Staying Productive with Your Amazon Echo
The Alexa app comes with a grocery list and a to do list. These are fine, and it is cool to simply say “Alexa, add eggs to the grocery list” and have it happen immediately. Likewise, you can add things to the “To Do List.”
One of my favorite items that I use to keep track of tasks is todoist. You can find it at todoist.com I love it. It's free, and if you want the paid features, is a little over $2 a month.
I wanted to tie Alexa into Todoist. That lead me to ifttt.com which stands for “If This Then That.” What this free service allowed me to do is say, “If I add a to do item in Alexa, then add the task to todoist in this category. I went through and added the Applet (what you call a IFTT process) and loved it.
I added the todoist app to my phone and went in to see what to do items I had on the Alexa app, and thats when I saw if you have to Todoist app installed you can have Alexa use Todoist as the default list.
For me, I like the ifttt option as it allowed me to put tasks on a project (category) that I choose. With Alexa controlling the todoist option, it creates the tasks in the general inbox and a “Alexa shopping list” option.
Amazon Echo / Alexa News
You can now link calendars from Microsoft Outlook.com to Alexa. If the account address for your web calendar ends with @outlook.com, @hotmail.com, or @live.com, go to Settings in your Alexa App to link it to Alexa. Once you're set up, just say:
CIRP estimates that among US Amazon customers, awareness of Amazon Echo increased to 82% as of December 31, 2016. It increased from 47% as of the same time one year ago (at December 31, 2015) and from 20% as of March 31, 2015, the first full quarter following its introduction. CIRP estimates that approximately 8.2 million US Amazon customers own an Amazon Echo device, including the original Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Tap. Based on the Echo ownership estimate, we also estimate Amazon sold approximately 3.1 million Echo devices in the US in the October-December 2016 period. source
Alexa Coming Out of the Home
The Ford Motor Company announced a two-phased approach to integrating Amazon Alexa into its 2017 line of vehicles.
The first gives electric Ford vehicle owners the ability to connect to their cars from the comfort of their homes through Alexa devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Amazon Tap. Starting today, Ford electric car drivers can ask the Ford skill to start and stop the engine, lock and unlock doors, check fuel range and charge status, obtain vehicle mileage summary, and check vehicle location with street name and drive time home just by using their voice.
Inside the home, interactions with Alexa could include:
- User: “Alexa, ask Ford to start my car with PIN 5769.”
- Alexa: “The start command has been sent to your car.”
Alexa In the Car
The second phase, which starts this spring, enables Ford drivers with SYNC 3 AppLink to ask Alexa to search and transfer destinations to navigation, resume audiobooks, request news, add items to Amazon shopping list, and more—all from their car.
For example, drivers will be able to tap the voice recognition button on the steering wheel in the car to ask Alexa to find the nearest Italian restaurant. Alexa will show the closest options, and once the driver picks the destination, transfer the address to the SYNC 3 navigation system without the driver ever having to take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel.
With the in-car Alexa Voice Service integration, drivers can also command smart home features such as lighting, security systems, garage doors, and more from the comfort of their driver’s seat.