Keeping Up With Alexa Commands

Keeping Up with Alexa Commands: September 7th

Tired of using the same old commands on your Echo? Learn the latest things to ask Alexa. Highlighted below are 20 new Alexa commands—whether brand new, newly-updated, or newly-promoted from Amazon this week—growing the database to 296 things to say or ask Alexa. While duds are rare, I quickly weed out the good commands from the bad, so you don’t have. So go ahead, grab your Echo Dot, Echo Show, or other Alexa-enabled device and give these new features a whirl. 

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

The Alexa commands listed below are considered new or newly-updated additions to the weekly series

“Alexa, open the Starfinder game”

Starfinder Icon

If you like Role Play Games, Starfinder is as close as you can get, all while being hands free. It’s a story, where you can influence the choices characters make and change what happens. You play a character and decide what you want to do each turn, like attack a goblin or heal yourself. This story has 4 episodes already, with 3 more on the way. To access all episodes, it costs a grand total of eight bucks. That price also includes all the new episodes that are coming soon.

When given the command, Alexa opens the skill and I’m provided an introduction to the game and the introduction story immediately starts up after. No time wasted. After a few minutes of dialog, I’m then asked what kind of character I want to make. I’m given an impressive amount of options to build a character, all while the story keeps driving forward.

This is my kind of game. It’s worth noting it’s more in-depth than most on Alexa. Give it a shot if you want to play something with more substance than your typical game on Alexa, like Words with Friends. 

“Alexa, give me a shark limerick”

Here’s a clever way to get a shark joke—and learn about limericks at the same time.

When given the command, Alexa offers up several choice options. For instance, here’s what I got:

A daring young seal on a

Lark,

When swimming right up to a

Shark,

You don’t scare me he

Taunted,

But the shark was

Undaunted,

And its bite was much worse,

Than its bark.

“Alexa, make me laugh”

Not feeling the shark joke? Well, you’re in luck. Alexa also responds to general requests like this one to toss more joke options at you. For instance, after I gave this command, I got back:

What does Frankenstein drive?

A Monster Truck.

Ba Dum Tss! Not a bad Dad Joke.

“Alexa, sing your musical”

If you’ve been following along to this series, you’ve likely noticed that Amazon is flexing Alexa’s singing voice more and more. This week is no exception. For instance, when given this command, Alexas sings a short song called “Happy in the Cloud” that offers a clever overview of a few things Alexa would like to do for you.

If you get a kick out of Alexa singing in her own voice, give this command a shot.

“Alexa, play Neon Chill on Amazon Music”

If you’re into electronic music that’s fairly mellow, try out this playlist.

“Alexa, play the Grill and Chill playlist on Amazon Music”

What goes great with burgers and grilled corn on the cob? Music—or at least that’s what Amazon offers up this week with a newly-updated playlist just in time for Labor Day. You can find the complete track here, ranging from Bruce Springsteen to UB40 to Tom Petty. 

“Alexa, open wikiHow”

WikiHow Icon

If you often find yourself Googling random questions on how to do things, whether around the house or more lifestyle related, then this skill is for you. 

Chances are good you’ve already stumbled on wikiHow guides when typing out questions in Google. When given this command, Alexa opens the wikiHow Alexa Skill and essentially offers a hands-free experience of the same thing, offering you step-by-step guides. 

How good is the skill? I tested it out by asking weird and random questions. Alexa didn’t disappoint. What’s cool is the skill plays videos for some queries, like in my case, learning how to tie your shoe (useful for those with toddlers at home). Overall, this skill is really useful and you’ll be surprised with all the various queries it can handle. 

“Alexa, what skills do you have for news?”

This command doesn’t work as expected. Skip it.

Once giving this command, Alexa simply plays the news for me. It works identically as the command: “Alexa, play the news.” 

“Alexa, what are the most popular books this week?”

Midnight Sun Cover

Surprisingly, Harry Potter didn’t snag the top spot this week. Instead, Midnight Sun was the winner, which is the new installment to the Twilight series. 

If you’re keen on what’s trending or simply need a new book recommendation, this command will help. Once asking Alexa this command, Alexa lists books from Amazon Charts, offering both fiction and nonfiction titles that are most popular among all Amazon properties, like Kindle and Audible.

“Alexa, remind me of Danny’s birthday every year on June 26”

Good news, you don’t have to physically open the Alexa app in order to set up repeating reminders. This command does it for you. But keep in mind that the Alexa-enabled device you give this command to—like your Echo Dot or Echo Show—it’ll be the same device that gives this reminder. 

To learn about more reminder commands, check out this past productivity command (scroll to the second one listed). 

“Alexa, what are my deals on school supplies?”

School is back in session. When I use this command, Alexa suggests several items grade-school kids might need, like a spiral notebook. What’s more, for each item Alexa suggests, I’m able to easily add it to my Amazon shopping cart via Alexa.

This command offers a convenient way to shop cheaply for some basic school supplies. But take it from me, if you want to make sure you’re purchasing the right items, you’re better off opening up Amazon.com or using the Amazon app. 

In Case You Missed It

While they’re likely new to you, the below commands released from Amazon this week are not considered brand new to this series or newly-updated. Skip this section if you’ve been following along to the Keeping Up with Alexa series. Otherwise, keep scrolling to check out the additional things to ask Alexa that were released from Amazon this week. 

“Alexa, let’s TikTok”

TikTok has an Alexa Skill. Learn more here

“Alexa, open Freeze Dancers”

Freeze Dancers is a game similar to Musical Chairs. View the complete walk-through here

“Alexa, tell me when there’s a severe weather alert”

Did you know Alexa offers weather notifications? This is especially useful during seasonal storms, like with snow up East or hurricanes down South. See how this works and looks in the Alexa app here

“Alexa, make a donation to American Red Cross”

According to Alexa’s charity list, you can also use the name “American National Red Cross.” I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard of the American Red Cross, as it’s one of the most prolific charities in the U.S.. With this command, Alexa gives you the ability to donate directly to the charity. 

Like all donations Amazon recommends, it’s tough to know exactly where your money goes, especially for larger organizations like this one. With that in mind, perhaps the best thing to do instead is answer their call-to-action of donating blood. It always goes directly to those in need. 

“Alexa, are there any updates from my school?”

With the Back-To-School season in full swing Alexa offers timely notifications and updates from schools. Learn more here.

“Alexa, how far is London from Paris?”

The answer is in miles (285.5 miles to be exact, if you were wondering!) instead of time duration or length. 

“Alexa, show me featured movies on Tubi”

If you’re in the market for another free streaming platform, try out Tubi. Jump over to the full walk-through from April where I dive into the differences between the Tubi Alexa Skill vs Fire TV App.

“Alexa, check my email”

Have Alexa read your emails back to you. Learn more here.

“Alexa, test how smart I am”

Skip this command unless you’re looking for new game suggestions that are trivia focused, like Jeopardy and Word of the Day. Learn more here.

Looking for more things to ask Alexa? Sign up to receive these weekly roundups. 

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