Amazon Alexa now supports iCloud Calendar and Reminders

Amazon Echo Dot Photo © 2017, Steven Sande

Amazon Echo Dot Photo © 2017, Steven Sande

Now, who says that Amazon and Apple can't play together nicely? Amazon announced today that its Alexa intelligent assistant -- used in the Amazon Echo ecosystem and a growing number of third party devices -- now supports iCloud Calendar and Reminders.

To link the two, users need to go into the Amazon Alexa app on an iPhone or iPad, then tap the "hamburger button" in the upper left corner of the app display and select Settings. Under Settings, scroll down to Calendar. Tap Calendar, and Apple iCloud Calendar is listed as a choice. 

Adding the iCloud Calendar requires that a user have two-factor authentication set up with the Apple ID in question, and then the user needs to log onto appleid.apple.com and request an app-specific password. Once that's done, the app-specific password is entered into Alexa settings and iCloud calendars are added...

In testing, asking Alexa questions like "What's on my calendar for tomorrow?" or "What does my calendar look like for next Monday?" worked quickly and accurately. Even better, adding calendar items was as simple as having a conversation with Alexa:

Me: "Hey, Alexa - schedule a meeting for next Thursday"

Alexa: "For what time?"

M: "3 PM"

A: "And What's the name of the event"

M: "Mow the lawn"

A: "So, that's 'Mow the lawn" for next Thursday, June 8th at 3 PM. Is that correct?"

M: "Yep."

A: "OK, I've added that."

In seconds the meeting showed up on my Mac and iOS calendars. Pretty darned cool. If I asked Siri the same question, the meeting was simply called "Meeting" and I had no opportunity to change the name unless I did it manually. 

The fact that Amazon could not have added this capability without assistance and approval from Apple seems to indicate that relations between the two companies are getting better.