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Smart Home

How to use Alexa's new Wait feature

Delay routines until you need them with this new feature.

Josh Miller/CNET

With the new Alexa app update on Dec. 3 came a new feature that you've probably wished was invented a long time ago. It's called Wait, and it will help you delay routines until you need them.

For example, I set up a routine that will play Here Comes the Sun when I say, "Alexa I'm home." Since I used the Wait feature, it doesn't start playing the song until a minute has passed, which gives me time to put away my purse and sunglasses. You can set up routines to wait for any amount of time you like.

Now playing: Watch this: 'Alexa, play Apple Music'
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How to set up a routine with Wait

To set up a routine with a wait time, go to Menu > Routines > + icon, set up the When This Happens. Then tap the Add Action + icon and select Wait. Set how long you want the routine to wait, then tap Next and finish creating your routine. 

Now, when you trigger a routine, it will wait the certain amount of time until it starts the routine.

When to use Wait

When would Wait come in handy? Here are some ideas:

  • Have Alexa wait to start up a lullaby or bedtime story until you've had time to slip out of the kids' room.
  • Delay a video chat until you've had enough time to pose just right in front of the camera.
  • Set Alexa to order your saved pizza order an hour after you tell her, "Alexa, open Dominos and place an order."
  • Don't wait for your Lyft. Create a routine that will call for a Lyft two hours (or whenever you think you'll be partied out) after you arrive at the party. Just remember to say, "Alexa, ask Lyft for a ride," before you start to mingle.
  • Set up a routine that will give you enough time to take a quick shower before starting the coffee pot.

Here are some more Alexa commands to give you even more ideas.

Enable Alexa notifications to know when your pizza is on the way.