Smart assistants and smart speakers have introduced new ways of making our busy lives less frantic but, until recently, they have been more about single-action commands. Routines, scenes, and other similar features have started rolling out to truly offer some automation, bundling related actions together for a specific theme or time. These are definitely useful but only if you actually know how to create them in the first place. Amazon is helping remove the guesswork by making it dead easy to share Alexa Routines around.
Depending on how many smart appliances or online services you have, Alexa Routines can be an easy and fun way to bunch up tasks together under a single command. A “Wake Up” routine, for example, could roll up the blinds, start the coffee maker, tell you your schedule for the day, and then play your favorite morning tunes. “Movie Time”, on the other hand, could dim the lights and start up Amazon Prime Video on your Fire TV connected TV.
Routines might be fun to make for those who dig this kind of digital lifestyle but remains an esoteric art for others. Giving the ability to share ready-made routines goes a long way in making Alexa and, consequently, Amazon’s Echo devices more approachable to those just starting out in this new home automation scene.
Those who want to share Routines can simply select one from their Alexa app and generate a URL that can be shared via email, messaging, or even on social media. Recipients can then simply click or tap on the link to enable the skill, going through a step-by-step setup process that will allow them to customize the routine for their own smart home setup.
It’s a small feature that can go a long way in making Alexa Routines more popular. It could even lead the way to building a community of home automators sharing and pooling Routines in a public database that can help give Amazon the upper hand. At least until Google finally decides to do likewise for Google Assistant.