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Alexa skills


Take $10 off your preorder of an Amazon Echo Dot with clock ($49.99)

Late last month, Amazon announced a bevy of new and updated products falling under the "Echo" brand. Included in this list was the third-generation Echo Dot, now with a built-in clock. The Dot is already one of Amazon's best-selling Echo devices, and with this pre-order deal, you can snag one for $49.99 ($10 off).

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Amazon Echo and Alexa skills are now available in Italy and Spain

Amazon is now officially selling Echo devices in Italy and Spain, and there are dozens of local Alexa skills from various developers ready to go. This follows launches into France and India earlier this year, as Amazon looks to new arenas of competition with Google Home products.

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New Alexa skill 'Away Mode' wards off potential burglars using the power of awkward conversations

When you leave your home for an extended time, you have a handful of ways to deter would-be burglars, including sticking signs with a security company's logo in your lawn or on your apartment door, scheduling lights to turn on at certain hours, or owning a dog with a vicious bark. But now a new Alexa skill called "Away Mode" lets you tap into the power of awkward conversations to make crooks think twice before barging into your abandoned abode.

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New Alexa skill lets you manage your Amazon Store Card by voice

Tired of paying your Amazon Store Card bill by hand like a cave person? A new Alexa skill lets you manage your account—performing tasks like checking your balance, reviewing recent transactions, and paying your bill—by talking to your Echo device or app.

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Amazon encourages developers to create Alexa skills for children

Amazon's Alexa assistant already has a massive number of 'skills' - third-party add-ons that can extend the functionality of Alexa. For example, you can use the Domino's skill to order pizza with just your voice, or the BBC News one to hear recent world events. But now, Amazon is encouraging developers to create skills aimed at children under the age of 13.

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Alexa skills get full pages with direct links and better discoverability

Amazon's Alexa voice control system has taken off very well thanks to the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap, as well as an open platform that lets developers implement any and all skills they want and let users access them. The problem, as we've pointed out before, is discoverability. With thousands of skills available, users had to dip into the Alexa mobile app (or the Alexa website), and either search for a keyword or browse by category. The app (and the site) were slow, you couldn't filter by 3 or 4 star rated skills only, searching for keywords in the skill's review was impossible, and most importantly, you had to be signed in to Alexa to know what skills were available.

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