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How to set up your Echo Dot (and get the most out of it)

Amazon’s skills store interface somehow manages to overwhelm as well as overwhelm. If you think you want X, there is likely a skill for it – though you need to see if that skill works well. You will find many useful Echo apps along the way. Here we have summarized some of our preferred options for using Echo Apps.

Call a car

Uber and Lyft both offer Alexa skills, so you can request a ride without having to pull out your phone. Lyft has the added benefit of knowing how much a particular trip will cost.

Work out

If you’re having trouble getting motivated to exercise, it’s worth trying a practice app like 7-minute exercise. It does what it says, guides you through a short workout, and lets you take breaks as needed. It̵

7;s just a routine that can get monotonous. But hey, no pain, no gain.

Check how the weather is going

One of our most popular weather apps is Big Sky, a hyper-local service that lets you know what it’s like not only in your city, but also in your block. You can also set up Alexa’s daily flash briefing (see above) to let you know the weather.

To play a game

There are countless games you can play with the Amazon Echo Dot, from classics like 20 questions to darker finds like The Magic Door. The Magic Door shows the potential of the compact smart speaker for real depth. If you say too much, the fun may give it away, but it is enough to say that it is an interactive game that takes you on a magical adventure full of puzzles, gnomes and a tropical monkey island.

Level up danger

This is … danger! Type of. The official Jeopardy app is updated every day of the week and tests you with the “sixth” note in each category of the show of that day. You are already calling the answers on TV when you are watching. Now you can do the validation you crave.

Make your home smarter

Do you have a smart home? Alexa supports Nest, Control4, SmartThings, Philips Hue lamps, Lutron, Insteon and pretty much any other hub or platform you can think of.

If you’re a smart home novice, you may start with a Wemo or TP-Link smart plug. These are low-cost, low-entry entry points that let you turn everything connected to them on and off with one outcry.

And that should do it! First of all. Amazon adds new Alexa skills every week. So keep an eye on the update emails if you notice anything. Otherwise, you can enjoy yelling at your new device and actually having it talked back for a change.

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