Hope everyone has a great Easter. There isn’t a lot to report this week. Alexa is still doing some neat ‘tricks’ almost 3 years into her life. I mentioned this before, but I love it when a piece of technology I own continues to evolve instead of me having to purchase the ‘latest and greatest’ hardware. If only cars, washing machines and houses were this way!
Anyway, if you look in your Amazon app under routines, there is a new function called ‘volume’. May not seem like much, but think about the last time you issued a volume command, then were ‘surprised’ when the next time you talked to her the volume was too high or low for that situation. Now the volume of each routine can be set per routine. I am thinking of doing a progressive alarm…Start at 10 and have her say something, then 20 to say something else, then 30 and so on…my lights do a progressive turn on…why not the volume?
In addition, along with the volume you can also include music as a part of your routines. With the addition of the volume piece above, that makes a lot of sense and will allow for some VERY creative routines to be done. All of this, for the most part, replaces the functionality of one of the first apps I delivered (and was published by SmartThings)…the Talking Alarm Clock. While this is still relevant for those without Alexa devices, in my household I have basically depreciated the need to have Sonos’ in each room as there is now an Alexa in each one!
Finally on Amazon news, has anyone tried this: https://www.pcmag.com/news/360261/amazon-alexa-is-now-your-home-intercom This is a bit different than the speaker to speaker intercom, but kind of cool in its own respect. I love it when Alexa adds features that I don’t have to in Ask Alexa!
Speaking of Ask Alexa, I still continue to plug away at the next version. Nothing substantial to report; I have been helping some folks with installations and finding areas where the documentation can be improved. And, am taking some time this weekend with Adrian(WebCoRE) to make sure his app is fully compatible with Ask Alexa. This has come up a couple times and will be important in the future for these two apps to have tight integration. Finally, I added a ‘repeat’ feature…when I was doing something the other day with Alexa I mis heard her and said “I wish Alexa could repeat that answer”…and she DID. So I decided to add that to Ask Alexa. So, coming soon……