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The new Echo Show 15 is many things: Smart display, home hub, and virtual assistant — but most of all, it’s big. The 15-inch screen allows families to easily see everything from movies to their calendar at a glance, but the standout new feature is widgets.
Although there are a limited number of widgets available at the current moment (only 19), Amazon has promised to add more in the future while possibly opening up widget development in the same way it opened Alexa Skills in the past.
Not all widgets are created equal, though. Theis a powerful tool for staying on top of four different schedules and coordinating calendars, to-do lists, and more — and these are the best widgets for the connected family.
Calendar and Reminders — Daily/Monthly
There are two calendar widgets in the Echo Show 15. The first combines daily and monthly schedules, while the other is specifically a daily schedule. Both are useful tools for a family. Use the monthly calendar for an overview of the weeks ahead, while the daily calendar breaks down everyone’s schedule on an hour-by-hour basis.
Sticky Notes lets you pin notes and reminders to the home screen of the Echo Show 15. It can be something as simple as “wash the dishes when you get home from school” to “I’ve already fed the cat. Don’t believe her lies.” Sticky Notes is perfect for those messages you want to guarantee are seen but maybe don’t warrant sending a text.
Every family has a list of chores that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. Between mopping the floor, carrying out the trash, and cleaning the bathrooms, it seems the work of maintaining a household is never done. The To-Do List widget makes it easy to mark off when those tasks have been accomplished, as well as remind family members of unexpected chores.
No one wants to frantically scour the house just before darting out the door to get groceries. The Shopping List app makes it easy to add items as you discover you need them. Just say, “Alexa, add (item) to shopping list.” You can see the items currently on the list at a glance and pull up the full list in your Alexa app when you’re at the store. When you toss the item in your shopping cart, just mark it off.
It’s self-explanatory, but everyone needs to know what the weather is like. No one wants to dress for cold weather only for it to heat up mid-day and have you shedding sweaters. The weather widget breaks down the weather in three-hour increments to give you an idea of temperature, rain chance, and more.
With only 19 widgets to choose from, your options are limited — especially when some of those widgets are duplicates of others with only minor variations. Despite the lack of options, the widget function is one of the best parts of the Echo Show 15, and one we hope to see greatly expanded and opened to third-party developers in the future.