight from Boston arrives in JFK.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to track Delta 1109.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK where I can go for $600.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK where I can go for $600 in May.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to search for flights to Barcelona.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to search for flights from Boston to Barcelona.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to search for hotels in Miami.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to search for hotels in Miami from July 13 to July 14.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to search for rental cars in Denver.”
“Alexa, ask KAYAK to search for rental cars in Denver from October 22 to October 27.”
Set a Repeating Alarm to Go Off Every Day or Week or a Certain Day of Each Week
For this new trick, rather than going to the Alexa Skills area, you will go directly to the Alexa Times and Alarms area.
You can have a regularly-scheduled alarm to wake you every day, to remind you of something on a given day of the week, etc..
Not only that, but you can have Missy Elliot yell at you to wake up, or an inspirational message from Alec Baldwin as your alarm tone, along with alarm tones from Dan Marino and Jason Schwartzman.
The repeating alarms is especially useful if you have an Echo Dot by your bedside!
So, what are your favourite Alexa tricks?