Which Alexa has the best speaker

Amazon Echo: The best Alexa skills

Roland Freist, Hans-Christian Dirscherl, Thomas Joos

We introduce you to the best skills for Amazon's Alexa. And explain how you can use them. Update: "Alexa, what's the word of the day?" The answer comes directly from the Duden editorial team.

EnlargeOne of the practical skills for Alexa: gate alarm

Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show and Echo Spot all work with the voice assistant Alexa, which gives the whole system its name. Similar to a smartphone, Alexa already brings a number of applications with it, which in this case are not called apps, but skills. The handling is also comparable: There is a central shop, the Alexa Skill Store, through which the user selects the desired programs.

Each skill has a short description, a user rating and comments. You can configure and set up the skills using the free app on your smartphone or tablet.

EnlargeAmazon Echo is a versatile system for querying information, playing music and for personal scheduling.

Tip: You can also connect IFTTT to Alexa. After you have registered for IFTTT, go to the IFTTT Alexa page, click on "Connect" and enter your login data there. You can then use the IFTTT applets with Alexa.

Note: If IFTTT doesn't mean anything to you, just read our IFTTT guide: How to automate your everyday life. But now to the Alexa skills we have selected.

The best skills for Amazon Alexa

PC-WELT has selected good and useful skills from a subjective selection that could be of interest to a wide range of users. It was important that the skill is not only suitable for subscribers to a certain service, such as Audible or Spotify, or only makes sense for owners of special hardware, such as the skill for Philips Hue.

"Alexa, what is the news?" - Daily news in 100 seconds

This skill is preinstalled, so you can use it right away. You can get a summary of the most important news from the ARD Tagesschau editorial team via TuneIn, the also preconfigured radio streaming service. The program ran stably in the test and without crashes, the specified time limit was adhered to. A good skill to catch up on the latest news in the morning before driving to work. The only point of criticism: the sound is quieter than with other TuneIn transmitters, you may have to increase the volume ("Alexa: louder!") And then turn it down again.

Straight to the skill

"Alexa, what's the word of the day?" "

With this skill, those interested in language should expand their language knowledge in an entertaining way every day to include new words, foreign words or words that will soon be forgotten. Alexa reads a longer background article for the respective word of the day.

Straight to the skill

"Alexa, play jazz music from laut.fm"

Alexa's standard radio player, TuneIn, suffers from the fact that it does not know many styles of music. Laut.fm is not only better in this respect. The skill also knows a lot of amateur stations, most of the time you just have to say the name. And with a simple "Next" button you can switch to the next channel if the advertising is too long again.

EnlargeCompared to the large Echo system, the Amazon Echo Dot has a much smaller speaker and therefore also offers poorer sound quality.

Straight to the skill

"Alexa, ask dictionary for 'Merry Christmas' in Russian"

The dictionary should actually be called translator, because that is how the skill works. He masters a total of 14 languages ​​into which he can translate any German words and phrases. It is positive that the skill has the translations read out by native speakers and not by the Alexa voice. Unfortunately, the opposite way, i.e. the transfer from a foreign language into German, is not possible, which, according to the developer, is not due to the skill but to the Alexa software. A way to have the words spelled out would also be desirable.

Straight to the skill

"Alexa, ask Deutsche Bahn when is the next train from Cologne to Munich"

The Deutsche Bahn skill names the connections between freely selectable arrival and departure locations and also accepts information such as “tomorrow at 2 p.m.”. When asked about the details, you can also find out the transfer stations and train numbers. Foreign destinations can also be approached, although this often leads to errors in speech recognition. Instead of trains to Bozen, Alexa then names the connections to Bautzen, only the announcement “Bolzano” is correctly interpreted. But then suddenly the software also knows the German name of the city. Unfortunately, neither price information nor a booking option is integrated.