By: Ramon Martinez

Do you remember the days when Amazon was nothing more than an online bookshop? Today it seems like a strange figment of the distant past, part of that hazy time before AI existed and the internet behemoth ruled the world.

It’s Alexa who’s largely responsible for such a change. As our favorite virtual assistant, the inimitable Alexa has turned Amazon into an unstoppable retail presence, one that undercuts the competition with its amazing prices and unerring reliability.

Even so, there’s much she can do that you haven’t even realized. If you thought transforming the fortunes of the online giant was her limit, wait till you try these three fantastic tricks!

Hearing localized traffic and sports updates

If there’s one thing it would be handy for a virtual assistant to do, it keeps us informed about the world around us, and Alexa has this covered. Thanks to her handy knowledge of your home address, she’s able to offer up everything you need to know, from local weather and news reports to the traffic updates that will affect your daily commute. About to head out and want to know what’s going down? Then ask “Alexa, how’s the traffic” for a straight-to-the-point real-time update. Want to know what’s happening in your favorite sport? Then try “Alexa, ask The Guardian to give me the rugby league headlines.” It will make your life so much simpler.

Having some fun 

Keeping you updated on the latest happenings has many practical uses, but Alexa is capable of delivering in the entertainment stakes too. There’s so much she can do to help you relax and unwind, so let’s use online gaming as an example. Assuming you’re someone who enjoys the odd flutter, this perfect personal assistant can help you to play without even having to get out of your seat. Simply tap into her voice command function, ask her to find you the best promotions, deals, and offers around, and then let her hook you up to a site like Mr Smith’s UK online casino with its slots or live casino offering. If there’s some other entertainment you’d prefer, such as a solitary game of solitaire or a lyrical rundown of the music charts, she can do that too.

Indulging in a little retail therapy 

Given her links to Amazon, this one should be unsurprising, but an oddly high number of people haven’t realized it yet: Alexa can take you shopping. Although she’s not yet capable of making a trip into town with you, what she can do is make it eminently simple to order items online. Those who have an Amazon Prime account will find her particularly helpful, as the ability to set up one-click ordering also lets you enable video purchasing through the Alexa app. This means that you all have to do when you fancy buying a particular boxset or book online is say “Alexa, order The Handmaid’s Tale on DVD” or “Alexa, find me Poldark by Winston Graham”. She’ll locate what you want, read your order back to you, and even give you the option to add items to your basket so you can review them later. Shopping for what you want has never been easier.

Tell us, isn’t it time you tested these three clever features for yourself?


Ramon Martinez is a regular writer and tech beat producer for NewsWatch. He loves all things tech and exploring the newest gadgets.