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artificial intelligence

The Most Essential Alexa Skills 

Ranker Tech
Updated May 1, 2018 128 votes 29 voters

List Rules Vote up the most useful skills.

From simple tasks like setting a timer to more complicated productivity skills, Amazon's Alexa has proven quite essential in the digital age. Long gone are the days we have to repeat things to Siri, as Alexa comes readily available for a wide range of skills to help you through your daily life. Whether you need help getting started on that new diet or simply need her to remind you of your meetings, Alexa has you covered.

With so many skills to choose from, and new ones being added on the regular, most might ask which skills are truly helpful and which are not. While the most essential Alexa skills depend on how you use them as well as what you do day to day, there's a select few that really get the job done—no matter what it may be. Of course, Amazon Prime members can reap even more benefits!

Check out the list of helpful and even essential Alexa skills below, all of which are ready to go on Amazon. Be sure to vote up the best ones and down vote those you don't see as useful.

list ordered by
Find My Phone is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Find My Phone allows you to easily call your lost phone from Alexa! Now supports adding other numbers!

Say "Alexa, Find My Phone" to call your phone at any time. To add a family member, say: "Alexa, ask find my phone to add another number", then say "Alexa, ask Find My Phone to call <name>"

The Guardian News is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Latest news powered by the Guardian. You can customize feeds (world, technology, politics, business, sports, science) under Settings, Flash Briefing in your Alexa app.

Big Sky is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Big Sky: The ultimate weather reference for Amazon Alexa

Current Weather: Big Sky uses the Dark Sky API, to give hyper-local forecasts, hour-by hour, tied to your actual street address. 

Weather Almanac: Use Big Sky to look up past weather conditions.

Weather Fact: Ask Big Sky for an interesting weather fact!

Guided Meditation is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Guided Meditation by Stop, Breathe & Think features daily meditations to help you kick back, fall asleep, or start the day right! If there is a feature you would like added, just email us at

Each day, Guided Meditation offers a new meditation of the day that is between 3 and 8 minutes long. Over 60 different guided meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises are included to help you with:

- Anxiety & stress
- Depression
- Focus
- Compassion
- Falling asleep
- And much more!

If you don't like the currently playing meditation you can always say "play next" to jump to a different meditation.

Alexa Things to Try is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

As part of your Flash Briefing, Alexa will provide a useful daily tip on new and existing Alexa features. Just say, "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing"

Ingredient Sub is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Ingredient Sub is a handy and simple tool to help with many common ingredient substitutions while cooking. Ran out of brown sugar? Ask Ingredient Sub what you can use instead and it will respond if there is a substitute, with specific quantities and various options. Includes over 100 common ingredient substitutions.

Jeopardy! is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Did you know that every Jeopardy! category has an “extra” 6th clue? Now you can play those clues on Alexa! With a single voice command, test your knowledge with new clues every weekday. Step up to the podium and play the same categories you saw on the latest episode! Play a wide range of categories including sports, pop culture, travel, world history, and much more! Get the true Jeopardy! experience now as you respond, just like contestants on the show!

7-Minute Workout is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

The 7-Minute Workout is a scientifically proven set of exercises designed to increase metabolism, improve energy, lower stress, and best of all, remove fat! It's a small daily commitment for such enormous benefits.

To get started, you simply need to say 'Start 7-Minute Workout,' and you will be guided through the entire routine. Take breaks as you need them, and let Alexa know when you are ready to begin the next exercise, but don't forget to push yourself!

My Chef is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

My Chef is a skill developed by Chefling,Inc, a company who is determined to bring you the future kitchen experience. My Chef allows you to do inventory management, shopping list creating/sharing, and recipe searching. You can activate My Chef by saying “Alexa, open my chef”. Then you can interact with the skill by saying things such as “What protein do I have in the fridge?” “How old is the chicken breast?” “What’s expiring” “Send the shopping list to Mark” etc.

StockTrigger is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Set price notifications on S&P 500 or Russell 1000 company stocks. You can set a trigger and get notified in real time on your phone/email when your price thresholds are crossed. You can also get stock quotes, maintain your stock favorites and compare stocks against each other. Careful though our stock quote minion is very opinionated and with a complex personal life. Last but not least, StockTrigger lets you do limited Access/SQL like queries. You can find stocks that changed by specific percentages within the S&P index during last week/month or year. Enjoy.

NBC Sports Update is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

The NBC Sports Update brings you national sports news, every hour, 24/7. 

Add the NBC Sports Update to your Flash Briefing and move it to the top of your news by going to Settings in the Alexa app. You can manage your Flash Briefing under Account. After adding the NBC Sports Update, you can say “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” or “Alexa, what’s in the news?” to hear the latest

Beer Goggles is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Using the most advanced machine learning algorithms, Alexa can help determine if you should really have another drink. 

Crack open the cool and refreshing Beer Googles skill, and Alexa will ask you a quick series of questions. Simply respond to each question with either a "yes or no". The sophisticated algorithms do all the thinking for you, and Beer Goggles will calculate the decision with incredible precision and accuracy. Cheers!

Disclaimer: This skill not suitable for all ages. Beer Goggles is recommended for adults18 years or older. Please drink responsibility, and NEVER drink and drive.

Uber is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills


Get a reliable ride in minutes with the Uber skill. Simply say “Alexa ask Uber for a ride” and an UberX will be there in minutes. If you would like a different car type, you can say things like "Alexa, ask Uber to order an Uber Black." From low-cost to premium, every ride option feels like an upgrade to the everyday.

You can also change your default pickup location, ask for a ride status, or cancel your ride. Switch between your Amazon Household profiles to request a ride from different Uber accounts. 

Supported Uber Services: UberX, UberBlack, UberSUV, UberXL, UberSelect

Chat Bot for Slack is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

After linking your Slack account, you can post to Slack using your Alexa device by simply saying the channel and message you want to post.

This skill is not created by, affiliated with, or supported by Slack Technologies, Inc.

CryptoCoin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Use CryptoCoin to find out the current price that bitcoin or ethereum is trading at in USD. It also returns the percent change in the last day.

TD Ameritrade is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

The TD Ameritrade Skill provides quotes for all US-traded stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and major US indices--75,000 securities. Get prices, quotes, and market updates from TD Ameritrade. You don’t need an account.

Enable the skill and get started: say “Alexa, ask TD Ameritrade . . . .” Use the Skill to stay updated on the market at any time.

Just ask for a quote by security name or symbol, or ask for a market update.
And, stay tuned—we’ll let you know as we add support for more requests about the market and your account.

The information provided in this skill is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice.

Quick Events is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

QuickEvents allows you to add events to your primary Google Calendar. Quick Events can check for conflicting events, and ask for confirmation before adding your event.

To get started say, "Alexa, launch quick events."

Quick Events is flexible. You can provide all the information about your event at once:

"Alexa, tell quick events to add go for a walk tomorrow at 9 p.m."

If you don't provide all the information Quick Events needs to schedule the event, Alexa will ask you for ask you it.

Short Bedtime Story is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Have Alexa tell a short bedtime story, personalized to your name.

There are several stories at this time and more are coming.

If you want to fix issues with names like if Bedtime thinks "Taylor" is a girl instead of a boy, or if Bedtime mispronounces the name like "Allie" comes out "Ellie", you can use the companion website First get a Linking Code by asking, "Alexa, ask Bedtime Story to Configure". Have a notepad handy to write down the info.

Also at the Bedtime website, you will be able to disable any stories you don't want to hear and you will be able to author your own stories tailored to your family.

Lyft is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Need a lift? With the Lyft skill for Alexa, you can request a ride and get picked up in minutes from the home address set in your Lyft account. If you've set a work address, your weekday commute can be a breeze, too. Instead of hailing a cab or waiting for the bus, just request a car with your voice. Lyft is cheaper than a taxi, faster than the bus, and easy to use.

To get started, enable the skill and link a Lyft account. Then just ask

- "Alexa, ask Lyft to call a line to work for 2 people."
- "Alexa, ask Lyft where my ride is"
- "Alexa, tell Lyft to rate my driver 3 stars."
- "Alexa, ask Lyft how long getting a line to work will take."

Lyft for Alexa uses the Work and Home addresses you've specified inside your Lyft App. Lyft for Alexa will always send a car to your Lyft 'Home' address.

The Bartender is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Access highly curated cocktail recipes through your Echo! Whether you're craving an Old-Fashioned, a margarita, or something new to you, just ask. We’ll tell you the ingredients, amounts, and instructions for your cocktail. You can also search for cocktails by ingredient or spirit type. If you're feeling adventurous, ask the Bartender to surprise you with a random drink recipe.
This skill may not be suitable for all ages. This skill provides instructions for how to make alcoholic drinks.

Best Recipes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Hungry and looking for some culinary inspiration? We can help! The Best Recipes skill from Hellmann’s and Best Foods provides recipe ideas for ingredients you already have on hand. The Best Recipes skill also allows you to:

- Narrow down options by dish, like breakfast, lunch, dinner and more.
- Browse through recipes and see more on your Echo Show.
- Explore our featured recipe collections ranging from Thanksgiving dishes and New Year's Eve treats to kid friendly snacks and picnic dips.
- Receive your recipe via email.

Airport Security Line Wa... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Who doesn't hate arriving at the airport and finding an hour-long security line? This skill provides estimated wait time information at security checkpoints in over 450 US airports. It uses last reported wait time information from the MyTSA Web Service API. For more information see

This skill is not sponsored or endorsed by U.S. Department of Homeland Security

This Day in History is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

History happens every day! Check in with Alexa to find out about the historical events that happened on this day and every other day of the year. Come back each day and say 'Alexa, launch This Day in History' to hear the top historical event for the day. You can also ask Alexa for a historical event for any other day by saying “Alexa, ask This Day in History what happened on February 4th”, for example.

Free Ambient Noise is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

Ambient Noise plays free high-definition (HD) ambient sound loops to help you fall asleep faster, sleep better, relax, meditate, or drown out distracting sounds while you work. There are many high-quality relaxing sleep sounds to choose from and more are added regularly!

To get started just say "Alexa, open Ambient Noise" and Alexa will ask you what noise loop you would like to hear.

To start a noise immediately or to change noises while one is playing, just say "Alexa, ask Ambient Noise to play thunderstorms" or another noise of choice.

For a full list of available sounds, say "Alexa, ask Ambient Noise for a list", or see the list below.

A partial list of included high-quality ambient noises:
- Thunderstorms
- Rain
- Ocean waves
- Babbling Brook
- Fireplace
- Airplane
- Fan
- Rainforest
- Train
- Crickets
- Frogs
- Birds
- Clock
- Vacuum
- and more!

AnyPod is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Essential Alexa Skills

AnyPod lets you play any podcast. Enrich yourself with thousands of comedy, drama, music, tech, news, education, and pop culture audio programs. If there's a podcast you'd like to add to the library, you can email the developer at

To Get Started: Say "Alexa, open AnyPod". After the greeting, say "Play The Doctor Laura Program" or "Play This American Life" - or, name whatever podcast you want to hear.

When a podcast is playing, you can say "Alexa, Next" or "Alexa, Previous" to play the next or previous episode.

If you want to skip ahead, you can say "Alexa, ask AnyPod to fast forward 2 minutes"

If you want to go back, you can say "Alexa, ask AnyPod to rewind 30 seconds"