Weekly What’s New With Alexa?

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Amazon publishes a weekly e-mail on what is new with Alexa. Here is a rundown of the latest new features, skills, and updates to try on your Echo.

Aug 19 –

  • 1-Minute Mindfulness skill – allows Alexa to help you meditate for a min. You can also set your own soundtrack to play when you meditate. The length can be changed accordingly.
  • Household profiles – you can create separate profiles. This is useful as my wife often listens to classical music but I like the acoustic / Hawaiian music as background music. She also doesn’t have much fever for POP music but I like it when I am cooking and want to dance to the music. You can now create individual profiles. See here for more details.

June 10 –

  • Alexa new skill – Nutritionix. A large nutrition database. you can ask Food Tracker to log your meals or give you nutritional detail about your food. In order for Nutritionix to log your food, you will need to create an account.
  • Drift off with Alexa – Some sleep friendly sounds has been added to the Prime library. Can example is, “Alexa, play Nature Sounds for Sleep” and you will get some rain, ocean sounds. You can also have Alexa set a sleep timer similar to your TV.

May 23 –

  • “Alexa, where’s my stuff?” – Alexa will tell you when your next package will arrive from Amazon.
  • “Alexa, good morning.” – Alexa will greet you, give you today’s weather forecast, and may possibly give you an easter egg!
  • “Alexa, ask Kayak…..” – Alexa will search Kayak for airfare, hotel prices to designated destinations. I tried this but it didn’t work 🙁
  • From other announcements, Amazon is running a promo where 14 people (only….) can win an Amazon Tap simply by using their Echo between now until May 19th.
  • Feature Jason Goecke who figured out how to ask Alexa to pull his Tesla in or out of his garage! Neat!

May 6 –

  • Syfy Skill – Install Syfy skill to ask details about Syfy’s original shows such as 12 Monkeys, Hunters, or The Magicians
  • Alarm.com Skill – Expand your alarm.com security system’s features by controlling your locks, thermostats, lights, video cameras.
  • Triby – Alexa enabled device which can play music, make calls, share doodles, and messages.