Review: Alexa Skill, Days Until

Last week I enabled How Many Days, a free Alexa skill that tells how many days are left to an event you specified.

I was disappointed in my quest to find a countdown app. The app had no reviews, but I thought surely anyone who put an app up would make sure it worked. Right? Wrong!

It also occurred to me that I was doing these reviews backwards. I should test the Alexa Skill and then review it for you.

That's what I've done today.

Review: How Many Days
How Many Days icon

Don't waste your time. This app simply doesn't work. No matter how much I tried, I could not get it to work, and I posted a one-star review on the app's Amazon webpage.

I posted the How Many Days icon at right so you'll recognize it because there are so many with similar names.

I went shopping for another countdown app, and I found several but most had no reviews and those that had reviews all said the apps didn't work.

It seems app developers would test their work enough to make sure it was de-bugged before putting it up for users. Then again, maybe we are the test audience. In any event, I finally found one with hundreds of reviews. I've tested it, and it works.

This Week's Alexa Skill: Days Until.

With 1,218 reviews averaging 3.6 stars out of 5, I thought Days Until was worth trying. Unfortunately, the last half dozen reviews were negative, but I thought I'd give it a go.

About "Days Until"

Created by by Nathan Friend Consulting, LLC, this skill is free to enable. To open the skill, simply say, "Alexa, start Days Until."

You can create a countdown for any event from your birthday, to the day you leave on vacation, or for a contract deadline.

If you wish to create a new countdown, say this:

(1) "Alexa, ask Days Until to start a new countdown."
(2) "Alexa ask Days Until to create a new countdown for my book deadline."
(3) "Alexa, ask Days Until to create a new countdown for my book deadline on July 6, 2020."

Alexa will calculate the number of days from today until the event's date and report back to you. If you have a video-enabled Echo device, Alexa will also show the result on the screen.

If you're having trouble getting Alexa to recognize your event name, try naming it something simple.
Example, instead of "Jack's birthday party at the beach," call it "Jack's party" or "beach party" or just "party."
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Alexa will confirm the date with you before the countdown is saved. 

After you've created a countdown and confirmed it, you can ask Alexa how many days there are until the event:

Example, "Alexa, ask Days Until, How many days until the first day of school?"

You can also say, "Alexa, ask Days Until, How long until the first day of school?"

Takeaway Truth

Success at last! I was glad to find that this app worked well. Now I can ask how many days until my finished manuscript needs to be turned in to the formatter.

Icons made by Freepik[1] from [2]is licensed by CC 3.0 BY[3]. [1]
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