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Get package tracking updates with Alexa

Alexa doesn't come with package-tracking abilities out of the box, but this third-party workaround is better than expected.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

With Amazon so hellbent on you buying things from them and using devices like Alexa to make the process much easier, you would imagine the connected speaker would come out of the box with some package-tracking features.

Sadly, it doesn't. Asking Alexa where your packages are or for a status update on any of your orders doesn't yield anything of use. It typically directs you to check the status of your orders via the Amazon mobile app or Amazon.com.

Of course, there is a third-party solution to tracking packages with Alexa. It works surprisingly well. Here's how to set it up.

Create an account with EasilyDo

For this to work, you will first need an account with EasilyDo, which is a digital assistant, similar to Google Now.

To create an account, you can download the mobile application to your smartphone. Tap Sign Up at the bottom of the app and go through the account creation process. If you skip this step, you will be prompted to create an EasilyDo account when enabling the Alexa skill, and you will need to download the app or go to easilydo.com to finish configuring your account.

After creating an account, you will need to set up package tracking from within the app.

Tap the settings cog in the upper-right corner. Select Package Tracking and tap the slider beside Enable for This Account. Choose which type of email account you want to connect -- Gmail, Yahoo, Exchange, iCloud, IMAP or Hotmail -- and tap the icon. Tap Add account and log in. Approve the connection and repeat for any additional accounts you want to automatically track packages with.

Whenever you receive a shipping confirmation email from a connected account, the tracking information and shipment status will automatically appear in the Package Tracking card in EasilyDo.

Enable the Alexa skill

Taylor Martin/CNET

In order to track packages with Alexa, you must enable the EasilyDo skill. To enable the skill:

  • From the Amazon Alexa mobile app or echo.amazon.com, go to the Skills menu.
  • Search for the skill Package Tracker by EasilyDo.
  • Click or tap Enable. A browser tab will open prompting you to log in to your EasilyDo account.
  • Enter your credentials and authenticate the connection.

Tracking packages via voice

Since EasilyDo automates the package tracking process, you never need to manually enter tracking info anywhere. And to get Alexa to update you on the status of your packages, say one of these three commands:

  • "Alexa, open package tracker."
  • "Alexa, ask Package Tracker when my package will arrive."
  • "Alexa, ask Package Tracker where my shipment is."

Alexa will ask you to confirm you want to hear package tracking information and it will return a simple status update for each package headed your way, such as, "Package from Amazon is on the way and will be arriving tomorrow."

Editors' note: This story was updated on April 7, 2016 to clarify that you do not need the mobile application to create an EasilyDo account and can create one after adding the Package Tracker skill to Alexa.

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