In 2018, the big feature that smart assistants began rolling out where 'routines'. Basically the ability for you to give the assistant a command, and it'll do a slew of things for you. For example, in the morning, you could say something like "Alexa, good morning" and Alexa would turn on the lights, tell you the weather, read the latest news headlines and even start your morning coffee. Now this feature is available for Amazon Alexa (as well as Google Assistant). But how exactly do you enable them, and how can you create your own? It's pretty simple, so let's walk you through it.
To get started, you'll obviously need to download the Amazon Alexa app onto your smartphone and sign in. Of course, if you are using Alexa, then you likely have that app already installed. From there, you'll want to swipe in from the left side of the app. In that menu, you'll see "Routines" about half way down. Select "Routines" and you'll see a sample Routine that Amazon has created. This sample Routine is "Alexa, Start My Day" which gives you three actions: Report Weather, Report Traffic, and Play the news from your flash briefing. You can also add more actions here, and choose which Echo device will answer. The best bet here is to leave on "The device you speak to".
If you want to create your own routine, simply tap the "+" in the corner or the big button at the top. Alexa will ask you when you want this routine to happen. You can select to either have it happen you when you say the command, or at a specific time – maybe at 8AM in the morning during the week. If you choose to use the command option, you'll then be taken to a page to enter a phrase. For a morning routine, "Alexa, Good Morning" would be a great option. Now you're off to selecting actions for that command. You can choose from a number of different actions, including allowing Alexa to say something back like "Good morning", or start playing music, read news from your flash briefing, read the current weather and control your smart home. There's really no limit to the number of actions you can add, so you can really go crazy here. After you have added all of your routines, select "Create" and you're all set. Now it may take a minute or two for this routine to be available on all of your Echo devices, but it shouldn't take too long.
Routines is a very powerful feature for Amazon Alexa, allowing you to really automate all sorts of things. For example, if you ask Alexa to do a bunch of things when you wake up or when you go to bed, this would be a great way to automate all of that by giving it just one command. Of course, the possibilities with routines is really endless, as there are a ton of different things that you can do here. Especially if you have a number of smart home products in your home.