Amazon today has rolled out a major update to its Alexa-enabled devices. Starting today, Alexa users can now access new features including location-based routines and reminders, timer enhancements, app notifications, email support, and more. These features were originally announced back in September, but are now making their way to users.
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As reported by TechCrunch, Alexa support for location means that you can now create routines and reminders that trigger based on your whereabouts. For instance, you could say, “Alexa, remind me to feed the dogs when I get home.” Then, when you arrive home, based on the location of your phone, Alexa will voice the reminder to you.
Another possibility is something like, “Alexa, remind me to print the report when I get to the office.” In this instance, if you don’t have an Alexa-enabled device at your office, the Alexa app on your phone will send you a push notification with the reminder.
As for location-based routines, they can now be triggered based on your arrival or departure of a location. For instance, your “after work” routine could immediately begin when you arrive at home. Locations, such as work and home, can be saved in the Alexa app for use in routines and reminders.
In addition to the new location capabilities, routines are adding several other new features. First, you can now add “wait actions” to routines. This means your “good morning” routine could immediately turn on the lights, but wait 20 minutes before playing the news or music. Routines can also now stop audio from playing and enable Alexa’s Do Not Disturb functionality.
Lastly, routines can now integrate with push notifications and Announcements. For example, your “Dinner Time” routine could send an Announcement to other users that dinner is ready. Additionally, push notification support means that a routine can send a notification, such as “I’m on the way home” to another user.
Elsewhere, timer support is being updated with the options to add and remove time. Further, location support is being added to Alexa queries such as “Alexa, where is the nearest Starbucks?” This means your Alexa device will automatically search around your current location for its answer.
Last but not least, Alexa has added support for email. With this, you can ask your Alexa device to read your latest emails by simply saying, “Alexa, check my email” or “Alexa, do I have any emails from Zac?”
All of these new features are rolling out today in the United States, but Amazon notes the rollout process will take several weeks. These enhancements come ahead of Apple Music support coming to Alexa later this month. Download the Alexa app on the App Store for free.
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