Figure out whose turn it is to do the dishes with new Alexa skills

Amazon Alexa has become a common household item. People across the country say “Hey, Alexa,” as an unconscious reflex, and it’s easy to see why. At last count,  Alexa has more than 40,000 different skills that allow the smart assistant to do everything from ordering more paper towels to streaming NFL games on your television. Some of these skills are official, while others have been made by users.

Now, Amazon has announced a new set of skill blueprints that add even more functionality to the system. Alexa Skill Blueprints are easy, fill-in-the-blank patterns that let anyone create skills for Alexa. All users have to do is apply any one of the more than 30 templates in order to program any skill they need.

These new skills include:

Chore Chart — Make an easily trackable list of tasks for every member of the household. As soon as someone completes a task, they can inform Alexa and she will automatically mark it off. Daily chores can be read off, and you can check a running score of who has completed the most chores during the week.

Whose Turn — This skill takes a list of names and tells Alexa to choose one at random. It’s a useful way for determining whose turn it is to do the dishes, take out the trash, or choose a movie for movie night.

Roommate — When you move in with someone new, it can be tough to keep track of individual rules and particular pet peeves. The Roommate skill makes it easy for you to list out information like the Wi-Fi password, what day the trash goes out, and who pays what bill. It can also be a good way to track ownership, especially of smaller items like kitchen gadgets.

What to Do — Much like Whose Turn, the What to Do skill asks Alexa to choose an activity. You create a list of movies, music, games, and activities, and when you ask Alexa What to Do, she will give you an activity at random. This is the perfect skills for those lazy afternoons when you can’t quite figure out how to spend your time.

These new skills are now available to all customers. Chore Chart, Whose Turn, and Roommate launched in the United States on Wednesday, August 29, while What to Do launched earlier in the month. Check out the Alexa app to find even more blueprints or even to create your own.

Smart Home

From calling an Uber to playing games, here are the best Alexa skills

Amazon's virtual assistant does more than you might think -- well, assuming you know how to access Alexa's treasure trove of skills. Here are some of our favorites, whether you need to order a pizza or check the weather report.
Smart Home

Should you buy an Echo Plus smart speaker, or just go with an Echo?

If you're trying to choose between the Amazon Echo or the Echo Plus, then this guide is for you. It compares the two Alexa-enabled speakers in cost, size, looks, functionality, and more.
Smart Home

Forget Alex Trebek -- let Alexa emcee your next game night with these fun skills

If you're looking to get more use out of your Amazon Echo device, there are lots of games to play with Alexa. From storytelling games to trivia to games for kids, these are some of the best skills to make Alexa more fun.
Smart Home

Make Alexa your own: How to change the digital assistant's voice

If you live in a country where English is not the primary language, or you're learning a second language and want to get all the practice you can get, you can set Alexa's default language to one of nine other languages.
Smart Home

Arlo Pro home security cameras get steep discounts for Amazon Prime Day

Outdoor security cameras rank as one of the most frequently added smart home devices and Arlo's rechargeable indoor/outdoor wireless cameras are highly rated. Amazon dropped the prices on three Arlo Pro camera options for Prime Day 2019.

This Breville Smart Toaster Oven gets a 28% price cut in time for Prime Day

Get Breville's Compact Smart Oven (BOV650XL) for 28% less than its usual price of $180 on Amazon. Just be sure to hold up your end of the deal while the offer stands till 3:30 p.m. today.

Breville coffee makers get over 50% off discount for Amazon Prime Day

Looking for a no-frills drip coffee maker that will save you time and energy in the morning? Now's your chance to score amazing deals from the kitchen appliance company Breville. Take advantage of these limited time offers.

The Kasa Cam Outdoor sees a price drop for Prime Day, now only $72

The Kasa Cam Outdoor sports excellent specifications at a price tag that’s not too heavy on the wallet. Whether you’re building a new home surveillance system or planning to update your existing setup, look no further.

Amazon drops Prime Day deal on Kasa Spot Indoor Security Camera, now just $35

The Kasa Spot Indoor Camera is a reliable and budget-friendly way to add extra protection to your home. For Prime Day, Amazon made it even more affordable for only $35. Hurry and take advantage of this limited-time offer.

Instant Pots, including the smart Wi-Fi cooker, get hefty Prime Day price cuts

Having an Instant Pot at home not only saves you time and energy on your cooking, but it saves you counter space as well. For Prime Day, Amazon is slashing the price of three Instant Pot models by up to 54%. Get yours today.

Amazon takes 31% off of the Instant Pot Sous Vide for Prime Day 2019

The Instant Pot Accu Slim Sous Vide Immersion Circulator is currently on sale for only $55 from its original price of $80. That’s a $25 discount you can get today on Amazon Prime Day 2019.

These KitchenAid stand mixers get hefty price cuts for Prime Day

Stand mixers are an excellent way to take your baking and meal-prep game to a whole new level. If you’re looking to buy one, now’s a great time as Amazon is offering three KitchenAid stand mixer models on sale for Prime Day.
Smart Home

Contrary to limited reports, consumer interest in smart home tech is soaring

Interest in smart home tech isn't waning. On the contrary, according to the Consumer Technology Association, 2019 is heading toward a record-breaking year in U.S. consumer tech sales, hitting $400 billion for the first time.

Cook with precision using the Joule Sous Vide machine, now 30% off for Prime Day

Cooking sous-vide involves the process of cooking vacuum-sealed food in a water bath. Two models of the Chefstep Joule sous-vide tool are being sold on Amazon for $179 and $199 each, but for Prime Day they're getting 30% off.