How Alexa or Google Home can help you pull off a memorable Valentine’s Day

alexa valentine's day Google Home header
Todd Williamson/Getty Images
Todd Williamson/Getty Images

Planning a romantic home-cooked meal this Valentine’s Day? Wanting to send chocolates or flowers to your sweetie, but don’t know where to begin? Virtual assistants Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant might be able to help you out. After all, isn’t that what assistants are for? If you have an Amazon Echo or Google Home device, sweep your sweetheart off their feet this Valentine’s Day (or scramble for a gift at the last minute) with these romantic tips.

Make a dinner reservation

Did you forget to make a dinner reservation and are now scrambling to find a restaurant that isn’t completely booked up? Instead of desperately scrolling through Yelp and dialing restaurants one by one, ask Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for some help. For example, if you’re using an Amazon Echo, simply say, “Alexa, ask OpenTable to make a reservation,” and you can instantly book a table at a restaurant or browse available restaurants in your area that aren’t fully booked. Your date will never have to know you waited until the last minute to make the reservation.

Get recipe ideas

Cooking a delicious meal for two at home this Valentine’s Day? Make sure your nerves don’t cause you to accidentally add way too little sea salt or far too much olive oil. Luckily, your virtual assistants can help ensure your date will leave impressed after the meal. AllRecipes.com has an Amazon Alexa skill that allows the voice assistant to walk you through 60,000 different recipes. Google Assistant, powered by Bon Appetit, The New York Times, The Food Network, and more, lets you choose from 5 million recipe ideas. This way, you have hands-free access to your favorite recipes, making sure you don’t miss an important step along the way.

alexa valentine philips hue

Dim the lights

Got a set of smart bulbs, like the ones from Philips Hue? You can set the romantic mood by dimming the lights and lighting some candles. But don’t ruin the mood by getting up and walking across the room to turn out the lights. With Philips Hue or a smart light dimmer, such as the Leviton Decora, Lutron Caseta, or Belkin Wemo, you can ask Alexa or Google Assistant to dim the lights automatically with a tap of your smartphone or a simple voice command. That way, you can you continue to lock eyes with your loved one forever. Or at least until they get a little creeped out by your penetrating stare and look away.

Put on some music

Nothing sets the mood like some smooth jazz, romantic classical music, or Guns N’ Roses, if that’s what your sweetie is into. But shuffling endlessly for the perfect playlist on your phone or playing music from your staticky old boom box are sure-fire ways to kill a romantic mood. With an Echo device, Sonos One Speaker or Google Home Max speaker, you can simply ask Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to play the kind of music you want to hear, and your virtual assistant will help you out by playing music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, or SiriusXM.

alexa chocolates
Corbis/VCG/Getty Images
Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

Send chocolates

Is your sweetheart currently on the other side of the country? Distance does make the heart grow fonder, but a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a sweet box of chocolates can’t hurt either. Use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to order flowers, chocolates, and other gifts from AmazonFresh or Google Express, respectively. These services offer delivery in a couple days or less, depending on where you are, so even if you procrastinated until the last minute to send your gift, it should arrive just in time for February 14.

Spend it with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant

Don’t have a date this Valentine’s Day? There’s nothing wrong with a cozy night in. But if you do get a bit lonesome, you can always ask Amazon Alexa these Valentine’s-related questions for a chuckle.

– Alexa, will you be my Valentine?

– Alexa, who is your Valentine?

– Alexa, who do you love?

As for Google Home, did you know your Google Assistant is actually a trained singer? If you want to be serenaded on Valentine’s Day, say, “OK Google, serenade me.” Your Google Assistant will proceed to sing you a poem. Hey, at least your virtual assistant is always there for you when you need it most.

Product Review

Philips Hue’s Color Ambience makes smart home lighting simple and stylish

It’s not the cheapest smart lighting available, but for those seeking style and sophistication, it’s certainly the best.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Smart Home

How to set up your Lenovo Smart Display

Here's how to set up your Lenovo Smart Display, including what information you need to provide to the Home app and how to choose the right Google Assistant settings for your new smart screen.
Home Theater

Everything you need to know about Google’s Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Mobile

How to transfer your contacts between iPhone and Android devices

There's nothing worse than getting a new phone and realizing you don't have any of your old contacts listed. Luckily, it's an easy problem to solve. Here's how to transfer your contact list to your new device.
Smart Home

Cortana and Alexa can now call each other as new relationship begins

Microsoft and Amazon announced a public preview of Cortana and Alexa integration. U.S. customers can now open Cortana with Alexa and vice versa. Basic functions such as calendars and shopping lists are available with the preview.
Smart Home

Hands-on with the Glas, the most beautiful thermostat you’ve ever seen

Johnson Controls today opened the doors for consumers to buy Glas, the company's answer to Nest and Ecobee, the Honeywell Lyric, and basically every other company that thought it would turn that simple round dial on the wall on its ear.
Smart Home

The Glas thermostat is now available and works with Cortana, Alexa, and Google

Microsoft just debuted its very own smart thermostat (the first that it's created), and of course, it can be controlled via voice with Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana. It also works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
Emerging Tech

Buying on a budget? Here’s all the best tech you can snag for $25 or less

We live in a world where you can get a cheeseburger for $1, a functioning computer for $5, and thousands of HD movies for $10 -- so it stands to reason that you should be able to pick up some pretty sweet gear for $25.
Smart Home

Fraudulent sales of home alarm systems are on the rise nationwide

According to a new consumer survey from the Consumer Federation of America, there are increasing reports of bad actors using scare tactics and manipulation to sell fraudulent alarm systems.
Smart Home

A school district subsidizes a tiny home community for teachers

The lack of affordable housing in Arizona's Vail school district prompted the plan for a community of tiny homes reserved for educators. Other cities in the U.S. use the tiny abodes for homeless and economically disadvantaged people.
Smart Home

Kroger supermarket chain tests driverless grocery deliveries in Arizona

Kroger and autonomous delivery innovator Nuro began a pilot program in Scottdale, Arizona, for grocery home deliveries with Prius cars to test the self-driving concept. The first tests do not use the purpose-built Nuro vehicle.
Smart Home

Vitamix recalls 100,000 blender containers after multiple ‘lacerations’

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall of about 105,000 Vitamix blending containers after 11 customers reported accidents, including lacerations due to a design flaw in the product.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.