I really like a number of the Alexa skills available, but doing a web search is always a hit or miss affair. All Echo or Dot owners will know the fateful answer of, “Sorry, I don’t have the answer to that question.” – ARGH! You can workaround the issue a little by asking for a Wikipedia entry in relation to a topic, but it’s still not as slick as interacting with Google via your smartphone.
I’d previously had a hunt around for a skill which might give me better search capabilities, but hadn’t found anything. Then, recently in a number of Facebook pages I follow, there was a buzz about the release of some code which, when set-up on AWS Lambda might give everyone the search engine they’d all sought.
If only we could use Google to do our web search, life would be so much easier…
“OK Alexa, ask Google…”
Yep, and its relatively easy! (well, if you’re prepared to follow 30+ instructions perfectly…). First, go and grab the latest version of the Archive.zip file from github.
Second, follow the extremely detailed instructions at the alexamods.com site.
You’ll then have a perfectly working device which can respond with your new Google Skill – you’ll be calling Alexa every minute of the day now.
Note: you will be asked for your credit card details, but this is simply Amazon ensuring you don’t abuse the free component of their system. You’d need to exceed one million requests a month before seeing any charges (very, very, unlikely).