Keeping Up With Alexa Commands

Keeping Up with Alexa Commands: August 10th

If you’re looking for more things to say or ask Alexa, you’ve come to the right place. Listed below are the 21 new and newly-promoted Alexa commands released from Amazon this week, growing the newsletter’s extensive list of 390 things to ask Alexa. While duds are rare, I weed out the good from the bad, so you don’t have to.

Keep scrolling to see the full lineup or use the table of contents to skip to a command that most interests you.

Things to Ask Alexa

Welcome to the second newsletter of August. Go ahead and grab your Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or other Alexa-enabled device and explore the latest capabilities of Amazon’s Voice Assistant. Listed below are all the Alexa commands Amazon released this week that are new to this series. 

“Alexa, visit Jurassic World”

If you’re looking for a new choose your own adventure game to try, this command is definitely worth your time. Interactive Alexa Skills like this one are unique to Alexa.

Jurassic World Revealed Logo

Jurassic World Revealed is an interactive audio story, much like a radio play, where you help a fellow journalist report on what’s happening to the island and all its prehistoric inhabitants as they’re faced with an erupting volcano. With this Alexa command, you’ll enter the story and then quickly be asked to help navigate obstacles. You’ll make decisions with Alexa that ultimately impact how the story plays out.

The first of six chapters of the storyline is free, but fair warning, it’ll leave you on a cliffhanger. If you’re interested in continuing, it’ll cost a few bucks to get the rest.

“Alexa, are you recording me?”

Skip this command. Here’s what you need to know instead: Alexa is recording, but not all the time. Basically, Alexa records you when you say the wake word “Alexa.” If a blue light is flashing on your Echo Dot, for instance, you’re being recorded where Alexa listens for a command and then sends the command you say to Amazon’s cloud to process it. 

Despite what some media outlets say, Alexa isn’t trying to listen in on your conversations.

“Alexa, how do I turn on ‘do not disturb’?”

Skip this command, as it’s not very useful since it only points back to the Alexa app.

Instead, learn about Alexa Notifications and how to enable ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode. 

“Alexa, what’s new with your app?”

Here’s another command that points right back to the Alexa app. In case you missed it, Amazon recently updated the app, amongst other new Alexa features and commands in July.

New post up that’s related: Alexa’s Struggle on iPhone and Android

“Alexa, tell me a cat joke”

You know Alexa loves jokes. And while you won’t find them written into next week’s SNL skit, they’re pretty good for getting a chuckle, especially with kids. 

This command is no different. For instance, here’s what Alexa gave me:

Q: “What happened to the cat who ate a ball of yarn?”
A: “She had mittens!”

“Alexa, tell me your story, The Dream”

While it’s a mouthful to say, this command is worth asking, especially if you have kids. The Dream is a poem, much like a fairytale rhyme, describing Alexa’s story of being inside of a crystal ball. 

“Alexa, play Best of What’s New on Amazon Music”

Overall, try this command if you use Amazon Music. Skip it if you don’t.

Best of What's New Playlist Logo

Best of What’s New is a playlist created by Amazon. The first of 50 songs from the list is “my future” by Billie Eilish.

“Alexa, play the ‘Sway’s Interviews’ podcast on Pandora”

New this week: Alexa now supports Pandora Podcasts. If you don’t use Pandora as your music service of choice, skip this command.

With this command, Alexa plays the latest episode of the podcast Sway’s Interviews, which features LL Cool J talking about his career. 

“Alexa, what should I watch?”

Do you use cable TV? Are you a fan of the TBS and Nickelodeon channels? If so, then this command is for you and the first I’ve seen from Amazon related to TV. 

For example, when I give this command, Alexa provides a list of  what’s coming up next on cable that I can watch. Specifically, I was told “Friends” on TBS and “SpongeBob” on Nickelodeon. 

If you use streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video instead, learn how to use Alexa Skills to find shows to watch

In Case You Missed It

While they’re likely new to you, the Alexa commands listed below that Amazon released this week are not brand new to this series. Jump to each command’s original review via the links provided below.

“Alexa, cancel my alarm on my Bedroom Echo”

Cancel alarms using the device name. To do this, use the above command and just swap out the name “Bedroom Echo” with whatever your Alexa-enabled device’s name is.  

“Alexa, open Batman Adventures”

This skill has potential, but ultimately, I’d recommend giving Jurassic World a shot instead. 

Last time I tried this command, I had a disappointing experience with the Alexa Skill crashing, amongst other things. The good news is the skill is now working where you can play the first story called “The Terrible Trio” for free, but the interactive dialogue is severely lacking. 

“Alexa, show me dinner recipes from Tasty”

Level up your cooking knowledge with this cooking command. Learn more about how this command is different on an Echo Show vs Echo Dot

“Alexa, E.T. phone home”

Try this joke referencing the 1982 film “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.”

“Alexa, reset the equalizer”

Learn more about the ability to change audio settings with this Music command.

“Alexa, add ‘call with Sarah’ to my calendar today at 4 PM”

Use Alexa to make calendar events with your contacts, like Grandma

“Alexa, remove chicken wings from my shopping list”

This command doesn’t work quite as you expect. Learn more about this Shopping command.

“Alexa, where’s my stuff?”

Find out where your Amazon order is. Learn more about this Shopping command.

“Alexa, set Echo Glow to Campfire mode”

Control your Echo Glow, if you own one. Smart Lights are one of the best features of Alexa. Learn more about controlling your Smart Lights.

“Alexa, open Photo Booth”

Take photos with your Echo Show. Learn more about this Smart Home command.

“Alexa, set the background to my photos”

This command is an oldie, but goodie—and one of my favorites. With this command, you can turn your Echo Show or Fire TV into a photo slideshow when it’s not in use. Learn more about linking your photos to Alexa in the Alexa App.

“Alexa, show my photos”

But if you can’t wait for the screensaver to kick in, try this command instead. Learn more about photo commands in the previous Smart Home section.

Looking for more things to ask Alexa? Check out the complete Keeping Up with Alexa series

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