The greatest thing about Amazon's universally acclaimed Alexa virtual assistant
may well be how often the company adds cool new features and capabilities
to improve both its power and versatility. Some of these are obviously more important than others, and while many smaller updates tend to fly under the radar for the general public, users that might stumble into a freshly released feature will sometimes be pleasantly surprised by what they can do without lifting a finger to make their lives easier.
For instance, the folks over at The Verge
are putting the spotlight today on a handy functionality seemingly rolled out at some point last month
(and last year) in the US. This allows owners of Echo-branded devices, as well as a variety of other Alexa-enabled gadgets, to indirectly set reminders for events they may be interested in by asking their voice assistant to "tell" them "when" said event is scheduled to take place.
You can simply say the magic words "tell me when" X is, and in addition to, well, answering your question with a relevant time and date, Alexa will remember you showed an interest in a specific occurence, alerting you when that's about to go down without any extra effort on your part.
Case in point, let's say you don't know when this year's (delayed) Academy Awards will unfold and you also want to be reminded of the ceremony on the big day. Instead of using two different voice commands, you can rely on this single feature to get both jobs done simultaneously.
If that doesn't impress you much, you might be pleased to hear the feature also supports emails in addition to things like sporting events, TV shows, and public holidays. In other words, if you're not too worried about privacy, you can ask Alexa to "tell" you "when" an important contact sends you an email so you don't have to constantly and manually check your inbox like some sort of a savage.
Naturally, that doesn't quite make this feature life-changing in any meaningful way, but it pretty much goes without saying that you can find a decent use for it from time to time to keep you informed of all the stuff you're interested in.