- Amazon’s Echo smart speakers boast a version of “Jeopardy” that’s as close to the real game show as you can get from the comfort of your own home.
- On Tuesday night, Amazon upgraded “Jeopardy” for Amazon Prime subscribers with an additional six daily questions. If you’re not a Prime member, you can subscribe to “Jeopardy” for $US1.99 and get those bonus clues.
- The move is an important test for how Amazon and developers will make money from Alexa “skills,” or apps.
For me, though, there is one killer app for the Amazon Echo that stands above all others: “Jeopardy,” the trivia blood sport of champions and kings. Just ask Amazon’s Alexa to play Jeopardy, and you’ll get six trivia questions per day, complete with the iconic game show’s music and sound and a voiceover from host Alex Trebek — all for free.
On Tuesday night, Amazon quietly made Jeopardy even better, at least for paying customers. Now if you subscribe to Amazon’s Prime service, you’ll get an extra six questions a day, for a total of 12 daily. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you can upgrade your “Jeopardy” experience to get those additional six daily questions for $US1.99 per month.
And if you miss your daily ration of “Jeopardy” clues, you can now make up for it later. Amazon Prime members and subscribers to the “Jeopardy” subscribers can play on subsequent days the clues from any days of the week they missed. That’s the first time the app has offered that feature.
The new and improved “Jeopardy” is available now on every Amazon Echo device, from the $US50 Dot, all the way up to the $US229 Show.
An important test
Despite the additional questions, the core game hasn’t changed. Alexa gives you a clue, and you answer out loud in the form of a question. It’s as close as you can get to the real “Jeopardy,” and because it’s all voice-based, you can play while doing the dishes or folding laundry. Let me question that answer — what is the best?
The “Jeopardy” upgrade actually is something of a test of a possible business model for developers who build apps for Alexa. Currently all Alexa apps, or “skills,” are free to users, something that will have to change, if Amazon wants to attract developers away from rivals such as Google Home.
The retail giant has already experimented with some ways for developers to make money off their Alexa apps, but hasn’t really settled on a business model. Using a popular app like “Jeopardy” to test a subscription-based model may give an indication into the direction Amazon’s heading.
A fun perk for Prime members
The upgraded “Jeopardy” also represents yet another perk for Prime subscribers, who already pay $US99 per year for benefits including discounted shipping and access to Amazon’s streaming video service.
If you’re a true “Jeopardy” fan, I’d recommend playing the game on the Echo Show. The device’s screen shows each clue like it appears on the show — as white text on a blue background.
What is perfect?