Welcome to the November roundup of things to ask Alexa. Keep up with Alexa by learning new things to ask Alexa. Each week, Amazon tells us about 20 commands in their newsletter. However, many of those commands are duplicates, old commands, or just simply not interesting. Finding the diamonds in the rough is time consuming, especially if you keep up every week. But not for me.
After years of working on Alexa and Siri, I love keeping up with the latest features these voice assistants can do.
This newsletter, I’ve picked out the most interesting commands from the 83 commands Amazon gave us in November, a bit less than October. The vast majority are duplicates from previous months and not worth your time to review again. Out of that 83, I managed to uncover 11 this month that are worth a second take.
If you’re new to this series, check out the 426 things to ask Alexa on your Echo or other Alexa-enabled devices from previous newsletters. If you want to stay up to date, sign up for the newsletter and I’ll let you know when the next post goes live.
With the introductions out of the way, let’s check out the most interesting commands from November.
Things to Ask Alexa
“Alexa, happy birthday”
Alexa was launched on the original Echo way back in November 2014. Which also makes Alexa 6 years old.
But sadly, this command isn’t very interesting. When I use this command, Alexa just tells me “thanks”, and that the actual birth day was November 6th.
Pretty boring… but to be fair, I bet Alexa has a more clever response if I asked on the day of.
Next year, I’ll give that a shot. Everyone, put November 6th on their calendars for next year.
“Alexa, play Alexa’s Birthday playlist from Amazon Music”
Continuing the birthday theme, Amazon also released a playlist to check out. Looking at the track list, it feels like a lowkey party playlist from the 80s/90s.
Find the track list on Amazon.
“Alexa, play the podcast The Veterans Chronicles”
You know what’s odd? Amazon doesn’t have a way to search for Podcasts to find info. Searching for this podcast on Amazon comes up with everything but the podcast itself.
Either way, The Veterans Chronicles is a podcast that gives a voice to veterans. Here you’ll find stories from veterans from the US armed forces.
Take a look if you are curious as to what it’s like to be in the military. You’ll be able to find some impressive stories for sure.
“Alexa, how do I connect my Arlo doorbell?”
Skip this one. It’s not useful.
All that really can be learned from this command is Alexa supports Arlo Doorbells, not just Ring, which is owned by Amazon these days.
When I use this command, Alexa says to open the Alexa app and tap on smart devices. That’s all.
“Alexa, open This Day in History”
Here’s a skill I haven’t heard of before. This Day in History sounds like a skill I would really enjoy. Each day, the skill promises to have new historical events to tell you about.
When I use this command, Alexa tells me about the missing Flight 19 from 1945. After giving me a summary, Alexa asks if I want more info or to hear about another event. Getting more info provides some more context about what happened.
Pretty cool. If you’re ever curious about historical events, but short of time, give this command a go.
“Alexa, tell me a light bulb joke”
I got a surprise from this command. Who would’ve thought to expect an engineering joke to pop up? Not me.
Here’s Alexa’s joke for me:
How many software developers does it take to change a lightbulb?
One to screw it in
One to write the doc for the retrospective
One to complete the wiki for the following iteration
A bit of a low blow to Scrum there, Amazon. But fairly true.
“Alexa, play the new Amazon Holiday Originals from Amazon Music”
This might be the most useful command for the month with Christmas around the corner. Already in my house, I’ve been looking to play a bit of holiday music. Instead of searching around on Spotify, check this playlist out instead.
“Alexa, what is the Care Hub?”
So what is the Care Hub? Let me save you the trouble. The command itself doesn’t give a ton of info.
If you have an older loved one, this feature may help you and them out while keeping everyone safe. By using this feature, you can access some of the info of your loved ones devices, like their activity feed. The main idea is to see that your family members are doing something with Alexa, rather than tell you exactly what that something is. Also you can get notifications when they ask Alexa for help, for example.
“Alexa, tell me a turkey burn”
Ah a Thanksgiving joke. Well, now is the time after all.
The turkey was so crunchy…
It was served in a yurt.
If you like me, let me save you the trouble of looking this one up. Still, I must be missing something. Do you get it?
“Alexa, open Endel”
This one has a clever, but generic, sounding name. Any guesses as to what this skill does?
“Alexa, ask The Writer’s Almanac for the latest talk”
Our last command this week is related to the skill, The Writer’s Almanac. Using this command, you’ll get the latest episode from the podcast with the same name.
Every day, this podcast puts out a new talk with a short piece of poetry.
So ends November’s review. Stay tuned for next month’s review in a few more weeks. Let me know in the comments if you learned about some other cool command this month. Expect next month to be a bit slower with the holidays. It might take me a bit longer to get December’s post up and running.
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Full list of 83 November Commands
Here’s the full list of things to ask Alexa that Amazon highlighted for November.
Alexa, add ‘call with Sarah’ to my calendar today at 4 PM
Alexa, ask Headspace for today’s meditation
Alexa, ask The Writer’s Almanac for the latest talk
Alexa, call Sam Smith
Alexa, check my email
Alexa, compute to the last digit the value of pi
Alexa, donate to (RED)
Alexa, fire photon torpedoes
Alexa, give me holiday gift ideas
Alexa, happy birthday
Alexa, how do connect my Arlo doorbell?
Alexa, how do you say ‘happy birthday’ in Spanish?
Alexa, how’s traffic to the airport?
Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson
Alexa, let’s have fun
Alexa, let’s party
Alexa, move my 2 PM meeting to 4 PM
Alexa, navigate to the closest open pharmacy
Alexa, open Big Sky
Alexa, open Endel
Alexa, open Fan Sounds
Alexa, open My Daily Mindset
Alexa, open Nature Sounds
Alexa, open Rain Sounds
Alexa, open Rainforest Sounds
Alexa, open Sleep Sounds
Alexa, open The Division Network
Alexa, open This Day in History
Alexa, open Whale Sounds
Alexa, play a classical playlist
Alexa, play Alexa’s Birthday playlist from Amazon Music
Alexa, play Are You Smarter
Alexa, play holiday music everywhere
Alexa, play King of the Hill on Hulu
Alexa, play MLB highlights
Alexa, play music everywhere
Alexa, play music for meditation
Alexa, play nature sounds
Alexa, play Pop Culture on Amazon Music
Alexa, play the new Amazon Holiday Originals from Amazon Music
Alexa, play the news
Alexa, play the podcast The Veterans Chronicles
Alexa, play white noise
Alexa, play Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
Alexa, read me a Science Fiction from Audible
Alexa, recommend a health podcast
Alexa, recommend a news podcast
Alexa, recommend a science podcast
Alexa, reorder cat litter
Alexa, reorder dog treats
Alexa, reset the equalizer
Alexa, set a 30 minute sleep timer with bedroom light
Alexa, set a sleep timer for 30 minutes
Alexa, set an alarm for 6:30 AM to Old Town Road
Alexa, set the background to my photos
Alexa, show me featured movies on Tubi
Alexa, show me featured shows on Red Bull TV
Alexa, sing a lullaby
Alexa, speak faster
Alexa, speak Klingon
Alexa, stop playing music in one hour
Alexa, talk to the front door
Alexa, tell me a coffee joke
Alexa, tell me a joke about jazz
Alexa, tell me a light bulb joke
Alexa, tell me a story about robots
Alexa, tell me a turkey burn
Alexa, tell me the joke of the day
Alexa, tell me when there’s a severe weather alert
Alexa, turn up the bass
Alexa, what are my deals?
Alexa, what are my deals?
Alexa, what are you thankful for?
Alexa, what can I make with spinach?
Alexa, what does Billie Eilish miss most about touring?
Alexa, what is the Care Hub?
Alexa, what is the S&P average today?
Alexa, what’s on my calendar?
Alexa, what’s the humidity?
Alexa, what’s today’s date?
Alexa, what’s up?
Alexa, when does the closest grocery store open?
Alexa, where’s my Domino’s order?