Alexa gains named timers and reminders

Amazon has added the ability to set named timers and reminders on Alexa devices. This means you can now have multiple timers, each with a different name by saying something like “Alexa, set a 20 minute rice timer” and “Alexa, set a 7 minute timer for cookies.” You can then ask “Alexa, how much time left on my rice timer” and Alexa will know which of your multiple timers you’re talking about. When the timer goes off, Alexa will tell you the name of the timer by saying “Your rice timer is done.”

In addition to named timers, Alexa now supports named reminders, which are similar to alarms but much more mellow. If you say “Alexa, remind me to take out the trash at 6 pm” you will then hear Alexa say “I’m reminding you, take out the trash” at the designated time. When a reminder goes off, Alexa will sound a soft beep and repeat the reminder sentence exactly twice before stopping on its own. Alexa does not continuously repeat reminders until you stop it, like it does with alarms and timers.

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16 comments
  1. cheryl jones says:

    do you think there is a reason for having such a mellow reminder? I have wanted this from day 1. It is basically useless unless you are in the same room with the tv off. If you have the echo on low volume you really won’t hear it at all. I am hoping this is just an oversight and that the notification volume can be managed within the app like the timers.

    • AFTVnews says:

      Alarms, timers, reminders, and notifications have their own volume setting that is independent of regular volume. You can adjust it from the settings section of the Alexa app by picking a device and going to the “Sounds” option.

      • Cheryl Jones says:

        Not on reminders. I already have that set up for timers and alarms within the app. Reminders only remind twice at the level of the echo.

        • AFTVnews says:

          Sorry about that. I should have checked myself instead of assuming it also applied to reminders.

          • Cheryl Jones says:

            I sent echo team an email about it and they sent a letter saying they would let the team know. I just can’t figure out why the reminders would not be treated like alarms and timers. They either have a reason or it was rushed out before it was ready.

  2. Ed says:

    I too was so excited thst the feature was added but not being able to set the reminder volume basically renders it useless unless you are in the same room when it goes off. I play my music in the background amd tje reminders almost blend in unless you are alert. Accolades for finally providing the ability to name timers and reminders. Looking forward to an update that handles reminder volume separately. Perhaps version 3 will support reoccuring named timers, remi ders and alarms.

  3. Mr. Luddite says:

    I welcome this new functionality, but I want the ability to set a recurring/persistent reminder! I don’t know why they would not have added this at the same time? Seems like an easy fix, I hope they enhance reminders with this feature soon!

    • cheryl jones says:

      Please go into the alexa app and leave feedback. I did and got a stupid letter back but if enough of us bother them then maybe something will change. I am just mystified over their reasoning. I have wanted this ability since i got my echo in dec of 2014. It is almost a slap in the face to dangle this useless ability in front of me.

  4. Ujn Hunter says:

    Not sure if it was my WiFi problems this weekend, but I’ve noticed that when I’ve setup some “Named” timers, and ask “Alexa, how much time left on my timer?” she’ll say that I have no timers set!, she did eventually go off sounding the timer had ended, but I was super worried that she lost the timer somehow. Anyone else have this issue?

    • Ed says:

      My girlfriend has run into this when she set a reminder snd thinks it was a timer vica versa. Look on the alexa ap to see if this is what happened.

  5. John C. says:

    Is it just me, or does there continue to be some confusion about the relationship between Fire TV devices and Alexa?

    I think of my Fire TV box 2nd gen as an Alexa device. I can ask questions of Alexa via my Fire TV voice remote. I can tell Alexa via my voice remote to play music from my Amazon music connection, etc etc. All that works great!

    So when I read this blog post, I was excited to think I’d now be able to set the same kinds of alarms and reminders in the Amazon universe that I’m already accustomed to doing with the Google Home app on my Android smartphones and tablets.

    …Except, AFAICT, NONE of this reminder and alarm capability mentioned in this blog post seems to work on the Fire TV Box 2nd gen, so I’d assume that’s the same for the Fire TV sticks.

    Tried all the various timer/reminder voice commands via my Fire TV voice remote, and got the consistent Alexa response: “….is not supported on this device!!!”

    • cheryl jones says:

      The echo has been able to do alarms and timers since it first came out in 2014. It has never been available on the fire tv. I figured because if your tv was off how would you hear it? Here is the web site that explains how alexa works on different devices. Scroll down to fire tv and you will see that she cannot do timers alarms

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202013680

      • John C says:

        Thanks very much for your above post, Cheryl!!!

        That’s a very useful explanation page from Amazon — one I’d never seen before or even knew existed.

        So now, I know exactly where my Fire TV Box, Fire TV Stick and Fire Tablet stand via Alexa. And unfortunately, that’s pretty much with a lot of un-supported features — at least for the present.

        • cheryl jones says:

          Come on John you have to break down and at least get the dot!

          • John C says:

            Cheryl, already have a Fire TV box, two sticks and a Fire tablet at home. Plus a bunch of non-Amazon streaming hardware. For now, I think Amazon’s got enough of my hardware cash.

            But, the whole Alexa voice control discussion spurred by Amazon and its devices some time ago got me to start using the Alexa voice commands on my Fire TV and Fire tablet to order and play music from my Amazon Music Unlimited account. Just press the Alexa button on the tablet or the voice key on the Fire remote, and say, “Play XXXXX album by XXXXXXX.”

            Likewise, just today, in the same spirit, I set up MS Cortana on a spare Windows 10 laptop I have that’s hooked into a portable stereo, and now can use the combination of Cortana and the MS Groove app to play all the MP3 tracks stored on my laptop via Cortana voice command. “Hey Cortana, play the album XXXXXX.”

            The whole voice command thing is an intriguing, exciting aspect of computing that Amazon has really helped move forward, far more than Apple or anyone else. Nice to have a choice and a bit of competition between Alexa and Cortana. Though I’d guess, far more people are using voice commands via Alexa on Amazon devices than are using Cortana on Win 10 devices, at least right now.

          • cheryl jones says:

            Oh John you are only partially living the Alexa dream. The coolest thing is the hands free aspect. As a matter of fact google- Wozniak echo- and you can find a video of what he thinks of Alexa. He can explain it better than I. The second I think of something i need or have to do i can instantly tell Alexa. If a song pops into my head within 2 seconds I am listening to it and if i am washing dishes I can raise and lower volume.

            People all the time ask why they would want Alexa if they have siri and google on their phones. First, all can enjoy Alexa from child to grandma. But it is that instantaneous control and response that makes it so great.

            You have spent a lot on amazon stuff but the holidays are upon us maybe someone could give you a gift…..

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