So, you own an Amazon Echo Show, and now you want to take full advantage of that cool display. No problem.
Well, there is one small problem: Amazon launched the Echo Show in the US months ago, and now you can get it in the UK, but most of the third-party skills that work with the Alexa voice assistant are meant to be heard, not seen. There are supposedly thousands of skills for the Alexa platform, but from what we can tell, there's only a handful that work with the Show's touchscreen.
Here are the best Echo Show skills we've found. But first, remember, to enable a skill, all you have to do is say, "Alexa, enable [name of skill]". Your Echo Show might ask you to open up the Alexa app on your phone to finish set up for some skills, however.
- Amazon Echo: First things you should do to get started with Alexa
- Amazon Echo: What can Alexa do and what services are compatible?
Best Amazon Echo Show skills
Jeopardy was one of the first skills available on the Alexa platform, so, of course, it would be one of the first skills to embrace the new Echo Show. It now serves up those classic blue cards that you'd see on the TV show so that you can see the categories and questions. The update makes the skill easier to manage and the game easier to play, sort of. But we mostly think it's very nostalgic.
Like Jeopardy, Allrecipe was all in on Alexa from the beginning. You can use it to access 60,000 recipes. Before Echo Show, Alexa would read their instructions and tell you how much time you have to cook and what kind of food you need. But now, on the Echo Show, Alexa will provide visual step-by-step instructions alongside voice instructions. Alexa can even send the ingredient list to your phone.
If you love cooking but want to try something else besides the Allrecipe skills, then check out the relaunched Food Network skill for Echo Show. It has entire video recipes - cooked entirely by your favourite Food Network chefs and TV personalities. You can also ask Alexa what's on Food Network right now, and amazingly, your Echo Show will serve that up so you can watch and get the munchies.
Nest offers two skills for integrating your Nest products with Amazon Alexa. With the Nest Thermostat skill, you can tell Alexa to change the temperature of your home. But with the new Nest Camera skill, you tell Alexa to show you a live video freed from your Nest camera. It'll be displayed on your Echo Show. So, if you hear a suspicious noise, just ask Alexa to bring up your Nest Camera.
Again, if you want to see who's at your front door or creeping around outside, but without having to take out your phone or move, just use the new Ring skill for Echo Show. Just like the Nest Camera skill, it will serve up a live feed of whatever your Ring Doorbell sees.
CNN has flash briefings you can watch on the Echo Show. It's a neat way to get your daily dose of global news. You can ask Alexa to play you the latest news, or you can get news about specific subjects. You'll also be served up a bunch of suggested videos. And, at any time, if you want to skip through the news or certain videos, you can just ask Alexa to pause, skip, or rewind. Simples.
Want to see the latest movie trailers? Well, Alexa can do that without making you enable an extra skill, but if you watch one and then actually want to see the movie, you need to buy the ticket. Luckily, you can just enable the Fandango skill. It integrates with your Fandango account, letting you ask for a movie or theatre location, pick a time, and buy tickets - with all the info on the screen in front of you.
Alexa can help you plan the perfect date night. OpenTable is a popular reservation service that works with most restaurants. Now, with Alexa, you can choose a restaurant, pick your time and date, and confirm everything through the Echo Show's screen. Unfortunately, it's a little limited at launch, so you can't browse your exact location, but you can ask for restaurants by foods, like "burgers".
Uber has been facing a lot of criticism lately and is even being banned in some parts of the world, but if you still prefer it over Lyft, you can summon a car to your house via the Echo Show version. It serves up graphics so you can visually compare the types of cars the services offer, as well as the prices. It basically serves up at-a-glance confirmation with trip details and more. Handy.
Unfortunately, this would've been our No. 10 favourite skill. But in late September 2017, Google randomly decided to stop allowing the Amazon Echo Show to access YouTube. Now, if you ask the smart speaker to show you a YouTube video, it fails. Alexa just say this: “Currently, Google is not supporting Youtube on Echo Show.” So, that really sucks, because it was one of the device's best features.