Alexa 'Tell me when' offers dynamic reminders for the absent-minded

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If you relying on smart devices to help keep your life organized, Amazon's new Alexa feature 'Tell me when' will quickly prove useful. The feature was added as part of Alexa's December 2020 update, adding the ability to get 'dynamic, event-based reminders' for upcoming moments, including everything from future emails you anticipate getting to reminders for when your favorite show will air.

Alexa already offers a reminders feature, which enables users to set a reminder for something they want to remember in the future. 'Tell me when' isn't so different from this, but arguably quite a bit more useful as it allows users to simply get reminders based on their requests, no other input necessary.

Users can, according to Amazon, do things like instructing Alexa to tell them when they receive an email from a particular sender, then get an alert whenever such an email arrives in their inbox. They could also, for example, ask Alexa to tell them when it's a specific holiday or when a certain show is about to air on TV.

The distinction between 'tell me when' and ordinary reminders is small, but the big difference is that the new offering is proactive in its alerts. You may not know when the next obscure holiday is going to arrive, but if you remember what it's called, you can simply tell the assistant to let you know when it arrives.

In addition to 'Tell me when,' Alexa users can now instruct the assistant to 'delete everything I've said,' eliminating the need to use the Alexa app or private settings page to manage these recordings. Likewise, users can now choose to have Alexa automatically delete their smart home history after a time period ranging from three to 18 months.