Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa skills you might want to consider enabling for your Alexa device. Amazon continues to improve Alexa with its own updates, but skills are software components that allow Alexa users to extend functionality across all Alexa-enabled devices in use for very specific functions.
Before we get to this week’s highlighted skill, though, I think its time for another short rant about Amazon skills database. Like any app store, most of the offerings are one-off skills that you will really only use once and then forget. There’s some nuggets in there, but you have to look hard. And, Amazon is exasperating the issue by now also failing on quality. If you search through the skill store today, you’ll find descriptions with grammar problems and misspellings. You’ll find submitted skills with no images. Its a flat out mess.
I believe Amazon is attempting to move people away from the skills store by giving Alexa the ability to suggest new skills based on commands, but still – the state of the skills store makes Amazon look bad and gives those interested in locating new skills online a bad experience. And, in the end, isn’t it really about driving people to the Amazon.com web site so they’ll purchase stuff while they are there?
Rant over (for now).
This week’s skill: Crazy Twister
Description: Get that twister board out and let Alexa run the game! Careful, she can get wacky!
Real world use: Even though the box indicates anyone over 6 years old, I think there may be an age limit to who should (or would) actually play the game of Twister. The older you get, the harder it is to play without pulling a hammy or breaking a hip. Nonetheless, if you’ve ever played this game, it can be a hoot for a few turns. However, there’s was always that one person that can’t play because someone has to be the designated spinner.
This new skill, Crazy Twister, eliminates the need for the spinner and gives that unlucky person who had to sit out until the current round was over, the ability to just get into the game. Once enabled and started, Alexa controls the body limb twisting madness.
Alexa is available for Amazon devices Echo, Echo 2, Dot, Tap, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, Echo Look, Echo Connect, Dash Wand, Amazon Cloud Cam, Fire tablets, and Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Edition TVs, in the Music app, but also on iOS, Android, and the web with Reverb.ai.
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