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Amazon Echo: 6 interesting Alexa skills to try with your new speaker

From Uber to recipes, your new Amazon Echo is feature-packed. Here are some of our favorite, lesser-known skills.
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Alexa skills

Amazon Echo offers several integrations, aka "skills", allowing you to fully leverage the power of Alexa.

Millions of Alexa-enabled devices were sold this holiday season, according to a recent announcement from Amazon. With all those people suddenly asking Alexa to look up things or complete tasks for them, don't be surprised if more companies begin releasing their own unique skills through the Alexa marketplace.

There are already tons of skills available for you to choose from -- whether you want to control a connected device, play a game, find recipe instructions, or even hear a news readout. In fact, here are six skills worth checking out right now on your new Alexa-enabled device.

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Jeopardy

You can play the classic game Jeopardy with Alexa. This skill serves up a collection of six trivia questions each day. Like the show, every question comes from a different category made by the show's writers, and your response must be in the form of an answer. But you have only a few seconds to respond -- so think fast.

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Have you been pwned?

The "Have I been pwned?" service can be accessed through Alexa. It will check if you have a compromised account involved in a data breach. Just say "Alexa, open Have I been pwned." From there, you will have to spell out your email address or username every time and say "Done" in order to perform a check.

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Fitbit

Chance are you also got a Fitbit this past holiday season. The company sells more wearables in the US than even Apple and Samsung. So, if you own one, check out the Fitbit integration for Alexa. Once you've synced your Fitbit with the skill, you can say "Alexa, ask Fitbit..." followed by a question about your sleep, steps, calories, stairs climbed, or whatever else your device tracks.

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Domino's

Alexa can help you if you get the munchies. Just enable the Domino's Pizza skill through the Alexa app and then set up an Easy Order through Domino's. Then, when you get hungry, just say "Alexa, open Domino's and place my Easy Order." The skill will even tell you how your food is coming along or where it is via the Domino's Tracker Update tool.

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Uber (or Lyft)

Need a ride? Uber and Lyft both have skills you can enable for Alexa. Once you've set up an account with a payment option, you can say "Alexa, ask Uber to request a ride" or "Alexa, ask Lyft how much a Lyft Plus from work to home costs." After, Alexa will automatically debit the ride fare from your account.

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Allrecipes

Can't think of anything to cook? Recipe site Allrecipe offers a skill so you can get access to over 60,000 recipes. Simply search for recipes based on ingredients or name, and then once you find a recipe, ask Alexa for directions on how to cook the meal. She'll guide you step by step.

  • "Alexa, ask Allrecipes, what can I make with chicken, bacon and cheddar cheese?"
  • "Alexa, ask Allrecipes for the recipe of the day."
  • "Alexa, ask Allrecipes to find the World's Best Lasagna recipe."
  • "Alexa, ask Allrecipes, how much butter is needed for Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies?"
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More

For more interesting skills, see Amazon's list of the 2016 Amazon Alexa Skills Customer Picks.

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