Amazon's voice-controlled, web-connected life manager thing, the Echo, is about as close as you can get to a conceptual product while still asking people to pay for it. But to its credit, Amazon seems to be constantly improving Echo by expanding its functionality. The latest update makes Echo compatible with Google Calendar (one of the web services offered by Google that Amazon doesn't directly compete with) thanks to a selection of voice commands.


According to an email sent to Echo owners, you can now ask Echo (or Alexa, if you've allowed your semi-sentient monolith to retail a sense of identity) "What's on my calendar" to get a quick overview of your upcoming events. Specificity works: say "what's on my calendar today" and you'll get everything, but asking "what's on my calendar today at one PM" will tell you what's in that slot.

To get started, open the Amazon Echo app on your phone and add Google Calendar to the list of applied services. Amazon says that it is adding new features in the next few weeks, but unfortunately there's still no word on when you'll be able to buy the Echo device without an invitation.

Amazon Alexa
Amazon Alexa
Developer: Amazon Mobile LLC
Price: Free