Below we will explain which are the best Alexa skills that are currently available in Italian, but also how to create skills.
What are Alexa Skills
Skills (from the English “skills”) are Alexa features created by third parties and therefore not natively integrated into the software. Therefore they allow you to access additional contents and commands.
They are very similar in operation to smartphone apps. Just search for them in the Alexa app and activate them (at the moment almost all are free, even if, as in the apps, there are paid bonus contents).
A skill can be a game, provide information or respond to specific needs.
However, numerous skills allow interaction between the Alexa assistant and other products, platforms and services (smart devices such as light bulbs and thermostats, streaming services such as Spotify, etc.).
How to add Alexa skills
Before we look at some of the more popular Alexa skills, let’s see how to add them. The skill is activated / downloaded like a real app. So, to add it, you will have to follow these simple steps:
- enter the Alexa app
- enter the main menu
- select Skills and games
- search for the skill you want.
- Once found, click on it and select Enable for use.
Alternatively, you can visit the Amazon store, search for the skill that interests you the most and click Activate.
Also, if you know the exact name, you can simply ask Alexa to activate it for you: “Alexa, activate GialloZafferano“.
You can then manage your skills in the Alexa app: Skills and Games -> Your Skills.
By selecting the one you are interested in, you can deactivate the skill, manage its permissions and notifications, or enable it for children.
The best Alexa skills in Italian
News and daily summary
One of the most interesting and useful features of Alexa, and of voice assistants in general, is undoubtedly the one that concerns news and updates in real time.
You can ask directly “What is the news today?” o “What is my daily summary” to receive a brief or semi-detailed overview, depending on the skills, of what is happening in Italy and in the world.
At the moment, the most popular are undoubtedly Sky TG24 and Rai Giornale Radio, even if the former is limited to the titles, while the latter is more detailed.
You can go back or forward between the titles simply by saying “forward” or “back”. Similarly, you can say “pause” or “continue”.
Obviously, there are other skills such as Ansa, Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Messaggero, which you can activate simultaneously, in such a way as to listen to all the news from the different sources in a single routine, or your daily summary. .
And we can’t talk about news without talking about the world of sport.
In fact, there are dedicated Alexa skills that will also fit into your daily summary.
Unfortunately, these are skills that are still not very mature, so it may happen that the news is not always updated to the last hour. The most popular are SkySport and La Gazzetta dello Sport, although they are still very unripe. Our favorite is Calciomercato.com.
Food and recipes: the most sought after of Alexa’s skills
If you like to try your hand at the stove, you certainly can’t do without a little help from Alexa in the preparation of your dishes.
Alexa’s most popular Italian skill in this sense is undoubtedly that of Giallo Zafferano.
Just ask Alexa to start Giallo Zafferano or ask Giallo Zafferano for the recipe for a specific dish or ideas for first, second, etc.
If you are preparing a dinner but you don’t know what wine to pair with, you can use the Match Wine skill, a sort of personal sommelier.
And if you don’t have time or desire to cook, you can always ask Alexa to open JustEat, a still limited skill that, at the moment, does not allow a complete shopping experience.
However, you can reorder what you have ordered in the past if you are willing to pay cash when your order arrives.
However, we expect many news in the coming months, considering that now in the USA it is possible to buy or order everything thanks to an infinite number of dedicated Alexa skills.
Entertainment and games
One of the largest areas to explore in the world of Alexa skills is certainly that of entertainment.
In addition to listening to music with Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer, Apple Music (it is necessary to download the skill), the various radio stations with TuneIn (native functionality) or through the skills of the radio specifications (Radio 105, RTL 102.5, Radio Deejay , etc.), it is possible to access an infinite number of features.
Games, quizzes and skills for children
There is no shortage of fun Alexa skills with playful purposes. The game is open for both adults and children.
There is the legendary and timeless Akinator, but also the famous Trivial Pursuit Family Edition. Among the most popular skills it is worth mentioning Clemquiz, a quiz by Clementoni capable of amusing even adults. Also nice Quiz True or False and Question of the Day.
Among the skills designed entirely for children, we point out: Quiz for children, Nursery rhymes, the skill signed by Giunti Editore to reconcile the sleep of our little ones and Exercises on the multiplication tables, to learn by playing.
Finally, one of the most used skills is the sounds of animals, thanks to which you can ask Alexa to reproduce the sounds of the elephant, the monkey and so on.
And to stay on the subject of sounds, we cannot fail to mention the so-called environmental noises. This is a very popular set of skills.
We can ask Alexa to start the Night Forest, Rain, Stream, Ocean or even Hair Dryer noise! To relax we can start the Tibetan Bells, the Medieval Sounds or the very popular Relaxing Sounds skill.
For lovers of the zodiac signs, the best skills with horoscope predictions are Radio Lattemiele’s Horoscope with Paolo Fox and Oroscopo.it.
What is the weather like?
Another important feature of Alexa concerns the ability to receive detailed information on the weather, without the need to download dedicated skills.
In fact, the forecasts will be automatically provided by AccuWeather.com
However, we point out a nice skill that will help you decide what to wear based on the weather conditions: Dress Assistant.
Health and wellness
The benefits of a smart speaker are varied and sometimes go beyond mere convenience or entertainment.
Some uses and features, in fact, can be very useful. Among the skills in the field of health, it is worth mentioning Open Pharmacies, which gives you the name and address of the nearest open pharmacy.
For mothers-to-be, there is iMamma, which allows you to monitor the period of fertility and the progress of motherhood.
For an extra motivational boost, however, we recommend Motivational Phrase and Benessere Mio, aimed at providing positive phrases and comments to face the day with a smile.
Transport, traffic and waste
It will be possible to consult Alexa about the traffic situation and the home-work journey without the aid of skills.
There are, however, several Alexa skills in the area of transport and city mobility.
Among these we point out the popular Trenitalia skill, which allows you to consult the status of the train and receive detailed information on travel solutions.
Furthermore, the Waste collection skill deserves a mention, which allows you to create or use an existing calendar (based on the municipality of residence) to remember which waste to throw (or better exhibit) on a specific day. So just ask Alexa, “What am I throwing today?”.
How to create an Alexa skill
If you want to try your hand at creating your own Alexa skill (and you have the right skills), Amazon gives you the option to do so.
To create an Alexa skill, you will need a developer account and an AWS account. Find more information on the Alexa developer site.