Alexa will soon lose a popular shopping list feature

Starting in July, you won’t be able to add items to lists on third-party apps like Todoist and AnyList with Alexa voice control through their existing Skills. A post on Amazon’s developer site says it’s shutting down access to Alexa Shopping and To-Do lists on July 1st.

List Skills and Alexa Shopping and To-Do Lists

Starting July 1, 2024, you will no longer be able to use List skills or the List Management REST API to access Alexa lists, i.e., the Alexa Shopping and To-Do lists, in your skills or apps. For other ways to build custom voice experiences, see Steps to Build a Custom Skill. Please contact us if you have any questions.

What this means is that unless developers choose to develop a new custom skill, their Alexa integrations will stop working, and you’ll have to rely on the Alexa app’s built-in list feature to use voice to add milk to your grocery list or put “take out the trash” on your to-do list.

Today, if you enable their Alexa Skills, third-party apps can sync with lists in the Alexa app and show that data in their app. I personally use this feature to add items to my shopping list in AnyList. But, as of July 1st, they’ll lose this ability and you’ll either need to use the Alexa app’s lists or hope the developer of your favorite list app builds a custom voice skill to manage lists in its apps.


The Alexa Shopping List UI showing the deals feature, which is also being discontinued.

Amazon told The Verge that developers can still integrate Alexa voice control of lists into their apps, they just can’t have access to Alexa lists anymore. “We are making some changes to the way that developers build lists,” said Sarah Zonouzi of Amazon PR. “Developers can integrate our custom voice interaction model into their skill to enable voice control and management of lists.”

She said this offers similar features to the existing options, with the main difference being the customer will be directly managing third-party lists with voice, not Alexa lists.

However, Todoist tells The Verge it is not planning to develop a new custom skill. “We’ve made the difficult decision to sunset our Alexa integration by July 1, 2024,” said Omar Samuels.

He said they don’t currently have plans to work on a replacement due to the short notice of the shutdown and the resources required. However, he did say “We will be reviewing what possibilities exist to fill any resulting gaps in the future.” I also reached out to AnyList and will update this post if I hear back,

Interestingly — a pop up in the shopping list section of the Alexa app says the company is also discontinuing its Alexa Shopping List Deals feature on July 10th, 2024. This is a program that connects you with deals on Amazon, Whole Foods, and other sources for items on your shopping list.

A shopping list feature is a clear monetization opportunity, so it’s likely Amazon is regrouping here. My guess is we may see a whole new shopping list experience coming to Alexa.

There are going to be a lot of annoyed Alexa users.

In the meantime, there are going to be a lot of annoyed Alexa users. Adding items to lists is one of the most popular uses for voice assistants, along with playing music, setting timers, and asking what time it is.

I find a dedicated list app like AnyList and Todoist much easier to use while pushing a grocery cart than the Alexa app’s list. While it has improved over time — you can now pin the shopping list to the Favorites section in the app, and there’s a homescreen widget — it’s just not as user-friendly as a dedicated list app.

Then there’s the fact that most third-party list apps have multiple ways of adding items to lists — including desktop apps and support for other voice assistants. That’s helpful if you’re in a multi-ecosystem household.

However, Google has also shut down its Google Home voice command integrations with list apps, breaking connections for AnyList and Any.Do users. Both these apps now only work with Apple’s Siri on an iPhone. Todoist, which also works with Siri, does support Google Assistant, but only on Android phones. As a result, it’s getting harder and harder to find a list app that works with more than one voice assistant, and across more than one family of devices.

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