Ok, so now that you’ve settled on the Amazon Echo Dot as your assistant of choice and you’ve got it shipped to Ireland. Now, you’ll need some Alexa Skills to get the most out of it.

What are Alexa Skills?

Alexa Skills are Amazon’s fancy name for apps. You install the Skills that you thing you would like to use the most. The cool thing is that most apps can be activated by you simply asking Alexa to do so. Here are my favourite Alexa Skills for Irish users.

Fitbit

You don’t really need a Fitbit to use the fitness service. Once you download the mobile app, that will actually track your daily progress. I’ve been looking into lots of stuff like this for my Motivating Marty efforts. The Fitbit Alexa Skill means when you get home, simply ask “Alexa, ask Fitbit how I’m doing today” and you’ll get all your step data read out to you. With an actual wearable, you can go further and get sleep tracking data read out too.

4NextBus

The guys over at Zarley LTD get massive attempt marks for their 4NextBus Skill. This is currently the closest thing you can get to a Dublin Bus Alexa Skill right now. The Skill runs on publically available Dublin Bus data and all you have to ask is “Alexa, ask 4NextBus”. You’ll then be greeted with the latest live bus data from your preferred stop. You can also ask from particular stops once you know the numbers.

To be honest, this app goes in the pile of brilliant idea that needs a little work. Definitely, one to watch.

RTÉ Flash News Briefing

Alexa Skills have a category called Flash News Briefing. These are specifically for the latest news bulletins delivered from your preferred news network. A massive well done goes out to RTÉ who are extremely early adopters of the Alexa platform. Once you install the RTÉ Alexa Skill, just ask “Alexa, what’s new” and you’ll get the latest Irish news read out to you. A must have for Irish Echo Dot owners.

Beat the Intro

Not all Alexa Skills are totally serious. There are some cracking games in there too. Beat the Intro will play a few seconds of six music hits. The aim of the game is to name the songs. It’s not overly complicated right now and you can’t shout the names out or anything. Still, another Skill added to the pile that will surely be improving as this platform grows.

7-minute workout

Now, this is what technology is all about. Clear a little space in your sitting room and utter the words “Alexa, start seven-minute workout.” Seven-minute workouts have been scientifically proven as the ideal to increase metabolism, improve energy and lower stress. Of course, there’s also the additional benefit that these types of workout can remove fat. Just throw seven minutes of your day at this Alexa Skill and you’ll reap the rewards.

Bonus: Goos3D is available as an Alexa Skill

We’re super excited to announce that Goos3D is now available as a Flash News Briefing Alexa Skill. You can now get the latest Irish tech news read out to you by simply asking “Alexa, what’s new?” We’ve just launched this new feature and would love to hear what you think. We’ll be developing this in the coming months to work in some improvements.

 

 

 

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