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How to add a Flash Briefing to Alexa

Do you find yourself asking Alexa for the news and weather consistently? Rather than asking Alexa multiple times to play several news sources or obtain the weather, you can use the Flash Briefing feature, allowing you to issue a single command for all your typical news and weather requests. Follow our guide to learn more about how to add a Flash Briefing to your Alexa device, and use it to get your day started in the morning.

Did you just pick up an Alexa device? Be sure to also check out our list of the best commands to get you started, as well as our top tips and tricks for Alexa.

Adding content to your Flash Briefing

Amazon Echo Input Portable buttons

To begin, add content to the Flash Briefing setting in the Alexa app, which you can download on your iOS or Android device. Once you set up the Alexa app and sign in, you can choose which services Alexa reads aloud when you initiate your Flash Briefing, and in what order. The steps are the same for both Android and iOS devices:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your device.
  2. Select the Menu button in the upper-left corner.
  3. Choose the Settings option.
  4. Scroll down and select Flash Briefing.
  5. Press the plus sign (+) to add new services.
  6. Once you find a service you wish to use, tap it.
  7. Lastly, select Enable to Use.

When managing your Flash Briefing service options, you can tap the Edit button to select the order in which Alexa reads or announces the services. Thankfully, you can also easily disable a service by tapping the blue toggle switch, and re-enable it again with a tap.


Activating your Flash Briefing on your Alexa device

If you want Alexa to announce your Flash Briefing, simply issue the command, “Alexa, read my Flash Briefing” or “Alexa, tell me the news.” It’s that simple to get Alexa to read your news and weather with a single command, but what if you want to automate the process?

If you enjoy listening to your Flash Briefing in the morning when you wake up, you can select it as an option when designing a routine. Follow the example below to create a routine that wakes you up in the morning with your Flash Briefing:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your device.
  2. Select the Menu button in the upper-left corner.
  3. Tap the Routines option.
  4. Click the plus sign (+) in the upper-right corner to create a new routine.
  5. Tap Enter routine name to name the routine, ex: “Morning Wake-up.”
  6. Tap When this happens, then the Schedule option, and finally At Time.
  7. Tap At Time again, then enter a time for the routine to occur.
  8. Tap Repeat to choose how often the routine occurs, such as every weekday.
  9. Tap Next to return to the New Routine screen.
  10. Select the Add Action button to choose what will happen when the routine occurs.
  11. Select the News option — do not select the Briefings option as that is different.
  12. Tap Next, then under the From field, select the device to run the briefing.
  13. Finally, hit the Save option in the upper-left corner.

If at any time you wish to delete or alter the Flash Briefing, simply tap on it in the Routines screen. You can then tap on any setting that you want to modify. To delete the routine completely, select the triple-dot button in the upper-right corner, then tap Delete Routine.

Interesting Flash Briefing sources

Need some help with selecting interesting Flash Briefing services? Below, we assembled a shortlist of news sources, as well as other exciting briefing options. If you see something that interests you, search for it using the setup instructions above, then add it to your Flash Briefing to hear it on request.

News sources

  • NPR News Now
  • BBC
  • CNN Flash Briefing
  • KTLA 5 News – Los Angeles
  • Fox News
  • ABC News Update
  • FOX 5 Atlanta
  • Post Reports from The Washington Post
  • Fox Business
  • The Wall Street Journal What’s News

Fun and interesting sources

  • Today in Music
  • Word of the Day Flash Briefing
  • The Daily Show
  • This Day in History Top Story
  • PS4 News Updates
  • Al’s Dog Training Tips

Kids sources

  • Kids News
  • Disney Character of the Day
  • Bedtime Story for Kids
  • Keep Kids Busy

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Michael Archambault
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Michael Archambault is a technology writer and digital marketer located in Long Island, New York. For the past decade…
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