Amazon’s Echo comes out of the box with a fair amount of functionality, but Amazon wisely decided to open up its always-on voice assistant to outside developers in the device’s Skills section. There’s some truly useful stuff in the store — we outlined some of them over here — but there’s also some wonderfully batshit stuff as well. Here are three of our favorites:
Prove all your moronic round-Earth friends wrong
Flat Earth Facts: It’s common knowledge that the Earth is not a sphere but instead a flat plane, with the so-called “South Pole” actually serving as a gigantic ice wall that no one can escape. But getting your friends to see the truth can be hard. As the Flat Earth Facts creator puts it: “Go ahead and ask Alexa for a flat earth fact and she can now tell you or your doubting friends about the true shape of the world. Don’t take NASA’s word for it. None of their pictures or videos are real and they admit that. Find truth here.” Sample fact: Did you know that planets don’t exist in the flat-earth model? They are simply celestial lights in the firmament. Checkmate, skeptics. The only downside is that this app does not come with a B.o.B. soundtrack.
Never have an awkward moment of silence ever again
Conversation Starters: One of the toughest parts of meeting new people and dating is just trying to make small talk. You don’t want to break out the heavy stuff right away (“Well, I guess the main issue with my father was …”) but you don’t want to just talk about the weather either. Luckily, Conversation Starters is there for you, and Alexa can do all the asking. “What is your least favorite volunteer experience?” Alexa might ask your date as you both settle in. “What is your dream memory?” Alexa will inquire while you signal for a second round of drinks. “Tell us about your first love?” Alexa will ask while you figure out how to split the bill. Just make sure wherever you take your date has a power outlet and a good Wi-Fi connection, because otherwise you’re on your own, champ.
Unburden yourself to Alexa
Secret Keeper: Have a secret you’re just dying to unload, but no one to tell it to? There’s Secret Keeper, which allows you to tell your Amazon Echo a secret and then give it a unique password to lock it away forever, unless you give someone else that password. So, purely hypothetically, if you wanted to tell Alexa,”I hit a kid in my car in Arkansas one night and just kept driving and am now living and working in New York City as a tech writer under an assumed name and it all just happened so fast,” Secret Keeper will listen and keep that secret safe. And you will, hypothetically, feel a weight lift off your shoulders and your heart and your soul that you have been carrying for so, so long.