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Spookify Your Smart Home: Keeping Up with Alexa

Looking to add some spookiness to your smart home this October? You’re in the right place. In this October edition of Keeping Up with Alexa, I’ll introduce you to a cauldron full of new Alexa commands and spine-chilling updates. 

From eerie atmospheres to everyday conveniences, this newsletter has got it all. So grab your pumpkin spice latte, and let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Keeping Up With Alexa and the Smart Home Industry

Welcome, brave souls, to the October edition of Keeping Up with Alexa. As someone who’s spent over a decade in the smart home trenches—working on Siri at Apple and Alexa at Amazon—I aim to keep you updated on the latest Alexa commands and smart home news.  I’m up to about 800 commands reviewed so far, for you. Getting close to 1000!

The goal here is simple: to arm you with the knowledge you need to make your home smarter and your life easier. Prepare for a treat (no tricks, I promise) as we dive into the latest and greatest in the Alexa universe.

A Hauntingly Good Set of Alexa Commands

Let’s kick things off with some Alexa commands that are perfect for the Halloween season. Whether you’re hosting a haunted house party, looking for some eerie entertainment, or just want to set a spooky mood, these commands have got you covered. And don’t worry, none of these commands will turn your smart home into a haunted house—unless that’s what you’re going for!

Spooky Music & Entertainment

  • “Alexa, play Kids Halloween playlist: Get into the Halloween spirit with family-friendly tunes. It’s like trick-or-treating for your ears!
  • “Alexa, play some Motown”: Add a classic touch to your Halloween bash. Because even ghosts like to groove, too.
  • “Alexa, play the Home Gym Workout playlist on Amazon Music”: If you plan a Halloween workout, this playlist will keep you moving. Who says you can’t be fit and frightening? Or you can just stick to candy. That’s my plan anyway.

Eerie Atmosphere

  • “Alexa, open Rainforest Sounds”: Transform your living room into a mysterious jungle. It’s the next best thing to a haunted forest! Learn more white noise commands.
  • “Alexa, play Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader”: Add fun and games to your Halloween gathering. Warning: May result in existential crises about your intelligence.
  • “Alexa, open Prime Video on Fire TV”: Set the scene with some classic horror movies. Just don’t blame me if you can’t sleep afterward!

Halloween Fun

  • “Alexa, tell me a light bulb joke”: Lighten the mood with a quick joke. Because even light bulbs have their “bright” moments! Sorry for the Dad Jokes in advance. I am a big fan of smart lights around here.
  • “Alexa, play Harry Potter Quiz”: Test your knowledge of the wizarding world. No Time-Turners allowed for do-overs! Learn more Harry Potter Commands.
  • “Alexa, how long until Halloween?”: Keep track of the countdown. Not that you’re counting the minutes or anything. Okay, maybe you are.

Halloween Preparations

  • “Alexa, add candy to my shopping list”: Make sure you’re well-stocked for trick-or-treaters. Because the only thing scarier than ghosts is running out of candy!
  • “Alexa, give me Thanksgiving game ideas”: Plan ahead for the next holiday. Because once Halloween is over, it’s basically Christmas, right?

News and Updates: What’s Brewing in the Alexa Cauldron

Time for some news that’s as exciting as finding a full-size candy bar while trick-or-treating. Let’s delve into the latest features and updates making waves in the Alexa universe.

Visual ID on Echo Show

Visual ID is a new feature that allows for more personalized experiences on your Echo Show device. It enables the device to recognize individual users and tailor content accordingly. if you have one of these Echo Show models, give it a shot and let me know what you think:

  • Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen)
  • Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)
  • Echo Show 15

For more infoVisual ID on Echo Show

IFTTT Support Dropped

Alexa has recently dropped support for IFTTT (If This Then That), which means you’ll need to find alternative ways to integrate your smart home devices and services.

For more infoIFTTT Support Dropped

Matter 1.2 Update

The Matter 1.2 update brings new device types and features to the Matter smart home standard, enhancing compatibility and user experience across various smart home devices.

For more infoMatter 1.2 Update

Bonus: Your Ultimate List of Alexa Commands

As a special treat, here’s a comprehensive list of Alexa commands to check out. Whether new to Alexa or a seasoned user, these commands will enhance your smart home experience.

Music & Entertainment

  • “Alexa, play Acoustic Covers playlist on Amazon Music”
  • “Alexa, play the podcast Adventures of Cairo”
  • “Alexa, play King of the Hill on Hulu”
  • “Alexa, recommend an audiobook”
  • “Alexa, what should I watch?”
  • “Alexa, play the last song I was listening to”
  • “Alexa, play the Home Gym Workout playlist on Amazon Music”

Getting Things Done

  • “Alexa, give me gift ideas for home”
  • “Alexa, remind me to call mom on Saturday”
  • “Alexa, open my food preferences”
  • “Alexa, read my notifications”
  • “Alexa, drop in on all devices”
  • “Alexa, set a soft-boiled eggs timer for 8 minutes”
  • “Alexa, create a 12 PM event tomorrow called ‘Lunch'”

News & Information

  • “Alexa, play the news from NPR”
  • “Alexa, how long will it take to drive to my next meeting?”
  • “Alexa, what languages are spoken in the Philippines?”
  • “Alexa, enable Weather After Alarm routine”
  • “Alexa, who is the Patriots quarterback?”
  • “Alexa, how do you keep my data safe?”
  • “Alexa, follow Tesla stock”

Fun with Alexa

  • “Alexa, tell me a movie joke”
  • “Alexa, play Harry Potter Quiz”
  • “Alexa, sing the Ballad of the Broken S’more”
  • “Alexa, tell me a joke about you”
  • “Alexa, test my spelling skills”
  • “Alexa, open Batman Adventures”
  • “Alexa, tell me a light bulb joke”

And More

  • “Alexa, what’s the temperature?”
  • “Alexa, where did you grow up?”
  • “Alexa, what should I wear to work from home?”
  • “Alexa, open Prime Video on Fire TV”
  • “Alexa, start Knight Manager”
  • “Alexa, how long until Halloween?”
  • “Alexa, play Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader”


That wraps up this month’s edition of Keeping Up with Alexa. From commands that add a dash of spookiness to your Halloween celebrations to important updates that keep your smart home running smoothly, we’ve covered it all.

This month, there’s a clear focus on blending entertainment and daily utility, such as the command “Alexa, play Halloween Trivia.” It’s not surprising since we’re in October!

The big news comes with the Matter 1.2 update and Visual ID. Matter is finally becoming a reality, and I hope we start to see it make a difference soon.

Your Feedback Matters

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this month’s newsletter. Got a favorite Alexa command you’d like to share? Curious about a specific feature or update? Feel free to leave your comments and feedback. For more in-depth articles and tips on Alexa, remember to check out our Alexa Archives.

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