Each week, we take a look at new and important Alexa skills you might want to consider enabling for your Alexa device. Amazon continues to improve Alexa with its own updates, but skills are software components that allow Alexa users to extend functionality across all Alexa-enabled devices in use for very specific functions.
This week’s skill: TrackR (Alexa skills database calls it: Find My Phone)
Description: Pair your phone with the TrackR app and Alexa can tell you the last place you left it. Alexa can also ring your phone at full volume, even on silent mode.
Real world use: What a wonderful skill this is. Truly! I have a large family and in a family this size there’s obviously going to be one or two members who are more forgetful than the others. I can’t tell you the number of times over the years that I’ve had to call a family member’s (who will remain unnamed for my protection) phone because they misplaced it either around the house or in the car. And, it always seems to come at the worst time – like when an urgent text has come through or we’re late getting out the door to leave for an appointment. Not only that, but more times than not, the ringer has been turned off.
TrackR solves every piece of this – well, except if the phone has been missing long enough to completely run out of a charge. TrackR uses a smartphone app and an Alexa skill to keep track of your (or your family member’s) smartphone. The big drawback right now, though, is that the skill/app combination only supports a single smartphone – so you’d need to pair it to the family member who loses theirs the most for now.
Here’s a couple examples of things you can do with the TrackR app/skill combination:
· Say “Alexa, ask TrackR to find my phone” - Alexa should respond with the street address your phone is at.
· Say "Alexa, ask TrackR to ring my phone" - Your phone should start ringing with the custom TrackR alert (even if the ringer is set to silent)
You can locate TrackR Skill in the Amazon Alexa app, or use the following web link: Find My Phone
iOS app: TrackR
Android app: TrackR
P.S. TrackR also makes physical “tags” for other items that regularly get lost. You attach the tag and This function does not yet work with Alexa but only with the TrackR app for iOS and Android. Hopefully, Alexa functionality will develop for this in the future.