Use Alexa compatible devices to read email and add calendar events

This feature works with Google and Microsoft accounts which typically end in for Google and or for Microsoft.

This feature allows you to read recent messages and reply to them using an Alexa compatible device such as the Amazon Echo or other compatible devices such as the Sonos One speaker.  If you choose to use the calendars associated with these accounts, you can check the calendar and create appointments using your voice.

To set this up, tap More at the bottom right of the Amazon Alexa app on your smart phone or tablet and then choose settings and then choose Email and Calendars.

You then choose Add Account and select from Google, Microsoft or Apple. If you choose apple you can only link a calendar at this time. Please note you can’t use any other account with this built in feature at the moment.

Once you have selected your account you will be asked to log into the account and then confirm that you authorise Alexa to access the Google or Microsoft account. These steps are carried out using a web page so this should be straightforward if you can use the Internet on your phone or tablet.

Once set up, you can say Read my Email and your emails will be read starting with the most recent. You will hear who the email is from and the subject of the email. You can then choose to read the email, delete the email, or go to next email.

If you choose to read the email the email will be read and then you can choose to reply or go to the next email.

The Dot to Dot podcast contains over one thousand 5-minute demonstrations of various Alexa skills. A demonstration of using email with Alexa can be found here.

Graham Page, Access Technology Adviser

4 August 2020

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