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Now you can enable Alexa's extra Skills just by asking for them

One year after the launch of the Alexa Skills Kit, users of Amazon's virtual assistant will now be able to turn on third-party Skills using voice commands.

Chris Monroe/CNET
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A year ago, Amazon released the Alexa Skills Kit to help third-party developers build their own Alexa Skills -- essentially apps for the Amazon Echo's voice-powered virtual assistant. Now, starting today, you won't need to pull up the Alexa app on your phone in order to activate a Skill -- you can just ask Alexa to do it herself.

To do so, tell Alexa to enable the Skill by name, as in "Alexa, enable Jeopardy!" It sounds like a pretty minor convenience (and you'll obviously need to have a specific Skill in mind), but it fits in with Amazon's larger push to make Alexa as useful as possible. It also sounds like an easier approach than sifting through the Alexa app's Skills catalog, which isn't nearly as well organized as something like Apple's App Store or the Google Play Store.

You'll find Alexa in the Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot and Amazon Tap smart speakers, along with the Amazon Fire TV's voice remote. To date, Alexa boasts more than 1,400 Skills.