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 started, just a bit of commentary. Amazon’s skill store is a mess. That’s been the case for a long while, but its gotten even worse over the last month or so. I blame a couple things. First, Amazon ran a promotion in May offering an Alexa backpack and a free Echo Plus, so the store filled up with crap. Second, the backend for skills submissions must be broken. There’s skills that have no images and multiple examples of duplicate entries. I realize that Amazon is working on ways to locate and enable applicable skills through voice to avoid having to the use the skill store, but I think it first needs to fix the store itself.
This week’s skill: Live Event Finder
Description: Helps you search for live events by artist name or location.
Real world use: Despite the length of time I had to search for valuable skills this week, the Live Event Finder skills is actually pretty good. Once enabled, you can simply ask Live Event Finder to locate any favorite artist or sports team, or search for events by an entire city, and Alexa will return results. If you’re looking for something to do, this is a great way to find activities.
Once located, Alexa returns with the name of the event, where its located, and the price of tickets.
Using the skill is easy. Examples of things you can say…
“Search for Taylor Swift”
“Search for Texas Rangers”
“Search for New York”
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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