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Taco facts

More than 7,000 skills have been developed now for Amazon's Alexa-powered smart devices, the Echo and Tap. Not all of these skills are equally -- how should we say? -- useful.

It's one thing to tell Alexa to summon up the crackling sounds of thunderstorms. It's another thing to ask Alexa to give you a few words about bacon.

We've tried out 30 of the least-useful Alexa skills out there.

Like, for example: You can't just make up taco facts. You have to know your stuff. That's where Taco Facts comes in 'cause, you know, tacos.


Facts and trivia about Tom Brady

This guy? Again? No, thanks, Alexa. We can live without hearing the minute details about how young Tom "grew up a 49ers fan and idolized Joe Montana."

Published:Caption:Photo:Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Meat facts

This Alexa skill recites 13 "random" facts about meat. Mostly beef and bacon, in case you were curious.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

Which pet?

Oh, god, I want a pet so bad. But which pet? Should I get a dog? A cat? A capuchin monkey? If only I were decisive, or within reach of Alexa so I could ask her, "Oh, Alexa, which pet is right for me?"

Published:Caption:Photo:Barcroft Media/Getty Images

What should I wear today?

To be fair, this skill is billed as being "intended for students at Truman State University." So, maybe having no idea of what to wear is a thing there.

Published:Caption:Photo:Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Squirrel facts

So, you've got two options: You can go to the squirrel page on the National Geographic website, or you can enable this skill and hear Alexa read you squirrel facts inspired by the squirrel page on the National Geographic website.

To recap: Sometimes there are no good options.


Bingeable TV Shows

Oh, Alexa, I've been staring at my TV all day with not a clue as to what to watch on it! "Breaking Bad," you say? People binge-watch that? Well, OK, then, you're the expert. Thanks!

Published:Caption:Photo:Lewis Jacobs/AMC

Ezekiel 25:17

This skill is clever and kind of funny if you dig hearing Alexa say the famous Bible quote from the film "Pulp Fiction", slightly different from the Samuel L. Jackson delivery. It's also something you only (and barely) need to hear once.

Published:Caption:Photo:Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Trump facts

Even when this Alexa skill tells you an innocuous factoid, like the names of the president's wives, it can't help but going off-truth, repeating, for instance, the long-debunked claim that Donald's first wife, Ivana Trump, was once associated with the Czech Olympic ski team.

Published:Caption:Photo:Joe Raedle/AFP/Getty Images

Basketball doctor

Want to hear something funny? Some people remain unaware of this thing called the interwebs that allows its users to tap a few keys and instantly receive the latest NBA injury reports.

Better to have Alexa slowly recite the list for you.

Published:Caption:Photo:Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Memorable password generator

Dagnabbit! These darn websites and all their passwords demands! If only we had an Alexa skill that provides four random words, such as "radio," "tune," "log," "angle," and then, well, we don't know what.

Why would we remember those words if they don't mean anything to us? Plus, there are only four of them.

No numbers, no special characters? Dagnabbit!

Published:Caption:Photo:Sean Spicer/Twitter

The beer ignoramous quiz

You know what's fun about beer? Drinking it!

You know what's not fun about beer? Answering trivia questions about it!

Published:Caption:Photo:Matej Divizna/Getty Images

The startup pitch generator

This skill is in on the joke, providing you with stream-of-conscious tech talk about the cloud, AI and more. The big joke will be when a couple of Silicon Valley types bag venture-capital investors with Alexa's meaningless mumbo jumbo.


Taco fancy

Sure, Alexa may fill you with taco knowledge, but how to proceed with actual taco filling?

Alexa comes to the rescue again with a skill that "helps you figure out what kind of taco filling you might want for dinner." (It does offer recipes, too, so there's that.)

Published:Caption:Photo:Getty Images

Ukulele facts

This skill is for when you're in the mood for having some uke knowledge dropped on you. Also, it's a good excuse for us to post a picture of a dog with a ukelele.

Published:Caption:Photo:Igor Chus/Shutterstock

Deer Geek

Did you know there are few things cuter than the sight of old-timey "SNL" actors dressed like deer? Oh, if only the facts on Deer Geek were as engaging.

Published:Caption:Photo:NBC/Getty Images

Celebrity deaths

"When called upon," this skill promises to "read a random celebrity death fact from 2016," which is really useful because celebrity deaths didn't get enough attention in 2016.


Pi number facts

Anyone who is deeply interested in the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter probably already knows this stuff and/or doesn't care that the pi symbol appears in Sandra Bullock's "The Net."

Published:Caption:Photo:Sonja Flemming/CBS

Nicolas Cage trivia unofficial

Well, here's something, uh, cool, we guess... Note: The information Alexa gives you about Nicolas Cage is not endorsed or affiliated with Nicolas Cage. Hmm...

Published:Caption:Photo:Fox Home Entertainment

Clean joke of the day

Why is Ellen doing a spit take from 1933? Because she damn well knows the masters of the tech universe didn't wire our world in order to produce and promote G-rated humor.

Published:Caption:Photo:Warner Bros.

Parent geek

This skill gives you "random trivia" about children "from a parent's perspective." So, what does that mean exactly? Wait for it: "Kids will be kids."


We feel fine

Enable this skill, ask it, "What are people feeling," and then... we have no idea. Alexa just starts going on and on about a bunch of feelings.

Published:Caption:Photo:Harpo Productions

Secret keeper

This skill "allows you to share your deepest secrets anonymously with other Alexa Owners," thereby rendering your secrets, um, not-so-secret anymore.

Published:Caption:Photo:Sandra Matic/Shutterstock

Trash finder

Do you know how upsetting it is to misplace a waste bin? To be honest, neither do we.


Potato me

When high tech meets potato trivia, you get this skill, and that's moderately interesting, isn't it? No?

Published:Caption:Photo:NBC, NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Happy wife

Turn to Alexa to get tried-and-true caveman advice on how to deal with the little woman, i.e. "Your wife is always right."


How should I work out?

Oh, man, I went to all the trouble of putting on a hoodie and sweats. I feel like I should do something physical-like. But what? If only there was an Alexa skill that would suggest I lift weights.

Wait, there is?! Score!


I just sneezed

So, yes, you just sneezed. But there's no one to comfort, to soothe, to say bless you. That's where this skill comes in.

Published:Caption:Photo:Agna Devi/Shutterstock

Grand Rapids alternate side parking

Perhaps we're being too hasty. Perhaps in Grand Rapids, Michigan, there are more than two sides to every street. Perhaps you indeed need this skill to tell you which side to park on during the winter months because the answer, "This side -- or the other side," would be insufficient.

Published:Caption:Photo:Luis Molinero/Shutterstock

Bin reminder

Once set up, this skill lets you know "what frequency your recycling goes out" because you can't possibly keep track of that, what with your trash-bin-related short-term memory issues.

Published:Caption:Photo:Ljupco Smokovski/Shutterstock
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