Alexa Routines has proved to be a popular feature since launching last year for Amazon Echo devices, and now it's getting better thanks to a new update that brings music streaming. For those unfamiliar with this feature, Alexa Routines allows Echo owners to utter a single voice command and have the smart speaker perform a number of tasks, previously set as part of a routine. For instance, users could set a "Good night" routine, which could have their Alexa-powered device turn off the lights, adjust the thermostat, and so on. Users can set different commands for different routines, based on the time of day, mood, place, or preferences, and trigger each sequence of actions with a voice command.
Amazon is now looking to improve its Routines by adding music streaming into the mix, allowing users to include various playlists or artists into their routines. For a workout routine, for instance, it could play a certain type of music to give users more energy and boost their mood. For a nighttime routine, it could play soothing music or nature sounds for a good night sleep. Alexa currently supports a number of streaming services, including Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, Deezer, Saavn, and TuneIn. Users simply have to choose an artist, album, station, or playlist from one of these services, and add it to their preferred routine. From there on, the command for that routine will trigger all tasks, including music streaming.
Moreover, some of these services also support podcasts or radio shows, so depending on the preferred service, users could also add more than just music to their routines. Google's own digital assistant, simply called Google Assistant, was already able to stream music, radio, and podcasts, so Amazon is catching up in this department. This should make Routines notably more popular among Echo users, and Amazon is expected to add more improvements in the future. For instance, Alexa is already capable of reading books to users from their Audible library, but users have no option at the time to add this to their Alexa Routines. Amazon will likely integrate Audible into its Routines later on, but it has not offered any details in this regard just yet.