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‘200 Ways to Use Alexa’ Reveals Little-known Skills to Interact with Alexa-Enabled Devices

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New Book from Voice-tech Expert Bradley Metrock Is an Essential Resource for All Amazon Alexa Users

From finding the cheapest gas and accessing live sporting events, to tuning your guitar or having a conversation with Pikachu, there are thousands of innovative Amazon Alexa skills — and many of them are little-known. In the new book More Than Just Weather & Music: 200 Ways to Use Alexa, author and voice-technology expert Bradley Metrock showcases a multitude of best-in-class Alexa skills and how valuable Alexa-enabled devices can be for the everyday user. The richly illustrated book features Alexa skills across 20 different categories, in addition to award-winning Alexa skills.
“Millions of people around the world are quickly adopting and interacting with Alexa-enabled devices, but they’re only utilizing a very small fraction of the skills available,” says Metrock. “There’s so much more that can be done with Alexa beyond just weather forecasts and playing music. This new book is meant to be an essential resource a companion for every Echo purchased for those who want to benefit from Alexa on a daily basis.”
According to Amazon, Alexa skills are like apps for Alexa, helping customers perform everyday tasks or engage with content naturally with voice. The book comprises the best little-known skills, including how to:
—Donate, send or receive money
—Find current deals available to Prime members
—Set an alarm to specific music or schedule a meeting
—Control a wide variety of connected machines
—Track flights and learn about new destinations
—Receive product samples
—Translate short phrases into one of 37 major languages
—Discover new Twitch broadcasters and playing Twitch channels
—Provide information and services to rental/Airbnb guests
—Access first aid information or record migraines and their length
—Listen to flash briefings
—Answer a series of questions to get a personalized reading list of Stephen King books
—Order a pizza or make a dinner reservation
—Simulate a lemonade stand to learn about economic concepts
—Enjoy Heads Up! — the same guessing game that Ellen plays with guests on her show
Katherine Prescott, founder and editor of VoiceBrew, who wrote the book’s foreword, says, “Voice technology is poised to become one of the primary ways that people interact with technology. However, there is one big problem: Most people only use for an extremely narrow set of tasks. Bradley Metrock’s insightful new book will change all of that, helping people discover the myriad ways Alexa can be used.”
The Alexa skills featured in the book cover Business, Car & Drivers, Culinary, Education, Entertainment, Games, Health & Wellness, Kids, Music, News & Radio, Outdoors & Travel, Personal Finance, Pets, Productivity, Relaxation & Medication, Religion, Shopping, Sleep & Nighttime, Smart Home and Sports. Precise verbal commands to enable these third-party skills, as well as specific language by which to interact with them through Alexa, are provided with each description.
More Than Just Weather & Music: 200 Ways to Use retails for $29.99 and is available online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Walmart. In addition to the print version, an ebook is available on Apple and Kobo for $4.99. An Alexa skill version of the book, designed for use with Amazon’s Echo Show, will be available in early 2020.

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