News - 2016062904 - Ask Alexa to add new features to your Amazon Echo

Amazon opened up Alexa to developers a year ago, and there are now over 1,400 apps or "skills," as the company calls them. To take the hassle out of installing those on your Echo product, it now lets you do it automatically just by asking Alexa. For instance, if you want to test your trivia skills, you say "Echo, enable Jeopardy" and it'll add that third-party app. Up until today, you had to go to the Alexa app, find the skill and then add it manually, so the new feature will save you some time.

Amazon says that around 10,000 registered developers are working on Alexa projects, meaning you'll soon have even more choice. It's also invested in 16 startups to help them build wearables, smart home devices and other products via the Alexa Fund.

The company has also redesigned the skills section of the Alexa app, letting you browse by categories like "Lifestyle" and "Smart Home." It revealed a pair of new skills from Lyft and Honeywell that will let you order a car and turn down the thermostat, I assume. Some of the most popular are Jeopardy, Daily Affirmation, Magic 8 Ball, Fitbit, and The Bartender, a skill we all can use in these trying times.

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