Mornings can be hard, but they don’t have to be…

Whether you have one or 10 smart assistants… Congrats, you’re living in the future!

Here are ten ways that you can use your smart assistant to get your morning started… smarter.

1. Alarm

Echo Show on bed stand

Set your morning alarm on Alexa or Google Home.

“Alexa/Hey Google, set an alarm for [time].”

Pro tip: Personalize it by using a celebrity voice, or setting the alarm to the tune of news or music. Just say, “Alexa/Hey Google, wake me up to ‘Gotta Get Up’ by Harry Nilsson at 7:00 am.”

2. Morning Relaxation

Busy day ahead? Start your morning with a yoga or relaxation routine with a skill like Headspace, which is available on both platforms.

Alexa Skill: Headspace: Guided Meditation for Everybody
Google Home: Headspace on Google Assistant

3. News

Stay on top of the latest news using your devices.

On Alexa: One of the best ways to get your news is by using Alexa’s flash briefings feature. To set it up, go to the Alexa App on your phone, Menu > Settings > Flash Briefing > Add Content. You can search by keyword or name, or scroll through the featured list to add. Once set just say, “Alexa, what’s the news?” or “Alexa, play flash briefing.”

On Google: Google Assistant mobile app under settings > news > add news sources. Once you’re done with your selection, just say, “Hey Google, what’s the news?”

Our favorite news sources include: NPR Hourly News Summary, BBC World News, NY Times, and CNN.

Pro tip: Are you a fan of NPR? You can set your NPR station to your local affiliate station for local programming. Just say, “Alexa, Ask NPR to set station.” Name your preferred station or browse by location, and Voila!

4. Weather Forecast

Not sure if you should pack that jacket or perhaps an umbrella before dashing out? Ask for the day or week’s weather.

Just say, “Alexa, what’s the weather forecast?” or “Hey Google, what’s today’s weather?”

Pro tip: Planning a fun weekend outing? Ask “Alexa/Hey Google, what’s the weather forecast for Venice Beach this weekend?”

5. Commute/Traffic Info

Have Alexa or Google Home help you plan your morning commute. Just personalize your home and work addresses for the best outcome.

On Alexa: Go to the Alexa App on your phone, Menu > Settings >Traffic and then type in your home and work addresses. Now you can just say “Alexa, how is traffic?” or “Alexa, what’s my commute?” and Amazon will tell you what to expect from your drive.

On Google: To set your work and home addresses, open Google Home App >Account > Settings > Personal info > Your places. To select your preferred method of getting around: Open Google Home App >Account > Settings > Getting around

6. Calendar

Link your calendar to to help you plan and organize your days better.

On Alexa: Go to the Alexa App> Click Menu (hamburger icon) > Settings > Calendar & Email > Choose your calendar service: Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Microsoft Exchange

On Google Home: Open the Google Home app > tap the device you want to check the linked accounts for > Settings > Linked accounts(s), you’ll see the Google Account(s) linked to this specific device.

7. Set Reminders & Timers /Create Lists

You can set reminders so you can remember to set the dryer, check the oven, or that you should go to the dentist a certain time.

To create a reminder, just say something like, “Alexa/Hey Google, remind me to pack warm clothes for San Francisco.” Alexa will follow-up with a time and date prompt. On the date and time you added, Alexa will sound an alarm, reminding you to pack for your trip.

You can also create a list, just say something like, “Alexa/Hey Google, add milk to my shopping list.”

8. Music

There are so many great music options! You can stream off of your Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, or iTunes account. You can also just ask Alexa or Google to play a specific song, genre, or music station.

On Alexa: Alexa defaults to Amazon Music. If you’d like to change that or link other music accounts go to your Alexa App> click on Menu (hamburger icon) > Settings > Music > Customize My Music Preferences > Choose Link New Service or Manage Services. You can also Click on Default Services to choose which one plays when asked to play music.

On Google Home: By default, Google Home uses Google Play Music as its player. You can change it Google Home App > Settings > Linked Media Accounts > Music & Audio [to add subscriptions]

9. Information

Recruit Alexa or Google Home to help you find information such as the hours and address of a local business. You can also use them to make recommendations of local businesses — make sure that your address has been set or that you’re clear on the location you’re searching.

Pro tip: Need a reservation? You can use OpenTable schedule a reservation. “Alexa/Hey Google, launch OpenTable” or “Alexa/Hey Google, reserve a table.” The app will walk you through the reservation process: restaurant, party number, date, and time.

10. Brew Coffee

“Alexa/Hey Google, brew coffee.”

Start your morning off with coffee that Alexa’s brewed for you. There are several Alexa or Google Home-enabled coffee maker models. Others integrate with Alexa or Google Home through IFTTT. However, all you really need to get your coffee started using your voice is a compatible smart switch and a basic drip coffee brewer.

Don’t forget, you can say a magic word and have any combination of these automated by simply creating a routine in the Alexa or Google Home app.

What is your favorite morning hack?

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