Alexa Routines

Alexa Routines Add Alternative Phrase Triggers

Amazon has augmented Alexa routines with a more open approach to activation commands. Users creating custom routines initiated by a specific phrase can now add additional terms to begin the routine.

Flexible Talk

Alexa routines are a set of interrelated actions taken by the voice assistant and connected smart devices all triggered by device owners can set up routines on the Alexa app to play out a series of actions based on a voice command, alarm or another trigger. Though their scope has grown enormously, each custom routine was connected to a single activation command. Now, people creating custom routines can connect them to as many as seven phrases. For instance, saying “Alexa, good morning,” “Alexa, the sun’s up,” or “Alexa, breakfast time,” could all start a regular set of activities for Alexa when the user wakes up. The relatively small extent of the upgrade may be why Amazon hasn’t made a big deal about it, but it’s still the kind of friction reducer that makes people more likely to want to use Alexa in more circumstances.

Routine Extras

Routines have been a central element for Amazon’s voice assistant, with new features and expanded options added regularly. Alexa routines launched as specific sets of actions created by Amazon. Routines extended to third-party skills about a year after their initial launch. The ability to customize the commands and write out additions independently widened the potential operations enormously last year, with users now able to edit the actions Alexa takes at a programmatic level. The ability to share routines with friends further served to entice users to test the routines out. Personalized and adaptable routines did lack the flexibility in how they were activated until now, however.


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