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Alexa routines just got 2 great updates


Alexa routines can now kick off when your morning alarm goes off and at sunrise & sunset.

For Alexa routine newbies... routines are great because they let you automatically make something happen (like music turning on) at a specific time every day, upon an Alexa voice command, any time you arrive at or leave a place and, now, when your morning alarm goes off.

Alexa wakes me up every morning

Update #1. Connect your morning routine to your Alexa alarm

Try this morning routine...

As of just a few weeks ago, you can automatically kick off your morning Alexa routine just by dismissing your Alexa alarm.

Don't have a morning Alexa routine yet? You can easily set one up to gradually turn on your bedroom lights, brew your morning coffee (all you need is an Alexa smart plug!) and give you weather, news, and traffic updates for the day. Finally, get yourself out of bed with some morning tunes played by Alexa.


How to set it up...

  1. Create a new Alexa routine (click here to see how)
  2. Tap "When this happens" to choose your routine trigger (click here for helpful screenshots)
  3. Tap "Alarm" (click here for helpful screenshots)
  4. Tap "Next"
  5. Tap "Add action" to set the actions (like the ones above) you want to happen when your alarm goes off
  6. Set an Alexa alarm by saying "Alexa, set alarm for 7am tomorrow" (or "every weekday")
  7. When the alarm goes off, dismiss it by saying "Alexa, stop" to kick off your new routine


Pro Tip

Check out the 6 Best Alexa Routines Right Now for more Alexa routine ideas (you can even use Alexa routines to keep a busy household on schedule!). Setting one up is a lot easier than you might think.
 

Update #2. Sunrise & sunset can now trigger your Alexa routines too

Try this sunset routine...

Create a simple Alexa smart lighting routine that turns on your indoor and outdoor lights when the sun sets and it gets dark outside. Triggering Alexa lighting routines with sunset is great because it means you'll never have to adjust timing of your evening routines again to make sure they kick off as soon as it starts to get dark.


How to set it up...

  1. Create a new Alexa routine (click here to see how)
  2. Tap "When this happens" to choose your routine trigger (click here for helpful screenshots)
  3. Tap "Schedule" (click here for helpful screenshots)
  4. Tap "Sunset"
  5. If there are days of the week when you don't want the routine to happen, de-select those days. Tap "Next" in the upper right corner
  6. Tap "Add action" to set the actions (like turning on your porch light) you want to happen when the sun sets


Pro Tips

Pro Tip #1: You can set a routine to kick off up to 60 minutes before or after sunrise or sunset (say you want your outdoor porch security lights on 15 minutes before sunset just to be safe). When you're doing step #5 above, you'll see a "Time Offset" option that you can easily adjust.

Pro Tip #2: If you haven't already, get started with smart lights! With this guide, anyone can easily set up smart lights and figure out which ones are right for you.

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Interesting posts about Alexa this week


4 Reasons Alexa Is the Classroom Assistant All Teachers Need (VoiceBrew). It's amazing to see how Alexa is used in all kinds of contexts, including the classroom. Check out this post from Instructional Technology Consultant Rebecca Dwenger of #Alexa4Edu to see how bringing Echo speakers into a classroom setting can be a real game changer.

Echo devices 40%+ off right now for Father's Day: 
Alexa Demo Video from Amazon's reMARS Conference (Voicebot.ai). Check out this very cool demo video from last week's reMARS conference showing how Alexa will soon be able to help you book a night out with movie tickets, a dinner reservation and even an Uber -- and all in a single and naturally-flowing conversation.

How Alexa Got Her Personality (Variety). Alexa's developers have been working from the start to give Alexa a distinct personality. Learn how Alexa gets her opinions on food and pets and even a favorite beer (which differs if you ask Alexa in the US or Germany!).

Amazon Announces Alexa Prize Socialbot Competitors (Voicebot.ai). Amazon is sponsoring its third competition to develop a social bot that can hold a 20 minute complex conversation. While it might sound simple, developing a social bot that a person could have a "real" conversation with is a daunting task. The 10 competing universities will face off for a total award purse of $2.5 million.
If you have questions or ideas, I'd love to hear from you. Reply to this email or get in touch at kp@voicebrew.com. Thanks for being a subscriber to VoiceBrew!
Katherine Prescott
Founder, VoiceBrew
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