🗯INFOGRAPHIC: Top Alexa Skills by category

When first launched on Echo in the US back in November 2014, Alexa boasted a measly 13 skills; fast forward to 2017, there are now 14,000 Alexa Skills available (and the number is still growing)! Alexa is currently available on a number of devices, primarily Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap, Echo Dot, Echo Look and Echo Show.

Take a closer look at some of the best Alexa skills available, which we have classified by category!

Please note these skills are available for US Amazon accounts.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE

AMEX American Express

Connect American Express to Alexa through the Amex skill. Make a payment, get offers, check your balance, and more.

Bitcoin price

Get the current price of the Bitcoin.

Capital One

Find out how much money you have, make a credit card payment, get information concerning your loans, and stay up to date with your recent charges.

Mortgage Helper

Figure out home loans and mortgages quickly and avoid traps, bad companies, and fees.

The Motley Fool

Create a list of companies you want to survey and keep up to date with their market and stock activity… all in easy to understand English.

FOOD AND DRINK

Best Recipes

Tell Alexa three ingredients you have in your fridge and the Best Recipes skill will propose you a recipe!

Happy Hour

A recipe guide to over 170 popular drinks.

Ingredient Sub

Missing an ingredient for a recipe? Ask Alexa what you can substitute it for.

MySomm

Ask Alexa what wine goes best with what food.

Save the food

Understand how to properly store different foods, decide if they are still fresh and reduce waste.

PRODUCTIVITY

Calculator

Operate this calculator with your voice.

My Calendar

A simple skill that allows you to manage events on your primary calendar.

Remind me

Remind Me helps you remember what you need for work, school, gym, etc.

Talk To Your Email

Ask Alexa about important emails, what’s waiting for your response, clean your inbox, and more.

Taskrabbit

Ask Alexa to find you a handyman, cleaner, and more.

TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT

Airport Security Line Wait Times

Ask Alexa for the estimated wait time information at security checkpoints in over 450 US airports.

Kayak

Get information on flights, hotels and rental cars. Hear flight status updates, destination suggestions and more.

My Eta

Get drive-time in current traffic or any future departure time for your defined destinations.

Virtual Traveler

Wondering where to travel? Discover the most fascinating destinations across the world.

Uber

Ask Alexa to order you an Uber.

ENTERTAINMENT AND LIFESTYLE

7-Minute Workout

Get in shape with Alexa by doing this 7 minute workout.

Board Games Answers

Alexa can answer your common questions about board game rules.

Guitar Tuner

Alexa will help you tune your guitar.

Plex

Get information on and control playback of your media library on any Plex compatible device.

Spotify

Control your Spotify music account using your voice.

CONNECTED HOME

Garageio

Garageio is the simple and secure way to control and monitor your garage door from anywhere in the world, without needing to replace your existing opener.

Harmony

Start and stop Harmony Activities or tune to your favorite TV channel.

Hue

With Alexa and Philips Hue you can easily adjust your lights with your voice.

Neato

Control your Neato vacuum cleaner with your voice!

Nest

Control the temperature of your house with your voice.

OTHER

Glad Recycler

An easy and entertaining service to help you quickly identify if an item is recyclable.

Skill Finder

Amazon’s Skill Finder is a new way to easily discover Alexa’s newest and top skills.

Sleep And Relaxation Sounds

Ask Alexa to play ambient sounds to help you sleep peacefully or block out unwanted noise at work or home.

Ted Talks

Ask Alexa to play Ted talks.

Zyrtec

Ask Alexa for forecasts concerning weather, pollen count and predominant allergens for your area.

🔊Introducing Audicons™

The way we are interacting with our digital world
will be completely changed with the rise of voice assistants such as Alexa or Assistant.

We created Smartly.AI to make this transition easier for developers while pushing the horizons of Conversational AI.

The Problem
Currently, if you want to build a rich message for your bot, you can use a language called SSML to mix Voice Synthesis and Audio Sounds.
With SSML you can do pretty amazing things ( change the pitch and tone of the voice, add silences, …). You can check a documentation on how Alexa’s SSML . But, the issue here is that SSML has also a tricky syntax that makes it quite hard to master for a new developer.
As an illustration, let’s see what I have to do to build an answer to this question with SSML:

“Alexa, ask PlaneWatcher: Where is the plane DC-132?”

<speak>
    <audio src="https://server.com/audio/plane.mp3"/> 
    <s>Welcome to Plane Watcher, 
    <audio src="https://server.com/audio/sad.mp3" /> 
    <s>The plane DC-132 is currently being delayed of 30 minutes!
</speak>

Wait another XML like grammar to deal with… 🤔
Come on, this has to be fixed!

Our solution
As we overuse emoticons in our Slack channel, we couldn’t resist to try to transpose this awesome language to the voice world!
After a few experiments, we are happy to present you our latest creation:
the Audicons !

✈ Welcome to Plane Watcher ☹ The place DC-132 is currently being delayed of 30 minutes!

Audicons  is a set of standardized audio-files that can be easily recognized and associated to specific meanings. Audicons will be soon open sourced so you can reuse them in your ownprojects, Stay tuned 😀
In most cases, we think Audicons can replace SSML.
Audicons have the potential to evolve to a standardized audioset used in ALL the voice interfaces.

A short examples you may want to create for weather forecasts

😃 Tomorrow is gonna be sunny ☀🕶!
😩Tomorrow is gonna be rainy ☔⛈!

Hear our first Audicons in the demo below.

Cool isn’it ? 😃
Wich ones do you prefer?

You can already use Audicons in your Alexa skill if you build it with Smartly.AI but we plan to open source them soon along with our SSML generator.

Now it’s up to you to make your beloved Alexa more expressive  !