More important, just like the early iPhone, Amazon has managed to turn the Echo into the center of a new ecosystem. Developers are flocking to create voice- controlled apps for the device, or skills, as Amazon calls them. There are now more than 300 skills for the Echo, from the trivial — there is one to make Alexa produce rude body sounds on command — to the pretty handy. It can tell you transit schedules, start a seven-minute workout. read recipes, do math and conversions, and walk you through adventure games, among other possibilities.
Makers of digital home devices like Nest are also rushing to make their products compatible with the Echo. Alexa can now control your Internet—connected lights, home thermostats and a variety of other devices. Hardware makers can also add Alexa’s brain into their own devices, so soon you won’t need an Echo to consult with Alexa — you could find it in your toaster, your refrigerator or your car.
Amazon recently introduced the new Echo Dot, the smaller version of the Echo. But you can only buy it through voice commands on an existing Amazon Echo unit or through Amazon's Fire TV platform