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Amazon Alexa tips and skills suggestions


I just came into possession of Amazon's Alexa Echo Dot. Being a nerd, I was happy to play with it. And just a couple of demos to my wife: "Alexa play James Taylor" and "Alexa play Bach", and she was sold on it. I thought I'd share my experience with it so far:

* Its speaker is crappy (although the one in the full-size Alexa is supposed to be pretty good). You really need to hook up a bluetooth speaker to it if you want to use it for music.
* While not bad, it does take some getting used to before you'll be comfortable with the phrasing of some commands. But most of them are fine.
* I've been using it a lot for music, between the built-in support for Amazon music (via Prime membership) and iHeartRadio. What you can get to for essentially free is pretty impressive. But my wife keeps telling it to turn down its volume. I tried "Alexa ignore volume commands from Cathy, but that didn't help  :P
* It has a built-in weather skill, but if you want something more local and specific, look at the "Big Sky" skill.
* One of the use cases I wanted to cover is maintaining a grocery list, since it's sitting on the kitchen counter. The skill "Our Groceries" seems to be a good way to accomplish this.
Anybody with more Alexa experience have anything to add to this?


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