Forget party games, pressing an Echo Button now allows you to run Alexa routines, which means many actions that until now required talking to Alexa can instead be done with a button tap.
Amazon continues to grow its range of Echo devices, but the Echo Button has been around for a while and classes as the least useful of the bunch. It was launched as a button existing mainly to act as a party game host. But that just changed and the Button is now much more useful.
As Engadget reports, Amazon decided to enhance the Echo Button by unlocking the ability to perform Alexa routines. So what was once a button for playing games, has become a button for performing many different tasks around the home that before now required talking to Alexa.
Enabling a routine for an Echo Button couldn't be simpler. Just load up the Alexa app, create or select a routine, and link it with the Echo Button as a trigger device. Then tap the button to see whatever action you chose play out. The Button could turn on your lights, start or stop music playing, trigger Alexa to inform you of the weather prospects tomorrow, or control any smart home device that falls within the Amazon ecosystem.
When PCMag reviewed the Echo Button back in February, we only awarded it a Fair rating because of the unrealized potential these devices had. Our advice was to hold off buying them until the functionality got better. Well, it looks like that just happened.
If you already own a couple of Echo Buttons, this may be the feature that entices you to take them out of the drawer and actually start using them. For everyone else, spending $20 on a double pack now makes more sense because of the extra functionality on offer. Just remember you need a compatible Echo device to allow them to work.