Alexa can remind you to pick up the dry-cleaning

The voice assistant is now a lot more helpful for every day tasks.

Amazon has begun rolling out a couple of upgrades for Alexa, and while they might sound pretty minor, they could make the voice assistant more helpful for every day tasks. If you're in the US, you'll soon receive an update for your Echo speaker (if you haven't yet) that gives Alexa the capability to set reminders. For example, you can say "Alexa, remind me to pick up the dry cleaning on Thursday at 5PM" or "Alexa, remind me to pay rent June 1 at 10AM." When that time comes, the speaker's blue ring will light up, and Alexa will remind you of what you need to do. You can view all the reminders you set in the Alerts & Alarms section if you want to see your itinerary or to change it up.

In addition, you can now name timers to make them less confusing. You can, for instance, ask Alexa to set a pasta timer and a garlic bread timer, so the assistant can tell you which one is up when the timer goes off. That gives you a way to ask about the status of or to cancel a specific timer. Say, you can tell Alexa to cancel the garlic bread one if you finish making it before the timer goes off or ask it how much longer you still have to wait to take your lasagna out of the oven. While these features are exclusively available in the US at the moment, Amazon promises to release them in the UK and in Germany in the coming weeks.