HOUSTON – Amazon sold millions of Alexa devices this holiday season. If you got one, you may not realize everything your new virtual assistant can do.
Even if you've had an Amazon Echo for years, there are new skills rolling out every day. Did you know there are more than 70,000 skills you can enable on your device?
Here are some of the most recent and most interesting:
Use Alexa to trick burglars into thinking you're home. By running the "Away Mode," the speaker will play voices from a whole cast of characters to make it sound like you have a house full of people.
If you have a Kayak account, you can enable Alexa to help you plan a trip. You can track flights and check prices by simply asking Alexa "Ask Kayak where I can go for $500."
Android smartphone users can send text messages hands-free through the Alexa app.
The assistant will get you into shape with the 7-minute workout skill. She will suggest tested exercises to increase your metabolism, improve your energy and trim fat.
And if you're too tired to read your kids a bedtime story, let Alexa take over with a bedtime story personalized to your child. Just say "Alexa, tell a bedtime story to Jack" or whatever your child's name is.
You can search the Alexa app by categories to find new skills you might like or enable the Alexa Things to Try skill, and she'll tell you about new skills available every day.