Amazon’s Alexa simply grew to become a bit extra helpful due to the addition of recent options aimed toward commuters, climate watchers, and basketball followers. They construct on earlier commute-, weather-, and sport-related Alexa providers launched all through the previous 12 months, and level to Amazon’s bid for dominance within the rising voice-enabled units market.

Now you’ll be able to ask Alexa to ship details about your commute, visitors circumstances, or instructions to a vacation spot on to your cellphone. Simply say “Alexa, how is the traffic to the airport?” inside earshot of any Alexa-enabled machine. Once Alexa provides you the requested replace, you’ll be able to then say “Alexa, send that to my phone,” at which level Alexa will affirm and ship a tappable notification to your cellphone that may begin route steerage inside your default maps app.

It’s price declaring that Google Assistant on Google Home may already ship info to telephones, together with instructions, visitors info, and sports activities standings. Alexa’s characteristic would seem to place the 2 assistants roughly on a par in that regard.

In considerably associated information, Alexa can now proactively notify you when there’s extreme climate. Say “Alexa, tell me when there’s a severe weather alert” and Alexa will warn you when there’s an area extreme climate warning. This provides to the small however rising record of proactive notifications Alexa actively helps, akin to notifications for when artists you comply with drop a brand new album or single, updates on buying and information, and notifications from choose third-party abilities (like these from the Washington Post, AccuWeather, and Life360).

Lastly, you’re now capable of watch video highlights from NBA video games on any Alexa-enabled machine with a display. Say “Alexa, play the Lakers highlights” to entry video highlights from the crew’s most up-to-date sport or ask “Alexa, play the NBA highlights” to see all the newest NBA highlights. It’s an extension of the present partnership between Amazon and NBA, which in 2018 noticed Amazon start providing stay video games from NBA League Pass as a part of its Prime Video Channels service.

Alexa final month gained the flexibility so as to add gadgets to buying lists by barcode — the Echo Show 5 and Echo Show eight can scan the barcodes of widespread grocery gadgets so as to add to the voice assistant’s built-in record. As of late January 2020, Alexa may also set timers and alarms for a particular machine utilizing voice. For instance, now you can say to any machine “Alexa, set an alarm for 6 a.m. on my bedroom Echo” or “Alexa, set a five-minute timer on Kitchen Echo.”