Amazon has added the ability to play music and podcasts as part of Alexa Routines, as it looks to make its smart home schedules even smarter.
Just hours after we penned our guide to using Alexa Routines – and lambasted the inability to add music and audio to your carefully crafted smart home creations – Amazon added the feature. Let’s just all agree they were reading The Ambient.
You can now add music from your preferred streaming service, as well as podcasts and radio stations via the TuneIn skill.
Essential reading: Amazon Alexa essential guide
So why is this significant? Well, Alexa Routines offer one-word control over devices in your smart home. Unlike Groups, which just controls multiple bulbs, plugs and other devices in one go, Routines offers much finer control. It also matches Google Home, which has had music as part of its own Routines feature since it went live in March.
While a Group might offer you the ability to say “Alexa, turn downstairs lights off” to kill all the lamps and fittings, a Routine enables fine control. A Routine could be “Alexa, bedtime” which might turn off the downstairs light group, meanwhile switching on the bedroom lights, dimming them to a cosy 20%, turning the heating off – and now thanks to this update – switch on some relaxing music.
The new Routines are rolling out slowly, so it may take you a few days to see the option within your Alexa app.