7 Ways to Make Your Amazon Echo Even More Useful in New York City

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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

The first few days I spent with my Amazon Echo after grabbing it on sale last month were pretty magical: asking Alexa for the weather, making Alexa tell me jokes, making Alexa apologize for telling me bad jokes, and arguing with a talking cylinder about what is, and is not, minimalist music.

But a lot of the real firepower behind the Echo is geared toward controlling your smart home. And seeing that I rent and don’t plan on staying in this apartment forever, I don’t find the idea of investing in smart-home tech just so I can ask Alexa to turn on the lights and start brewing a cup of coffee that appealing.

Luckily, you can quickly improve what you can do with the Echo thanks to its Skills feature, which allows any user to create add-on apps for the Echo. We’ve gathered together a few picks that should be useful for anyone in NYC, even if you haven’t thrown down $60 for a Philips Hue lightbulb.