Until recently, you could only assign one voice command to voice-triggered Alexa routines, and if you or your housemates didn’t get the command exactly right, Alexa would shrug her virtual shoulders and say “Sorry, I don’t understand that.”
Now, however, you can add multiple voice phrases to an Alexa routine, so instead of having to say “Alexa, let’s watch a movie” verbatim, you can also add alternate phrases such as “Alexa, let’s watch a show” or “Alexa, let’s watch TV.”
Yes, you’ll still need to get the wording of the various trigger phrases right, but now that you can assign multiple voice triggers to an Alexa routine, you and your loved ones won’t need to perfectly nail a single command.
How to add multiple voice triggers to a new Alexa routine
Open the Alexa app, tap the More tab, tap Routines, then tap the “+” button in the top-right corner of the screen.
Tap in a name for the routine.
Tap When this happens, Voice, then tap in a voice command trigger.
Now, tap Add another phrase, and a new field will appear for an additional voice trigger.
Rinse and repeat to add more voice commands; you can add up to seven.
Tap Next, then continue creating the routine as you normally would.
How to add multiple voice triggers to an existing Alexa routine
Open the Alexa app, tap the More tab, then tap Routines.
Tap one of your existing routines, then tap View/Edit under the When you say section.
Tap Add another phrase, then start adding new voice phrases (again, up to seven).
When you’re done adding new phrases, tap Next in the top-right corner of the screen, then tap the back arrow to update your routine.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.