Alexa gets Calendar availability search and Routines integration

Amazon has rolled out new features for Alexa and Alexa for Business, enabling their users to find free time on their calendar and add their calendars as an action in Routines. As well, Amazon has launched its Reminders API for developers. With this, devs can help their customers get reminders for things like upcoming sports games and trips.

Some early Alexa users had complained about the personal assistant's relatively lackluster calendar support, but Amazon has slowly changed that over time. Users can access certain calendars using Alexa, and thanks to this most recent update, they can also use it to find free time in their schedule or hear the day's events as part of a Routine.

The first of the two new features, calendar availability browsing, helps users figure out when they have some free time. "Alexa, when do I have free time this weekend?" is one given example, as is, "When do I have thirty minutes available on Tuesday?"

Alexa will automatically scan the calendar and reveal which blocks of time are open. As well, Alexa users who take advantage of the Routines feature are able to add calendars as one of the Routine's actions. The integration supports the day's calendar, the next day's calendar, or the next scheduled event.

Amazon explains that by setting this up, the user is able to say their Routine phrase, such as "Alexa, good morning," to hear not only their existing data, such as the traffic and news, but also whatever is on their calendar for the day. The Reminders API, meanwhile, will enable developers to provide reminders to their users, which could include everything from an alert for an upcoming flight to a reminder when a favorite TV show is about to come on.