Amazon has just pushed a new update to the Alexa app for iOS devices and, in doing so, has revealed several upcoming new Alexa capabilities. In the coming weeks, US Alexa users will be able to trigger location based reminders and Alexa Routines. This will make it possible to, for example, automatically turn on your smart lights as you arrive home. The other new feature coming is email integration that will allow users to check their Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail email hands-free with Alexa.
Location based triggers for Alexa will open up a lot of new possibilities. Alexa will, presumably use the Alexa app and your phones GPS capabilities to determine your location. It’s possible that the upcoming Echo Auto will also be used to determine a customer’s location.
The feature description says customers will be able to “save personalized locations to use with location-based features.” This likely means that customers can give specific locations a label, such as “home” and “work,” so that those locations can easily be referenced with Alexa voice commands. One example given is saying “Alexa, remind me to turn on the dishwasher when I get home.”
The other new feature mentioned in the app update is the ability for Alexa to check email. It seems as though Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail may be the only services initially supported. We’ll have to wait and see if Alexa can simply inform you that a new email exists or if the voice assistant will also be able to read the entire email out to you.