Published: Sat, June 03, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa now has named reminders and timers

Amazon's digital assistant Alexa now has named reminders and timers

Amazon's very own Alexa, found in Echo devices and in some smartphones already, is one of those and the latest update to its software is a small but pretty important feature. The site gets early info from sources inside the factories that build products like Apple's iPhones and Amazon's Echo speakers, and that info can change until a product actually enters mass production.

According to Amazon, the feature is live in the USA, U.K., and Germany, with more territories to follow.

And Android co-founder Andy Rubin has just revealed his new company, Essential, is also working on a home speaker device as well as a flagship smart phone.

Thankfully the Echo update adds named timers, so you can set a number of different ones simultaneously. For example, you can use two separate timers for doing laundry and then ask Alexa how much time is left for the "washer timer", as opposed to the "dryer timer". And now, a new set of features will help users stay organized at all times. Alexa will even let you know which timer is going off when the time comes. For more immediate reminders, you can just say "Alexa, remind me to mail the electricity bill at 3pm" and, come 3pm that day, the blue ring will light up and the assistant will read out the reason you set.

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The Echo and Alexa also will be getting an update from an unlikely partner.

Reminders can also be set or altered through the alerts and alarms section of the Alexa app.

You can check your list of active timers from within the Alexa app, if you want an overview of everything at once.

Amazon says iCloud Calendar support is live now in three regions: the US, UK, and Germany. Fortunately for Amazon, Echo has years of services, support, development, and public awareness to fall back on - and that may prove decisive in fending off the Apple juggernaut.

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