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alexa skill


You can now apply for a job through Alexa or Google Assistant, as long as it's at McDonald's

Voice assistants generally make our lives easier. With the right setup, we don't have to get up from the couch to turn on the light or the TV. It's even possible to order food without actually having to call a place. Another absolute killer feature is joining these skills' ranks: You can now apply for a job at McDonald's through Google's and Amazon's assistants thanks to the restaurant's own "Apply Thru" skill.

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Alexa can now (sort of) control your Roku devices

Amazon's own Fire TV products have had deep Alexa integration for years. Just like with a Chromecast and Google Assistant, you can use voice commands like "Play The Office" or "Turn down the volume" from any Alexa smart speaker. If you're on #TeamRoku, Alexa can now control Roku TVs and streaming devices — at least, in theory.

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Pocket Casts gets an Alexa skill for your listening convenience

When asked about podcasts and which app to use, I immediately recommend Pocket Casts. It's been my go-to for many years now and it's only gotten better with time. As things have changed and evolved, how we consume our favorite media has shifted somewhat. Smart speakers and assistants are all the craze these days, so Pocket Casts is adapting to that by introducing an Alexa skill.

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Choose Your Own Adventure books enter the world of voice AI with new Amazon Alexa skill

Netflix's recent interactive film Bandersnatch received mostly mixed reviews, but was wholly successful in driving interest in Choose Your Own Adventure-style (CYOA) stories. That was both a boon and a frustration to Chooseco, the owner of the CYOA registered trademark and publisher of the famous book series of the same name. There was finally a resurgence of interest in CYOA stories, but the company didn't feel it was getting proper recognition. After filing a lawsuit with Netflix, Chooseco has now taken its first step into taking advantage of its newfound popularity in the digital age with a CYOA Alexa skill. 

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August and Schlage smart locks get new Alexa voice unlock skill

If you've been itching to unlock your Schlage or August door locks with Alexa, I have some good news for you. Both companies announced a new skill that allows you to do just that. Some of you might have security concerns about this, but both Schlage and August are quick to affirm that this system is, in fact, quite safe.

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Canary announces $99 Canary View security camera, plus new Package Detection feature and Alexa integration

Smart home security cameras are very much in vogue these days. From Amazon's Cloud Cam to Nest's assorted cameras, it's a popular and growing market. Canary might not be quite so big as its competitors, but it offers affordable alternatives in the wake of its crowdfunding campaign back in 2013. The newest home security camera in the Canary lineup is the $99 Canary View. In addition to this new hardware, Canary has also announced an AI-based Package Detection feature and skill integration with Amazon's Alexa. 

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Amazon is giving developers with live Alexa skills $100 in AWS promo credits for usage charges

Amazon is throwing some developers a bone with a promotional credit on AWS for Alexa skills to help cover any incurred usage charges. Most of them use the free tier, but some do end up exceeding those limits and incur charges. Any that do can apply for a $100 promotional credit to help cover those costs.

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Plex gets Alexa support for the ultimate home theater experience

Plex is simply awesome. I have been using the media server in some form or another for years and the Lifetime Pass sales are always extremely tempting. So when the service gets a new feature or addition, I pay attention. In this case, Amazon's personal assistant and Plex are coming together via a new Alexa skill.

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