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article imageAmazon's Alexa gets smarter with new custom lists

By James Walker     Oct 18, 2017 in Technology
Amazon has announced it's improving one of Alexa's most popular features by adding support for custom lists. Alexa currently helps you manage your to-do list and shopping list. The assistant can now also keep track of other items you need to remember.
The feature's already rolling out across the Alexa ecosystem, TechCrunch reports. It offers a simpler way to manage to-do lists using voice control, without relying on a third-party app. Lists you make with Alexa will be synchronised in the cloud, accessible either through the assistant or its companion mobile app.
To create a new list, you have to tell Alexa to "create a list." The assistant will prompt you to say a name for the list. After that, Alexa will save it and you'll be able to start adding items to it. Instead of telling Alexa to add something to your To-Do list, you'll need to say the name of your new custom list.
The lists you create with the feature exist independently of your regular To-Do list and Shopping list. They're also kept separate from your lists on Amazon's website, allowing you to use Alexa like a regular listing app. Over time, Amazon could expand Alexa with proactive capabilities based on items in your lists but this isn't yet supported.
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The feature has been a top user request for some time. Although Alexa boasts over ten thousand different third-party skills, the assistant's still got some glaring holes in its basic functionality. Adding custom lists resolves one of the biggest user complaints and gives Alexa equal listing capabilities to its digital assistant rivals.
Amazon's rapidly expanding Alexa as it aims to convince home users that voice control is the future of technology. It recently launched a family of new Echo devices that put Alexa at the centre of the connected home. These include the option of chaining multiple actions into a single voice command, simplifying how you interact with the assistant.
While it's a small feature on its own, the expanded listing support continues Amazon's focus on lowering the barriers between you and Alexa. This could be crucial to the long-term success of digital assistants. Amazon still needs to demonstrate that this new generation of automated services will be more useful than previous tech based on voice control. Letting you create limitless lists is one way Alexa can improve as your personal assistant.
More about Amazon, Alexa, digital assistants, voice control, future tech
 
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