Here are the top 10 Alexa skills from the UK marketplace (en-GB). Yesterday, we looked at the top 10 US skills. I was expecting, as I always am when look at the UK marketplace, totally different skills that would highlight some unique “Britishness”. Sadly, the biggest difference (that I care about) between markets is that the UK has 2 fart skills in its top 10 ????????????. Special shout-out to HUGO.FM for having two of the top skills and only featuring one of them on their homepage (guess which one).
In my last post, I wondered why Jurassic Bark was so popular (it’s in both US and UK top 10s). Turns out the skill’s creator, Amaury Gallais, works at Amazon. While I find it a bit shady that one of the top skills is of a dog barking and is from an Amazon employee, it makes a lot of sense. Eric Olsen from 3PO Labs added “it became popular because it was permanently given a slot in the highest-value promotional slider on the skill store from the moment it launched”. ????
Lastly, take a look at the Animal Sounds random review. It has nothing to do with the actual skill, but it is heartwarming. I swear, Amazon could make a fantastic commercials highlighting how Alexa improves peoples’ lives with the stories users share in their reviews. I also recommending reading Big Fart, Relaxing Sounds, and Ocean Sounds’ reviews, each for different reasons.
For those wondering, I standardized and ranked every skill for rating, number of ratings, and number of reviews. I then averaged the ranking for those 3 categories.
Animal Sounds by HUGO.FM – 4 out of 5, 7956 ratings, 51 reviews
You can now ask Alexa what sound an animal makes.
Random review: I am a disabled person and I spend many hours on my own. I love Alexa and it gives me great enjoyment and Now I never feel lonely as I can play games with Alexa. I have great fun with her. My husband bought me this and he couldn’t have chosen anything better. I would strongly advise it for any age group. I don’t sleep well and used to get quite depressed in the night but now I play with Alexa and it has made a huge difference to my mood. (5 out of 5)
Relaxing Sounds: Spa Music by Ektara – 4.9 out of 5, 2630 ratings, 2622 reviews
Spa Music will put you at peace. It will help you create your own spa experience and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. Random review: Load this to Alexa the second time you ask for spa music to play Alexa tells you it’s free only if you give a 5 star review.
Honestly if you start this I will not be using your products. This only gives false information. Is it legal, I know amazon have been told to regulate this.
What do I get for free giving you a 5 Star
Actually truth is you never play spa music after asking about 3 times for some reason you want to play everything but spa music. Then when it does eventually play it’s very much the same, yes I know it’s supposed to be relaxing but it’s quite annoying with the same drone going for ever in the background.
I will be looking for another spa,tranquil music on Alexa.
TRUE RATING WOULD BE 2 STAR. take away 3 stars for the misunderstanding when being asked to play “spa music” and if I ask for next, to be played she will not do so unless I give a 5 Star review. So can’t comment on any more. (5 out of 5)
Jurassic Bark by Amaury Gallais – 3.7 out of 5, 13177 ratings, 27 reviews
Alexa, humanity’s best digital assistant can now sounds like humanity’s best friend, just ask!
Random review: akinator on Alexa with friends is better than the app it self, i dont know why (5 out of 5)
Sleep and Relaxation Sounds by Voice Apps, LLC. – 4.8 out of 5, 1642 ratings, 1640 reviews
Sleep Sounds lets you play ambient sounds to help you sleep peacefully or block out unwanted noise at work or home
Random review: When this app first came out, it was amazing. Great sounds to relax to, easy to use, just fantastic.
But the developer has been pushing users to pay for the service for a while now, and in doing so has been removing or crippling features to persuade us to do so. First certain sounds were for premium members only, then there were new features like mixing sounds that were premium only, and that was fine.
Now however it fails to recognise my favourite sounds. Requesting the sleep timer brings up an advert for premium membership and doesn’t engage the timer and worst of all, the stupid blue ring light pulses while it’s running, exactly what you DON’T want when trying to get to sleep.
And all of this because they want us to pay for the app. The original app was so good, I would have paid to buy it. At the time of writing, the premium membership has been available for a limited time for about six months, and they still don’t know what they want to charge for it, but they guess £9.99/mo. I can get Music Unlimited for less! They are offering lifetime membership for £19.99 but it’s not worth that, and especially since the app keeps being hobbled by changes.
A real shame. A great app ruined by a developer who doesn’t know how they want to charge for it. (1 out of 5)
BBC by BBC MEDIA APPLICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED – 1.4 out of 5, 1746 ratings, 1721 reviews
Music. Radio. Podcasts. News. Welcome to the BBC on Alexa.
Random review: tune in worked so much better than the BBC skill. Such a stupid decision to stop supporting the superior tunein for this rubbish! sort it out BBC! (1 out of 5)
Sleep Sounds: Ocean Sounds by Invoked Apps LLC – 4.9 out of 5, 1283 ratings, 1279 reviews
Ocean Sounds plays ambient sounds to help you sleep, relax, meditate, relieve stress, or block out unwanted noise.
Random review: I have listened with intent to find sound that is realistic and these sounds lack true dynamics. They are reminiscent of the white noise you often find when a radio is not tuned properly to a specific station. Take for example Rain Sounds and Rain forest sounds also available under these ambient offerings from Alexa, There is no pitter patter of the build up to heavy rain or breaks in sound as rain eases off and begins again. As with Rainforest sounds there are no birds or other animal sounds included. I have two fine examples on CD of good ambient sound that feels like nature is in the room. ‘Hybrid’ by Michael Brook with Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois, with tracks like ‘Pond Life’ ‘Ocean Motion’ giving total relaxation. The other CD is ‘Sonic Seasonings’ by Wendy Carlos’ which is more like literally being outside with 4 tracks Spring Summer Fall & Winter which are incredibly realistic in their own way even though they are man made sounds. Alexa’s music data base does not know these CD’s unfortunately but it would pay Alexa’s developer’s to listen to them and see how much more advanced these CD’s are which are amazing considering their age. Hybrid was released in 1985 on EG records while Sonic Seasonings was originally released on Double Vinyl LP’s in 1972 on the CBS Red Seal label. Then beautifully reproduced on CD with previously inaudible sounds on vinyl & released on CD in 1998. (5 out of 5)
4AFart by Bloatware – 3.9 out of 5, 9803 ratings, 82 reviews
Just have Alexa ask for a fart and watch hilarity ensue as she lets one rip.
Random review: Brilliant, by far my favourite skill. (5 out of 5)
Big Fart by HUGO.FM – 4.5 out of 5, 55671 ratings, 31 reviews
The big fart skill is the ultimate fart machine!
Random review: My little boy managed to buy this expansion without my permission and without having to confirm a password or anything. May be worth updating your security for customers Amazon! Glad it was only £1.99 and not £199. (1 out of 5)
Find My Phone by www.opearlo.com – 4.1 out of 5, 3579 ratings, 829 reviews
Find My Phone allows you to easily call your lost phone from Alexa!
Random review: when Alexa asked for my phone number i got as far as 07840 and Alexa said 07840 is not a UK mobile prefix, please say your mobile number. URM this is the start of my mobile number and i most definatly live in the UK! whats the use of a find my mobile app if it dont even reconise a uk mobile number prefix! Waste of time ???? (1 out of 5)
Hive by Centrica Hive Limited – 3 out of 5, 3083 ratings, 1040 reviews
With this skill you can ask Alexa to control your connected
Random review: Boost has worked for years and was great. now you change the way you ask for it and its broken. once a house full of people gets used to how to talk to Alexa to control a skill it makes no sense to keep changing it so that everyone needs to learn a new way of speaking to it. at least let the old commands keep working, i have better things to do than learning new ways to tell Alexa to boost my heating. (1 out of 5)