Lists were one of the first Alexa features my family and I used, and it's one of the most common things we use. When I take a trip, I create a packing list, however each time I have add to the list all the standard items, plus the ones I need that are specific to this trip. I wanted to have a way to have a list populated with the standard items (or with a custom list I created.)

What it does

The core functionality is that it populates lists with predefined values so you don't have to populate your lists from scratch each time you want to use them. Premium content is additional categories of lists as well as the ability to save your own custom lists to use for populating lists.

How I built it

I built it using the ASK SDK for Node.js, Lambda, DynamoDB and other AWS services. The out-of-session worker uses python.

Challenges I ran into / What I learned

The variety of list names make matching quite the challenge. Dynamic Entities helps, but limitations like not being available for one-shot utterances, just makes it more fun! Also, because two different types of entities (lists and templates) can share names, utterances and disambiguation required more work because of the overlap.

What's next for List Manager

List Manager, in addition to getting a richer APL experience, will have additional premium service features added as part of the subscription. Things like scheduled renewal of the list items, notifications if list items aren't completed by the time you specify, and more.

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