You can get Amazon Alexa push notifications on weather, package delivery, more

Amazon Echo Spot Review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

In late 2017, Amazon opened up push notifications for Alexa app developers, which means as long as people follow the guidelines, all kinds of apps can add push notifications to your Alexa-enabled speaker. This allows Alexa users to set push notifications for a growing number of Alexa skills and native abilities, so that Alexa can speak up on your device and give you important updates as you want them. Just what can Alexa do with these notifications? Here’s a list.

Even if you don’t see a capability on the list, it’s worth checking your Alexa skills to see if you can enable a voice alert. Fortunately, third party notifications won’t suddenly turn on by themselves. If you miss any enabled notifications, you can ask Alexa to review your recent notifications to make sure you caught everything.

Severe weather alerts

Apps like Accuweather can provide you with weather warnings if there’s a particular alert for your area like high windows, flooding, and so on. You can also ask Alexa “What’s the weather like?” at any time to get a rundown of the temperature, forecast for the day, and any ongoing alerts. Make sure the location is set to your current town.

Plane flights and times

Apps such as Kayak can offer information on flights and flight times, as well as when planes have landed. This allows you to keep track of loved ones in the sky, plan for pickups at the airport, and many other useful things.

top tech stories 09 01 2017 weekly rewind 9 1 17 dominos

Pizza updates

What would the world be like if we couldn’t find out the latest on our pizza order? One of the first third-party apps to enable notifications was, of course, Domino’s. They now allow customers in the United States to get notifications about their pizza orders. You can now be apprised of when the pizza is cooking and when it’s about to be delivered.

Traffic information

Alexa also provides a native traffic information notification option that you can add to your general Alexa morning update, or ask about at any time. Currently, this is one of Alexa’s weakest offerings, since Alexa’s sources of traffic information appears to be pretty limited, so it’s not much use outside urban areas.

alexa kitchen skills amazon echo

Locations of loved ones

The app Life360 provides updates on your loved ones, giving you notifications on where they are based on who you are tracking. This means you can set up the app to automatically notify you when someone with a tracker gets to school, leaves work, and so on. Like Domino’s, this is basically the same updates the app provides on its own, but set up as a voice notification via Alexa instead.

Breaking news

Alexa will automatically search for news headlines and provide them to you on demand (a feature that can be customized with various skills for different types of news). However, specific apps like The Washington Post offer the ability to enable automatic notifications. When an important piece of breaking news comes up on the skill, Alexa will tell you about it. This is one of those notifications that you’ll either love or hate, depending on how closely you follow the news.

amazon echo alexa cooking

Package shipments

Order something through Amazon, and Alexa will notify you when your package has shipped, so you can know when to expect it. You can also ask for additional updates on where the package is and if it’s out for delivery. This is especially useful for Prime users, who can expect many packages within two days but may want more specific information for important shipments.

Game scores

Currently, sports-oriented skills rarely push notifications that prompt Alexa to speak on her own, but they do provide a wealth of information and updates on demand. You can search for skills to get updates on scores, sports news for your team, upcoming game days, injuries, fantasy league stats, and a lot more.

hiveypie

Shopping list items

If you’ve forgotten what was added to a recent shopping list, just ask Alexa, and she’ll give you an update on all your shopping list items. Note that Alexa can now distinguish between different voices as well, which may cause her to create multiple shopping lists for different people. This could create some confusion if it happens unexpectedly.

Your own reminders

You can also program Alexa to give you automatic reminders that you can set yourself.

These reminders are handy when you want Alexa to tell you about specific tasks that you may otherwise forget. You can specify the times that Alexa gives you the reminders, and make them re-occuring if necessary.

Smart Home

Champagne-colored fridges? Talking toilets? All the appliance trends in 2019

Ever wished you had Amazon Alexa in your bathroom or a brightly colored appliance? The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) starts today, and here are some of the trends we expect to see at the show and beyond.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Smart Home

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which one is better for you?

What happens when you compare the Google Home vs the Amazon Echo? Both smart speakers have good qualities, but what happens when you compare they're features side-by-side? We think one of these smart gadgets wins over the other.
Smart Home

What exactly is Alexa? Where does she come from? And how does she work?

While "Alexa" has become synonymous with products like the Amazon Echo, you can't actually go out and buy an "Alexa." So what is Alexa? How does she work? Here's everything you need to know about Amazon's virtual assistant.
Smart Home

Miele stuns KBIS 2019 with wireless probe, self-descaling java pot, and more

Miele rocked KBIS 2019 with waves of new appliances and features. The annual Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show is all about product launches and Miele's appliance reveal was like New York Fashion Week with a single designer.
Smart Home

Amazon’s wall clock is back on the market after Bluetooth snafus

Amazon's Alexa-enabled Wall Clock was a minor disaster when it was finally released in December because of widespread Bluetooth connectivity challenges. After some tweaks, it's now back on sale for $30.
Smart Home

The Nest Secure included a microphone no one knew about — except Google

The Nest Secure home security system has had a microphone this entire time that no one knew about, except Google. The company claims the mic was never turned on, but customers are outraged.
Mobile

From folding phones to 5G -- here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked

Samsung's Galaxy Unpacked event treated us to a real parade of technological excellence, from folding phones to new fitness wearables. Here's everything we saw at Galaxy Unpacked on February 20.
Smart Home

Leviton’s Wi-Fi Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers give your home a brain

Is your home ready for a brain transplant? Adding individual smart plugs is quick, easy, and inexpensive, but the benefits are limited to one plug at a time. Leviton's Load Center and Smart Circuit Breakers can give your home a brain.
Smart Home

GE Appliances shows off wall oven with built-in air fryer, food dehydrator

GE Appliances is taking the air fryer trend to its logical conclusion and adding one to a wall oven. The company's new oven, on display at this year's Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, also includes a food dehydrator.
Home Theater

Reasons not to mount a TV over your fireplace (and other helpful tips)

Mounting a TV above your fireplace may be popular and it might even seem appealing, but we have some concerns. We've got a list of reasons why placing your digital picture machine over a fire should be avoided, if at all possible.
Smart Home

Colored fridges are back, baby! GE’s new appliances revive the 1950s trend

GE Appliances is coloring us surprised at KBIS 2019 by introducing new hues for its signature Cafe line of smart home appliances including four new hues launching this fall to complement its black and white options.
Smart Home

Stainless steel is so last year. In 2019, it’s all about colorful appliances

For the past couple of decades, the color of choice for appliances has been stainless steel. Now, makers are introducing ovens, fridges, and dishwashers in vibrant hues to give customers a more customized, refined look in the kitchen.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo Dot vs. Echo Dot Kids Edition: What’s the difference?

The Echo Dot Kids Edition combines a free year subscription to FreeTime Unlimited with a two-year, worry-free warranty. But is the Kids Edition really all that much different than the regular Echo Dot?