Latest things to do with Alexa November 2018

“Alexa, tell me a waiter, waiter joke.”
“Alexa, why is it called ‘toad in the hole’?”
“Alexa, turn on the living room lights.”
Add your Echo device to a Smart Home Group with other smart devices (e.g. your living room lights) so that Alexa can control them as a single unit. Learn how (
“Alexa, play Kisstory.”
“Alexa, are you friends with the Queen?”
“Alexa, how can I create my own story?”
With Skill Blueprints, you can create your own interactive stories with sound effects and fun expressions. Get started at
“Alexa, how many beans make five?”
“Alexa, open Brain Ninja.”
“Alexa, what sound does a hamster make?”
“Alexa, open Rainforest Sounds.”
“Alexa, play the latest album by Arctic Monkeys from Amazon Music.”
“Alexa, are you ready to rock?”
“Alexa, which dinosaurs lived in the UK?”
“Alexa, how do you say ‘good morning’ in Japanese?”
“Alexa, open CBeebies.”
Choose from stories narrated by Dolly Parton, Tom Hardy, Jessica Ennis-Hill and George Ezra. To use this skill, you need to allow access to Kid Skills (

Amazon slot types very restricted in UK

Part of developing Alexa skills involves slots. These are broadly speaking categories of words that Amazon recognizes.

Even though Amazon have recently added some new slot types to the UK, we are still a long way behind the US.

Specifically, I’m working on a skill that will allow you to play your local music library, something that’s badly needed since Amazon removed the ability to upload. In the US you have AMAZON.MusicAlbum, AMAZON.MusicRecording, etc slots which will match album names – and this has been available for over a year.

As this post on Alexa dev forum indicates, UK are lagging behind the US for almost 2 years now 🙁

Update: these slots are finally available!

NOW available on UK Alexa

These key Alexa abilities wereunavailable on the UK Echo, but as of 8 March 2018 they all are now:

Took their time however, this was first published on August 29th 2017!