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Scheduled commands

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Scheduled commands
« on: May 06, 2017, 06:46:48 pm »
Hello,
I am aware that the most-requested skill for Alexa is to schedule music at different times of the day.

I would like to mention that the ability to schedule any commands at all would make the Alexa worth the money put into it. Without it, Alexa is only good for one moment in space and time.

I know that Alexa can schedule events using Google Calendar or Mircosoft Outlook. I know that Alexa can stream music with Amazon music, Spotify, or a number of other apps. It doesn't seem to be that much of a leap of logic to initiate the command of the latter once triggered by the former.

I am aware there have been hacks on the internet to make Alexa like a radio alarm, but if that's all I needed I would have just bought bluetooth speakers. The expensive processing power of Alexa that could just schedule commands at different times of the day is simply not being used.

I am a software engineer by profession, so perhaps if there was any way of hacking or jail-breaking Alexa to make it receive commands at scheduled times, that could also work.

If not, is there any other device besides the Echo, (maybe from Google or some other vendor) that does have this feature?

I feel so dumb for buying this device for a single purpose, but that purpose not being available at this time (if ever). It just seemed like a reasonable assumption that this smart stereo would be able to schedule commands to different times of the day.

Thanks,
Nathan

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2017, 08:15:41 pm »
Download and use YONOMI to schedule events (Or IFTTT)
My Alexa environment includes :
1 Full Sized Echo
3 Echo Dots 2nd gen
2 Echo Dot 3rd gen, One with Clock
1 Echo Spot
Several Hue Lights with a single bridge
5 Fire Tablets (1 as a control panel in Kitchen)
One Ring Doorbell Pro
Also 4 cell phones with Alexa app installed!
You should see My Apple Device List!

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2017, 12:12:04 am »
Download and use YONOMI to schedule events (Or IFTTT)
Thanks for the suggestions, I had never heard of either of those. However, neither seems to work yet.

At present, YONOMI only seems to be capable of sending silent notifications to my phone. So yes, I was able to send that command on schedule, and nothing else.

IFTTT only seems to accept Alexa as a trigger. It doesn't seem capable of causing Alexa to do things on schedule, which is literally the only thing I'm asking for.

I sent notification to the support center of both of these apps, so hopefully I get somewhere soon.

Will I need to buy some other device in addition to the 179$ echo in order to accomplish this?

Offline jwlv

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Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2017, 04:10:48 am »
This is something that I've wanted Alexa to do since echo came out 2 years ago.

E.g.  Alexa turn on kitchen light at 7am. 

It would be a one time schedule and will not repeat. Kind of like the "set sleep timer" command.

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2017, 08:01:41 am »
I haven't"scheduled" anything like you are shooting for, but The YONOMI app appears to have the capability. They have pretty decent Customer support, however, it's slightly convoluted. Their email sends *me* a "message unable to be sent"  thing, and I get a reply anyway after a couple of days... Evidently they get the email, but their server sends out the fail messages every time.

In the App, it appears that you can choose a date and time for an event... or set a location (for your mobile device I to arrive or leave a location), and Conditions that make it a valid situation... Now it doesn't give commands to everything Alexa can do, but it will command items set up in Yonomi... Like Hue Lights, or Your AV system... I understand there are about 90 items that are associated with YONOMI at this time, so anything that's added must be somehow linked as well. I have Hue Lights... but do not have them set up through YONOMI, as Alexa does fine without the added app on that particular item. If I wanted to Schedule a light to come on at a certain time, I would add those to Yonomi for sure.

I know it's complex, and not super self explanatory... but once you get the YONOMI app working it's a pretty cool app.

Edit: I actually set up my Hue lights while I was writing this post as well as my Thermostat (Honeywell Lyric) and both have options like I thought they would. Yonomi Discovered and linked to them all pretty much effortlessly. (as long as you know your account email and passwords...). Looks like a solid set up for just about anything.

This is all "IF"... the location is US based... I know things work . similarly in the UK... but have seen some things that don't work the same for one reason or another.

The "one time" commands... well... I don't see it happening without Alexa Updates... but I like that concept as well.
Maybe with the IFTTT and YONOMI both... it could happen.
My Alexa environment includes :
1 Full Sized Echo
3 Echo Dots 2nd gen
2 Echo Dot 3rd gen, One with Clock
1 Echo Spot
Several Hue Lights with a single bridge
5 Fire Tablets (1 as a control panel in Kitchen)
One Ring Doorbell Pro
Also 4 cell phones with Alexa app installed!
You should see My Apple Device List!

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2017, 09:21:49 am »
If I has to hazard a guess, perhaps everyone  (besides me) assumes Alexa is only an input device. I thought it was an output, and I am really confused why no one else sees it as an output.

I only have an echo. No Philips hue, no Sonos, just my phone and this cylinder. Why? Because I thought that's all I had to buy.

Both IFTTT and YONOMI connect to Alexa, but neither seem to understand (far as I can tell) it's Alexa I want to be doing the task (like play music or say something), nothing else.

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2017, 07:03:06 pm »
If I has to hazard a guess, perhaps everyone  (besides me) assumes Alexa is only an input device. I thought it was an output, and I am really confused why no one else sees it as an output.

It is True... Alexa doesn't really *DO* much. Yeah, she will play music... and set timers and make lists with you... but truly, she is just a command unit for all the "Alexa Enabled" devices, more than a killer app she "should" be. She has very little actual Output, unless you have other enabled items for her to output her control commands to. I think, though, for the initial investment, this is a great start for voice command control of many things up to and including safety and security items and ... well... even a crock pot that will cook per Alexa commands once set up to go.

I do like the single command item discussed above, but still wait for the Amazon folks to update with changes that allow or enable such things.

My Alexa environment includes :
1 Full Sized Echo
3 Echo Dots 2nd gen
2 Echo Dot 3rd gen, One with Clock
1 Echo Spot
Several Hue Lights with a single bridge
5 Fire Tablets (1 as a control panel in Kitchen)
One Ring Doorbell Pro
Also 4 cell phones with Alexa app installed!
You should see My Apple Device List!

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2017, 09:27:33 pm »
It is True... Alexa doesn't really *DO* much. Yeah, she will play music... and set timers and make lists with you... but truly, she is just a command unit for all the "Alexa Enabled" devices, more than a killer app she "should" be.

I find it a little dumb, just because apps like IFTTT are really missing out by not having Alexa as an output even as an OPTION. All the functionality is literally right there, all that's missing is the option.

Thank you for the info, I do think I will eventually want to create a more extensive smart home, and I guess Alexa would be a good place to start. I assume, to do specifically what I want to do, I'll have to buy a Sonos speaker and control Alexa through it.

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 08:30:04 am »
I'm only assuming amazon doesn't want the echo as an output because of the possible security risks but I'm only assuming. 

Depending on what you're trying to accomplish, there are a ton of options out there for smart home type things.  You've haven't really stated what you want the echo to do... sounds like you want it to announce something at a certain time.

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2017, 10:04:25 am »
You've haven't really stated what you want the echo to do... sounds like you want it to announce something at a certain time.
Oh, sorry i didn't mention. My first idea was playing music throughout the day on a schedule, switching between different playlists or genres at specific times.

Another idea was the echo giving updates on weather or traffic automatically at specific times, like as part of a morning routine.

As a lot of sites talk about using Sonos in conjunction with Alexa and IFTTT or YONOMI (in terms of music), that seems to be the main route.

Re: Scheduled commands
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2017, 11:49:07 am »
Well, here's one way you could do it.....

Alexa does not support push notifications, which is essentially core to what you want.

There is, however, a workaround (https://forums.developer.amazon.com/questions/40799/workaround-for-push-notifications.html).

You could combine this with a custom skill to implement some of your ideas.

indeed, I'm right in the middle of developing a skill to control local Squeeze Box devices and the Logitech Media Server. (www.hab-tunes.com). It would be a short leap to add scheduling of music like you describe. I might consider it for version 2.0...