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fun things to do with an Amazon Echo

10 Fun Things to do with Amazon Alexa

Wondering if you should invest in an Amazon Echo for your home? The answer’s an easy ‘yes’: If there’s something it can’t do straight out of the box, there’s probably a ‘Skill’ it can learn for it.

That’s right: You can enable various Skills that allow you to do so much more with your Amazon home device. Simply download the Amazon Alexa app and search for the Skill that you desire! You can enable it there and then or ask Alexa to do it all for you.

Other than asking Alexa to give you weather updates, control your smart home, and do various tips and tricks, we have come up with a list of a few entertaining Alexa Skills that are both free to download and full of fun. Read on for more fun tips, tricks, and Alexa Skills for your Amazon home device.

Amazon Echo Tips, Tricks and Alexa Skills for the Family

Whether you’ve just purchased a new Amazon Alexa device or you’re simply looking for new ways to make the most of your virtual assistant, it’ll be hard to run out of fun things to do with Alexa. Here are some of our favorites:

1. Test Yourself with a Question of the Day

Wake up your brain in the morning with a trivia question! Download the ‘Question of the Day’ Skill and receive a new trivia question every day. Test and improve your knowledge on a range of themes and play with 1 to 4 players using the Question of the Day Game Packs, which cover topics like Arts and Entertainment, The Solar System, World Capitals, Dinosaurs, and many, many more!

2. Tell your Children a Bedtime Story

Using the “Short Bedtime Story” Skill, you can have Alexa tell your children various stories as they drift off to sleep for an interactive storytime. You can even personalize the stories with your children’s names to make the experience extra special.

3. Create your own Household Intercom

Do your kids keep missing the school bus because they can’t hear you calling them? If you have more than one Amazon Alexa device in your home—perhaps there’s an Echo in the kitchen, another in the living room, and one in your kid’s bedroom—you can broadcast your announcements across all devices in your smart home. To save your time and your voice, just ask Alexa to announce that the bus is here (or any other message you may have) and it will be repeated around the house.

4. Play Fun Games

This is one of the most fun things to do with an Amazon Echo! There’s an ever-growing list of games that can be played through an Amazon Alexa device, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Would You Rather?: A simple but addictive game to play with the whole family.
  • The Magic Door: An interactive adventure game that allows you to explore a magical land from the comfort of your own home. Collect hidden items, solve various riddles, and help magical creatures along the way!
  • Simon Says: If your kids still have plenty of energy right before bedtime, set them up with a game of Simon Says. This way, you can get on with organizing dinner without having to worry about what they’re doing.
  • Music Quizzes: There are plenty of music quizzes you can enable and play with your friends and family. It’s the perfect game for any dinner party!
  • The Potterhead Quiz: Whether you’re a muggle or a wizard, test your Harry Potter knowledge with a fun quiz using your Amazon Echo. Need more? There are plenty more Potterhead quizzes to choose from, including the “Harry Potter House Quiz” and “Marauder’s Map: Riddikulusly Difficult Potter Quiz”.
  • Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock: Are you a fan of The Big Bang Theory? Challenge Alexa to one of Sheldon’s favorite games.
  • Pikachu Talk: You can also talk to Pikachu using your Amazon Echo! There’s plenty of things for you and Pikachu to chat about. Want to hear a funny story? That’s not a problem for Pikachu. Want Pikachu to sing a birthday song for you? Our favorite yellow electric mouse can do that, too.

Imagine how much fun you’ll have with Alexa during parties! It’s the perfect techy present for your loved ones who enjoy entertaining.

5. Receive a Daily History Lesson

Test your history knowledge using your Amazon Echo! All you need to do is say “Alexa, open this day in history” to receive information about various historical events that happened on that day in the past. And you’re not just restricted to the current day: You can ask for historical information for any other day of the year by saying something along the lines of “Alexa, ask This Day in History what happened on the 12th of March”.

6. Relax to Sleep Sounds

Having trouble sleeping? Or simply looking for some background noise to relax or work to? From rain or forest sounds to ocean and fireplace sounds, you can choose from a wide range of sleep sounds to help you unwind, relieve stress, or block out any unwanted noise. It’s also perfect for yoga workouts!

7. Manage your Finances

From checking your balance to sending money, you can manage your finances from the comfort of your own home with the power of your own voice! From PayPal to Amex and Capital One, stay on track of your finances with Alexa. Additional security pins are used for an added layer of security whenever you open the Skill, but check the terms and conditions for each Skill before you get started.

8. Exercise with Alexa

With a range of health and fitness Skills to choose from, you can get fit at home with a little help from Alexa. Download the ‘7-Minute Workout’ to help you achieve your fitness goals: With over 45 new exercises to try, you’ll never stop being excited to work out. Looking for some motivation? The ‘Inspire Me’ Skill will offer you inspirational audio clips to help you start your day off the right way!

9. Get Information

As well as all the news channels, there are a number of Skills that you can enable to get information and advice regarding a variety of topics. Here are just a couple of the information Skills that you can download onto your Amazon Echo:

  • Doctor Pooch: Have you recently adopted a new fur baby and don’t know what to feed them? Enable the ‘Doctor Pooch’ Skill and find out what foods are or aren’t acceptable to offer your dog or cat. This skill is also extremely helpful if your pet picks up something off the floor and you don’t know whether to worry or not.
  • Butterball: Making your first Thanksgiving turkey? Or simply need some tips and inspiration for your turkey dinner? Plan, prepare and cook your bird the right way with the ‘Butterball’ Skill.
Alexa tips and tricks for the family

10. Control your Nixplay Digital Photo Frame

Use your Amazon Echo to control your Nixplay photo frame. All you need to do is search for the Nixplay Skill and select “Enable”! Try out some of these phrases/requests to get started:

  • “Alexa, open my frame”
  • “Alexa, ask my frame to show me my playlist”
  • “Alexa, ask my frame if it’s connected”

This skill is compatible with the Nixplay Smart Frames, the Nixplay Seed line, and the Nixplay Seed Wave. Try it today to control your digital photo frame using the sound of your own voice!

And that’s our list of our favorite fun things to do with Alexa. Are you still struggling to find the best Alexa Skills for you? Make it easy and enable the ‘Skill Finder’ and find new skills—if you ask her, she’ll even give you a skill of the day! Or you can discover a list of the Amazon Alexa Skills online today.

2019 Black Friday Tech Deals You Can’t Miss - Nixplay blog

2019 Black Friday Tech Deals You Can’t Miss

The Black Friday deals are rolling out thick and fast, so there’s no better time to start thinking about what you can pick up during the bargain-fuelled weekend!

It’s no surprise that the tech industry is the MVP in the race for Black Friday 2019 dominance. With new gadgets being released every week and the popularity of tech devices growing every year, it’s no wonder that people are waiting (im)patiently for Black Friday to save some serious dollar on the latest products.

But which Black Friday tech deals are the most worthwhile? Whether you’re buying holiday gifts for family and friends or treating yourself to something new, you’ll need to know where you can get the best bang for your buck.

What products are being offered? Where can you get them? And most importantly, will there be enough in stock? The last thing you want is to get excited about your new gadget and sit in a virtual queue for hours to get to the checkout, only to find that the website crashes or someone else has beaten you to it.

But there’s no need to worry, because we’ve done the work for you! Find out more below about the best Black Friday tech deals for 2019 and where you can get them.


Enhance Your Home With A Google Smart TV Kit

This tempting little bundle is made up of a Google Home Mini and a Google Chromecast, and it’ll give your home the edge in hands-free technology. Together, they will let you control your TV without picking up a remote or leaving the comfort of your sofa. You can switch the TV on and off, stream movies and shows, browse for shows on Netflix and YouTube, and play, pause or skip chapters and episodes—all with the power of your voice. You can even use your Google Home Mini to control your Nixplay Frame. Simply say it to play it!

Turning your house into a smart home can be a real life-changer, and this is just the start. Pick up your Google Smart TV Kit over Black Friday weekend for just $45 at Walmart.

Make Memories Last On A Fujifilm Instax Mini

We live in a world where everything flies by too quickly, and even the biggest moments in life can be unintentionally overlooked. With the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Camera, you’ll never miss out on safekeeping your memories.

The polaroid style gives you the vintage look while the advanced tech features promise vibrant, high-quality snaps that any budding photographer would be proud of. With this bundle, you’ll get the camera, a film twin pack, a camera case and four color filters all for $95. Pick yours up from Walmart and save yourself a whopping $110!

Another option is to print your favorite photos with Nixplay Fuji Prints, the latest feature on the Nixplay App. We offer several high-quality print product options, from customized mugs to large-scall wall art, at affordable prices. Try it now to avail of our special discounted rates!

Connect Your Home With Amazon Echo

Time for a real scoop: Getting your hands on the Amazon Echo Show 8 puts you at the forefront of fresh tech—because it hasn’t even been released yet! That’s right: It’s still poised in the stockrooms, eagerly awaiting the Black Friday sales. But with this handy device, you can watch movies and TV shows, tune in to the radio, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, connect with friends and family via video calls and messages, or update your to-do lists and calendars.

But it doesn’t stop there. It’s made to simplify other aspects of your life. You can Ask Alexa to help you cook with easy step-by-step recipes in the kitchen, show you your security cameras, or adjust the thermostat. In fact, you can use the Amazon Echo to control every smart device in your home, including your Nixplay digital photo frame! The possibilities are endless. Get yours at Amazon on Black Friday for just $99.99.

Get Amped Up With Noise Cancelling Headphones

For many of us, the music never stops. Whether we’re in our car, in the shower, at the gym, on a run, or at the grocery, it’s all made more exciting when we’ve got our favorite tunes to keep us company.

But unwanted noise, pesky wires, uncomfortable ear pods, or bad signal can easily dampen these life-affirming experiences. This Black Friday, you can invest in a pair of high-spec, noise-canceling headphones with up to 24 hours of battery life. They’ve also got Bluetooth and they’re wireless, so there’s a lot to brag about.

Change the way you enjoy music by getting your hands on a pair of top-rated Sennheiser headphones from Amazon. The current price will set you back $199.95 but over Black Friday weekend, you can snap them up for $80!

Share Moments On A Digital Photo Frame

You can’t put a price on keeping memories alive, but a Nixplay Seed Wave frame will let you do it for 30% less over Black Friday weekend!

Go beyond the basics with digital photo frame features that include Spotify streaming, light and activity sensors, HD video playback, customized photo album playlists, and connection capabilities that let you create your very own private family network. Looking to add another dynamic element to your smart home hub? Nixplay can make that happen too, because our frames work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home !

This is the ultimate Black Friday digital photo frame deal: from our Smart Frame and Seed Wave collection to our cutting-edge NIX digital photo frame range, find yours online now.

Best digital photo frame deal

What Is The Best Digital Photo Frame?

What makes Nixplay so unique? With such a variety of features, it can be difficult to choose one! Discover which digital photo frame works best for you and your family below.

Everyone knows there’s no better time to shop than Black Friday weekend. Grab a bargain while you can with our guide to the best Black Friday tech deals!
nixplay amazon alexa

What’s New with Amazon Alexa?

A few months back, Nixplay announced that it was integrating Amazon Alexa commands into its smart photo frames for a smarter photo viewing experience. We’ve since improved our functions, continuously tweaking and fine-tuning our software to achieve peak usability. Today, we’re proud to announce that using Alexa to control your Nixplay Frame has never been easier.

Improved support for playlist names

Want to display a playlist on a specific frame? We got Alexa to understand hundreds of name options so she can show your playlists accurately.

Improved handling of connectivity requests

When you ask Alexa about your frame’s connectivity status, it will now provide a more accurate reading.

Using a frame name is now supported when specifying which frame to use

Got several Nixplay frames around your home? Now you can tell Alexa which frame you’d like to display your playlist on.

Improved conversation dialogue

Have a more natural conversation with Alexa about your Nixplay Frame.

nixplay seed amazon eecho bundle deal

Want to start using Alexa to control your own Nixplay Frame? You can now get an Echo Dot (3rd Gen) bundled with a Nixplay Seed Frame only on Amazon! Choose from the Nixplay Seed 10.1 inch Widescreen Wi-Fi Cloud Frame ($149.98) or the Nixplay Seed 13.3 inch Widescreen Wi-Fi Cloud Frame ($209.98). Hurry–this exclusive deal is only available until December 31!

Marianne is Nixplay’s Web Content Editor. Her hobbies include exploring new places, playing table tennis, and cuddling puppies. Send her a message at marianne.salazar@nixplay.com.

Amazon Echo with Nixplay Frame

The Future Is Bright And Voice-Controlled: The Story Of Nixplay and Amazon Alexa

If you’ve watched The Jetsons, you’ve probably marveled at the family’s space-age lifestyle. You couldn’t wait for the day when you’ll be able to drive around in George Jetson’s flying saucer car, and you wished for a robot maid like Rosie to help you with the household chores.

Fast forward to 2018, three decades after the show’s last episode: Companies are developing prototypes of flying cars, and space colonization is a far-off dream no more. While sentient robot assistants like Rosie are still far from mainstream, voice-controlled virtual assistants, like Amazon Alexa, are helping more and more people manage their schedules, households, and even Nixplay frames.

“I strongly believe voice user assistants along with the experiences that surround them are here to stay, and the interactions are only going to become more and more natural,” says Nixplay’s Head of Software John Marsden, who oversaw Amazon Alexa’s integration into Nixplay’s software.
According to John, Nixplay chose Alexa as its entry point into voice integration mainly for two reasons:
Alexa has the largest user base among the voice assistants on the market
, and Nixplay already has an existing relationship with Amazon.
On a more personal note, John, who had recently transformed his house into a smart home, shares: “I am a massive advocate for smart home integrations and I use Alexa to control much of my home. I wanted my Nixplay frames to become part of my smart home family.”

Alexa and Nixplay

Integrating Alexa into the Nixplay platform seemed easy on paper: John and his team only had to create a “skill,” which in the Alexa universe, is “a term used to describe all the ways a user can interact with their frame through speech.” But this simple task posed several challenges.

John Marsden

John Marsden

“By far the hardest challenge–and one we are regularly improving on–is dealing with uncategorized voice input from the user in terms of playlist and frame names,” John shares. Most voice AI assistants work by learning a category for each input a user might give the system. If the voice assistant is asking the user to give it a location for a travel skill, it expects the user to give it the name of a city, country or area of some type in order to perform properly. It wasn’t that simple for Nixplay.

“The challenge we had is that a playlist name can be totally random–one person may have a playlist called ‘My Family,’ another might be ‘Summer Holiday 2016.’ As such, it’s very hard to categorize the information,” says John.

“The complexity lay more in trying to model all the ways different users might try to perform the same action, and the fact that we have to deal with a lot of random data with regards to playlist names and frame names,” he elaborated. “To handle this, we had to implement a lot more intelligence outside of what is provided by Alexa.”

In the end, John and his team came up with some core initial features. Alexa can be asked to display any of your playlists on any of your frames, and it can also assign a specific playlist to any Nixplay frame, wherever that frame might be located.

“We wanted to start simple and solve some of the large initial challenges without having to make major platform changes,” says John. “The playlist display functionality focuses on displaying the user’s content, which is what we are all about.”

You can also ask Alexa to tell you the connectivity status of your frame—”a supporting feature to allow a lot of our users to check on the status of a frame they are helping to manage remotely.”

Stepping into the future

There might only be a few Nixplay skills at the moment, but John assures us that his team has a lot of surprises up their sleeves.

“I can’t go into too much detail here for fear being hunted down by our product managers, but we are putting a lot of support into voice and have some big plans,” he reveals. “Our current focus is on making the content experience more dynamic, thereby making it easier for a user to see the photos that they wish to see without having to manually manage their content. We are also looking at ways of improving the multi-frame experience.”

Wherever Nixplay and Alexa’s partnership will take them, one thing’s for sure: it will always be grounded on Nixplay’s vision of a world where people can share their fondest memories with each other easily.

“I am sure a lot of what we do will be heavily influenced by our users, and they will have a big

say in where we take some of our voice features,” says John. “We are moving fast with regards to voice experience, so watch this space for other voice assistant announcements in the coming months!”

We’re not yet firmly in the future, but we’re most certainly on the way there.

Marianne is Nixplay’s Web Content Editor. Her hobbies include exploring new places, playing table tennis, and cuddling puppies. Send her a message at marianne.salazar@nixplay.com.

kids surprising dad with father's day gift

12 Great Father’s Day Gifts For Last-Minute Shoppers

Do you have a Father’s Day gift already? If you’re still panicking about your present, these 12 options should help you out:


  1. Give dad a Nixplay frame so he can always see all his fondest memories of his loved ones.


  1. Get your dad to trade his basic old razor for this nifty tool.


  1. Your dad will appreciate this smart upgrade to your home.


  1. Is your dad into golf? This new club should take his game to the next level.


  1. Now THIS is a Father’s Day gift the whole family will love.


  1. This good-looking, rugged chronograph is as hardy as dad is.


  1. Add this bestselling thriller to dad’s bookshelf.


  1. Give your dad’s workwear wardrobe a hip update with these comfortable dress shoes.


  1. A luxurious polo shirt is a classic Father’s Day gift.


  1. Does dad always complain about not being able to sleep well? A memory foam mattress might just be the solution to his bedtime woes.


  1. This coffee maker lets him brew just a single cup for hectic weekdays–no waste!


  1. Remember when dad taught you how to ride a bike? Return the favor by giving him this sleek new ride.


Still haven’t found a present that will tickle dad’s fancy? Check our Amazon Spark wishlist for more great Father’s Day gift ideas! You’re bound to find something he’ll love there.

Marianne is Nixplay’s Web Content Editor. Her hobbies include exploring new places, playing table tennis, and cuddling puppies. Send her a message at marianne.salazar@nixplay.com.

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