Amazon has announced that Amazon Alexa users can now add music, podcasts and live radio into their Alexa Routines.
First launched back in 2017, Routines are a way to get your smart assistant to accomplish multiple tasks with a single command – say “Alexa, I’m home” for example, and you could have your lights, heating and TV switched on in one fell swoop. Now, though, you could add whale sounds from Spotify to that Routine for those particularly stressful days.
Your Routines can include music from a specific artist, album, playlist or radio station and supported services currently include Amazon Music, Spotify, Deezer, TuneIn and Pandora. According to Amazon you can also create a volume action to control how quiet or loud the audio output will be.
These more well-rounded Routines appear to be part of a concentrated effort on Amazon’s part to make Alexa a more personable assistant that’s useful beyond single commands and actually helps you in your daily routine. Alongside these music controls you can also use Routines to get weather, news and traffic reports, control your smart home and have Alexa chime in with a phrase like “welcome home.”
Conveniently, it’s also possible to schedule these Routines so if you’d like to wake up on a weekend morning with your favourite podcast playing while your smart coffee maker starts brewing you can.
Despite the fact that Alexa was able to use Routines before Google Assistant, it’s worth noting that music integration is already available in Google Routines. Google Assistant Routines can also support audiobooks and while there’s no Audible support for Alexa Routines just yet, we imagine that’ll be in the works too if Amazon wants to be on even footing with its rival.
You’ll find the ability to customize your Routines with music in the Amazon Alexa iOS and Android app as it rolls out over the next day or so.