11 Things You Didn’t Know Amazon’s Alexa Could Do

Believe it or not, Alexa has more than 15,000 “skills.” Here are some you might not know about.

Amazon Alexaamedley/ShutterstockFind your phone

We’ve all experienced the frustration of losing our phone somewhere in the house. Now you don’t need to worry if no one is there to call it for you, because Alexa can. Just say, “Alexa, open ‘Where’s my phone,’” and she’ll give it a ring. You can then follow the sound of your ringtone or the vibration to find your phone.

Talk to your cats

It’s tough to leave your cat home alone all day—especially when it’s basically your child. Well, Alexa lets you tell your cat how much you love and missed them once you get home. Simply enable the Meow! skill on your device. To get started all you have to do is say, “Alexa, meow,” and she’ll start talking to your furry friend.

Make phone calls

You don’t even have to pick up your phone. Just say, “Alexa, call [name someone in your contacts].” Right now it only allows you to call people who also have an Alexa-enabled device. It’s a great feature to have if your hands are full or you’re cooking dinner and need to make a call.

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Plan your vacation

For this skill, you need a little help from the travel site, KAYAK. You first have to set up an account and then enable KAYAK on your device. Then say, “Alexa, ask KAYAK [your travel question].” She’ll be able to find you deals on flights, book hotels, and give you information about rental cars. To get started exploring the feature try asking Alexa these things:

  • “Alexa, ask KAYAK where can I go for 700 dollars.”
  • “Alexa, ask KAYAK to track JetBlue Flight 5983.”
  • “Alexa, ask KAYAK how much it costs to rent a car in Boston.”
  • “Alexa, tell KAYAK to set my home airport to Chicago.”

Order you a car

Link your Alexa with your Uber or Lyft account and then just say, “Alexa, ask Uber/Lyft to request a ride.” You don’t even have to lift a finger. And, it’s especially helpful when you are running late and don’t have time to manually plug in your destination. Alexa? Keep an eye on these Amazon Black Friday deals. 

Tell a bedtime story

One of the best ways to end the day is watching your kid drift off to sleep as you tell them a bedtime story. But sometimes there are a million other things to do around the house and you just don’t have time. Don’t worry; Alexa can do it for you. Enable the Short Bedtime Story feature on your device and then ask, “Alexa, tell a bedtime story to [your child’s name].” These Alexa accessories will make your device even better.


Play Jeopardy!

Learn new facts every day by playing Jeopardy! with Alexa. Simply say, “Alexa, play Jeopardy!” and she’ll start asking you questions. You’ll be quizzed in areas including sports, pop culture, travel, and world history. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you get a free subscription to Double Jeopardy! which gives you six extra clues every week.

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Control your house

To take advantage of this convenient feature, you have to buy smart home devices such as Nest ThermostatsPhilips Hue lightbulbs, and August locks. After an easy installation, Alexa can help control your home. When you get home from work say, “Alexa, turn on the lights.” Or if you wake up too hot in the middle of the night, you can say, “Alexa, set the thermostat to 65 degrees.”

Play music

Alexa can play any type of music you’re in the mood for. If you have Amazon Prime, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and/or SiriusXM you can ask your device to play any song, artist, or genre you want. Just say, “Alexa, play Somewhere Over the Rainbow on Spotify.” If you want to be woken up by your favorite music you can say, “Alexa, wake me up to John Mayer at 7 a.m.”

Get recipes

If you don’t know what you want to make for dinner, you can ask Alexa for help. Just say, “Alexa, find quick dinner recipes.” Or, if you don’t know what to bring to your office holiday party, you can ask, “Alexa, what should I make for a holiday party?”

Create/add to your to-do list

You can create lists in your Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone and then ask her to add or delete things from them once they’re completed. Ask, “Alexa, add apples and almonds to my grocery list.”

Alexa can also set reminders for you. Say, “Alexa remind me to pay rent at 3 p.m. today.” And then once you finish that say, “Alexa, delete ‘pay rent’ from my to-do list.”

(These 15 little-known Amazon hacks will help you save lots of money the next time you place an order.)

[Source: The Amazon Blog]

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for rd.com, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.