Printer-makers like HP had previously made their products work with Alexa, but now Amazon has created its own printing feature for its voice assistant. Print items like the shopping and to-do lists you create with Alexa, crossword puzzles, recipes or simply lined paper. If you’re worried the new feature will drain your ink, Amazon is one step ahead of you -- Alexa can notify you when your ink is low, and can be set to automatically order more ink.
Most Echo devices can use Alexa Print with HP, Brother, Canon and Epson printers. It appears that you can only print documents from a preselected, albeit wide-ranging, list. Use Alexa to print your personal to-do lists, crosswords and games from The Los Angeles Times, recipes and educational worksheets for children, among other items.
The new Alexa Print feature is also available to developers to integrate with their content to make it printable by voice. According to an Alexa developer blog, developers can use three pre-defined skills to print different documents, including images, PDFs and webpages. That said, it doesn’t sound like Echo owners can use this to tell Alexa to print whatever document they’re working on, for example, but it’s not hard to imagine this being added in the future.
To keep tabs on your ink levels, Alexa can tell you when your printer is running low via either a voice or email low supply notification. You can also enable automatic reorders, and Alexa will automatically reorder ink at a 10 percent discount.
Alexa has previously been able to print with certain printers — like supported HP printers. But while Alexa Print only currently works with a handful of manufacturers, it seems like it’s going to be printer-agnostic, so any printer-maker could use it.
Limitations aside, Alexa Print could be a handy feature for those working and/or teaching their kids at home. This is Alexa’s first foray into printing, so we’ll see if Amazon expands it over time. Find out more at the printing with Alexa page here.
Correction, 9/14 3:15PM ET: This story originally stated that Alexa Print didn’t work with third-party services. We’ve since got information about how third-party developers can use Alexa Print and have updated this article accordingly.