Your Amazon Alexa device will now work a bit better with your calendar. Here are the details!
Amazon announced a handful of Alexa updates today, specifically a new one that allows you to browse your calendar availability and another that allows you to incorporate your calendar into routines.
Calendar Integration Into Routines
Now you can add your calendar as an action within Routines. For instance, if you already have a routine that gives you the weather, traffic, and your calendar events for the day, now you can have that Routine automatically play for you at a specific time rather than you being required to say the trigger phrase to get things started. You can set your preferred time in place of a trigger phrase in the Alexa app in the Routines section.
The idea here is you don’t have to remember to actually say that trigger phrase anymore. A solid plus for those of us that constantly forget, but will still like those daily updates.
Browse Calendar Availability
This is a new feature I’m personally pretty excited about. Alexa can already tell you what’s on your calendar, but now she’ll be able to tell you when you have some openings.
For instance, if you’re chatting with a coworker about setting up a meeting, you can ask “Alexa, when do I have thirty minutes available on Wednesday?” If you have a pretty packed schedule, you can also ask broader questions, for instance, “Alexa, When do I have free time this week?”
The final update is more for developers than individuals but should lead to some positive Skill updates down the lines. Now businesses are able to remind customers of events. For instance, Kayak can remind you that you have an upcoming flight. It also works with Amazon Blueprints, so you can integrate reminders into skills you’ve built yourself as well.