Have you recently purchased an Alexa-equipped device and are still a beginner but have you heard that you can create Alexa routines that allow you to make your home smart thanks to home automation? That’s it! You can, for example, with a simple voice command command a light bulb or a group of lights or even program an alarm that informs you about the events of the day and the weather. Writing Alexa routines allows you to make the most of an echo device and you have virtually no limits thanks to the integration with IFTTT. In practice, Alexa routines are a very powerful tool that will allow you to perform one or more actions when a certain event occurs.
If you spend only 5 minutes of your life reading this article, I will show you, without too much unnecessary chatter, how to create Alexa routines directly from your smartphone in a few minutes.
- Create Alexa Routines
- How Alexa Routines Work
- Write Alexa routines
Create Alexa Routines
How Alexa Routines Work
Before seeing how to write Alexa routines it is good to understand how Alexa routines work, i.e. understand their logic.
Basically, the management of Alexa routines includes 2 fundamental components, namely event and action ; in practice, one or more actions correspond to a given event. To give an example: when the main light is turned off (event), turn on the night light (action).
The event can be a voice command, or even a predefined time or a particular circumstance detected by smart devices. Actions can be, as you will see later, of many different types.
So, to summarize how Alexa routines work, it is enough to understand that procedures are created that trigger one or more actions at a particular event.
Write Alexa routines
Now that you know how Alexa routines work you are ready to write Alexa routines. As I had anticipated, creating Alexa Routine means specifying the event that will trigger the routine and the actions that the Alexa voice assistant will have to perform.
To write Alexa routines you must use the Alexa app from your smartphone. So first open the Alexa app and press the button at the bottom right to open the settings menu where you will have to select the Routine item .
A screen will open with the list of the routines already present and to create Alexa routines you will have to press the button at the top right with the + symbol.
At this point you are ready to create Alexa Routines, what you will have to do and which I will explain shortly in practice is Assign a name to the routine, specify the triggering event of the routine, Specify the actions that the voice assistant will have to perform.
First, press the + key next to the writing Enter the routine name and write the name you want to assign to the new routine; you can use any name you want for the routine, there are no special rules. Once done, click on Next to return to the previous screen.
Now you have to specify the event that will trigger the routine and to do this press the + button next to the word When this happens .
You can choose 4 different types of trigger events. The Voice event to set a voice command as a triggering event (for example by saying “open door” to open the front door). The Smart Home event, on the other hand, must be used to set the occurrence of a condition of a home automation device associated with alexa as a triggering event (for example, if a sensor detects an open window, send a voice message). The Program event is used to set a given time as an event which can be a specific time or geolocation (at sunset, at sunrise), you can also set whether to repeat the action and the days in which to repeat it (for example all weekdays at sunset turn on the salon light). Finally the eventAlarm to make the trigger event be an alarm set on an Alexa device.
Then select the type of event from the window (Voice, Program, Smart home or Alarm clock) and on the next screen set the parameters for the event; once done you will automatically return to the previous screen.
We are almost there, to finish creating Alexa Routines now you have to enter all the actions you want Alexa to do when the event occurs. For each action you will have to press on the writing Add an action and select the type of action.
You have many different types of actions that you can use and in particular you can choose between:
- Alexa says : it is used to make Alexa say a particular phrase
- Wait: Set a wait interval. It can be useful for example to turn on a light bulb, wait 2 minutes and then turn it off when the night enters a dark room
- Calendar: Alexa will read your appointments
- Smart Home: make a home automation device connected to Alexa perform an action (for example if the temperature rises above 25 degrees then turn on the air conditioner)
- Date and time: reads the date and time
- IFTTT:integration with the IFTTT platform that will allow you to create advanced routines (for example when I am close to home open the garage gate)
- Device Settings : allows you to change some parameters of your echo device (for example if it is night then lower the echo volume)
- Messages : allows you to send notifications and messages
- Weather : Read the current weather conditions of your location
- Music : plays music (you can set a playlist, a singer or a genre of music etc.) the music is played through the Amazon Music service
- Skill : use a particular Alexa skill
- Sounds : play a sound (there are some predefined sounds)
- Traffic : Shows traffic information for your city
Choose the action and specify the parameters. you can add as many actions as you want. keep in mind that the actions will be performed in the order shown but you can move one action before or after another by simply dragging it up or down. Once done press on Done and you will finally have finished Creating Alexa Routines.
Writing Alexa routines allows you to perform many automatisms but if you want to expand the functionality of your Amazon voice assistant even more then I suggest you learn how to use Blueprint too, which allows you to write skills for Alexa in a few simple steps (read this guide).