Alexa can now provide traffic updates and severe weather alerts

NBA and election highlights round out the new set of skills.

Depending on where you live, traffic can be unpredictable, making it yet another thing to check while getting ready for work. Alexa should make planning your commute a bit easier with a new voice control skill. Just ask Alexa about your commute, traffic conditions or directions. You can also have that information sent to your phone. A notification will appear on your device -- tap that and your preferred map app will open with the route guidance. Google Assistant has done this for a while, but Amazon customers will likely enjoy the added convenience.

Severe weather can be another problem that sidelines your plans or your commute. By saying, "Alexa, tell me when there's a severe weather alert," you'll be notified in the case of particularly choppy storms.

If you missed an NBA game, you can now catch the highlights on any Alexa-enabled device with a screen. You can either specify which team's highlights you want to see, or you can ask Alexa to "play the NBA highlights" to see all noteworthy basketball clips.

2020 US presidential election news has been coming in at a fast pace, making it somewhat difficult to stay up-to-date. You can ask Alexa for an election update to hear the latest polling info, candidate positions and debate recaps.

With these new skills -- particularly the traffic and weather ones -- Alexa could become an even more convenient way to get through your day. The NBA and election news can also help get you up to speed quickly. It's up to the public if that convenience is worth the risk of less privacy.