Alexa Skills: Cheat sheet – TechRepublic

Alexa apps, called Alexa Skills, are what makes the digital assistant shine. Here’s what developers, business professionals, and home users need to know about using Alexa Skills.

Making Alexa more useful with Skills
Alexa apps, called Skills, make it far more useful for consumers and businesses.

Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, is everywhere—it’s in smart speakers (from Amazon and other manufacturers), it’s on smartphones, and it’s in mobile accessories. Alexa for Business helps enterprises integrate Alexa into next-generation smart offices.

Alexa is impressive, but it’s still limited to the capabilities Amazon has given it. Where Alexa truly shines is with its Skills, which are third-party apps that give it all sorts of new abilities.

Alexa Skills, like mobile apps, have the potential to make life and work easier and can be great for businesses from both an employee and customer perspective. With more than 100,000 Alexa Skills to choose from, there’s sure to be one that suits your needs.

This guide to Alexa Skills will tell you all you need to know about using, creating, and benefitting from these fantastic additions to Alexa’s capabilities.

SEE: Amazon Alexa: An insider’s guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What are Alexa Skills, and how can I enable Alexa Skills?

Amazon Alexa is a digital assistant, but it’s also a platform like iOS or Android. Like those more full-fledged systems, Alexa has apps that can extend its usefulness–Amazon calls those apps Skills.

Alexa Skills come in a variety of categories, including business & finance, productivity, news, weather, and more on Amazon’s Alexa Skills page. All Alexa Skills are free, though some require a subscription service to unlock their full functionality.

Unlike Google Home, which has a limited number of skills that are enabled on all units by default, Alexa Skills don’t come preinstalled. In order to gain access to a particular Skill,…