Keeping Up With Alexa Commands

Keeping Up with Alexa Commands: August 17th

Are the Alexa commands you already know feeling a bit stale? If you’re wondering what else you can say or ask Alexa on your Echo Dot, Echo Show, and other Alexa-enabled devices, you’ve come to the right place. Listed below are the 20 Alexa commands that Amazon released this week, growing the reviewed list to 268 unique things to ask Alexa. While duds are rare, I quickly 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

And so we arrive at the third newsletter of August. These unique things to ask Alexa are considered new or newly-updated additions to the weekly series.

“Alexa, open NASA Mars”

NASA Mars Logo

As the name suggests, this Alexa Skill is where you can find quick FAQs and information about Mars from NASA. It also provides the latest updates about the Mars rovers. If you’re interested in asking the skill for specific updates, view this Curiosity Rover command.  

“Alexa, how do I make chocolate chip cookies?”

For the best experience, try this command on an Echo Show. For instance, when I give this command, Alexa shows me a few recipe options from Kitchen Stories, Tasty, and others that are highly reviewed and favored by other bakers. 

And in case you’re wondering, “chocolate chocolate chip cookies” also works. More chocolate please. 

“Alexa, what are your accessibility features?”

This command is worth skipping over as it doesn’t provide a ton of value. Instead, go straight to the source: Alexa Accessibility.

But if you’re curious about giving it a try, Alexa will simply tell you about a few features, like Speak Faster.

“Alexa, what’s my election update?”

As Election season heats up, Alexa alerts you to the latest election news with this command. For instance, after giving this command, Alexa lists a rundown of a few of the Senate and House races across the country, as well as trending political news, citing Reuters and AP News. 

This command is pretty solid. One thing to keep in mind is Alexa doesn’t let you pick the news sources with this command. If you want to see if these sources tend to lean one way, check out AllSides

“Alexa, tell me a fun fact of the day”

The Beatles
The Beatles

Good news: while this command isn’t brand new, it’s been updated with facts that lean more happy than tragic. As an example, Alexa told me Ringo Star joined The Beatles as of writing. A good day for fans everywhere.

But fair warning, this command isn’t for the faint of heart, as Amazon has a warped sense of what a “fun” fact is. My previous walk-through had me learning about The Lottery.

“Alexa, recommend a health podcast”

When I use this command, Alexa tells me about Be Well. I haven’t heard of this one, but it does sound interesting. What’s nice about this command is that you can also ask Alexa to recommend different genres of podcasts. Most recently, I checked out the science genre.

“Alexa, show photos from last summer”

Alexa can show you photos on an Echo Show and Fire TV with this command, but what’s really cool is you can filter which photos you want to see. Previously, I’ve talked about looking at photos from last year. This command works the same, only this time, you’ll see photos specially from last summer. 

“Alexa, play MLB highlights”

This command is new to Alexa and ideal to use on an Echo Show since Alexa will play highlight clips from the most recent Major League Baseball games. 

Not a fan of baseball? Me neither. The good news is Alexa also knows about basketball. Find out more from the last month’s highlights.

“Alexa, tell me a Ripley’s story”

This command is more effort than it’s worth. Alexa ultimately asks you a series of questions, providing you with choices before giving you an interesting fact, like how bugs need sleep in my case, than an actual story. 

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly story, skip this and use the next command instead.

“Alexa, tell me a story about robots”

If you’re a parent and are needing a break from the nightly bedtime story requests, this command is for you. Alexa tells a short story called “V2” in Alexa’s own voice. The best part? When the story ends, so does further word from Alexa. No upsells or questions, making it a great command to fall asleep to. 

The only bad part about this command is there isn’t more content. Alexa only has the one story available now. Let me know in the comments if you found more. 

In Case You Missed It

While they’re likely new to you, the Alexa commands that Amazon released below are not considered new to this series. Skip this section if you’ve been following along to the Keeping Up with Alexa series.

“Alexa, make a donation to Save the Children”

See this command’s breakdown as well as how to learn more charities Alexa knows via Donation commands

“Alexa, what can you do?”

If you’re still itching for more things to ask or say to Alexa, you can find out from the source itself. For more info about how to navigate through this command, see Information commands.

“Alexa, what’s up?”

Here’s a way to trigger a Flash Briefing. But this command has a few watch-outs. View the Information commands for more. 

“Alexa, create a list”

Use Alexa to create lists and list items. WIth this command, Alexa asks for a name, then creates the list for you. You’ll be able to find this new list in the Alexa App under “Lists & Notes.”

“Alexa, delete my meeting tomorrow”

Link your calendar with Alexa to easily delete events by voice. Find out how the command works via Information commands.

“Alexa, what are my emails?”

This command is a favorite of Amazon’s to repeatedly promote. Want to know what all the hubbub is? Check out Productivity commands for the full walk-through. 

“Alexa, turn on Follow-Up Mode”

Follow-Up Mode is handy, especially if you find yourself giving more than one command to Alexa at a time. Learn more about this feature Follow via Settings commands.

“Alexa, play a slideshow”

Picture slideshows are one of my favorite features of the Echo Show, but it also works with Fire TV. Find out more from June’s Smart Home commands.

“Alexa, tell me what you heard”

Sometimes Alexa misunderstands what you said. If you get a response from Alexa that doesn’t really make sense, try this command to uncover what was heard. Learn more about finding your Alexa History via Settings commands.

“Alexa, set a sleep timer for 30 minutes”

Want your music or audiobook to turn off automatically at a certain time? Sleep Timers are for you. Learn more via Timer commands.

Looking for more unique things to ask Alexa? Check out the complete Keeping Up with Alexa series and sign up to receive weekly updates. 

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