Using Amazon Alexa in Malaysia – Location, Time, Weather (2019)

Welcome to the updated guide for 2019.  By the end of this article you will get the correct settings for location, time and weather for Alexa in Malaysia.

For the previous guide go here.

You’re deciding to get an Amazon Echo device but aren’t sure whether it works in Malaysia. Well, we’re here to tell you it works. Controlling your smart home product with Alexa is confirmed to work just fine. However, the additional aspect that’s often overlooked is localisation. What is localisation and why is it important?

 

Localisation

Localisation is the process of adapting a product/service to the local market. Think of the Google Assistant and getting accurate replies from questions like “What time is it?” or “What’s the weather today?”. The original Amazon Echo was released in late 2014 and has been gradually expanding into different territories. Those of you who have followed the Echo from the early days would remember the workarounds that had to be done in order to localise Alexa. This is because only a handful of countries outside the US have official support for Alexa and till today, Malaysia is not one of them. The good news is that localisation works for the most part. We explore further below with steps to get the correct settings.

 

Location

 

 

 

 

Location – Set your current location

The first thing to do when you get your Echo device is to set your location. This location will be used to determine the weather, time zone and other local features.

Step 1
In the Alexa app select ‘Settings’ from the main menu.
Then select ‘Device Settings’.

Select ‘Settings’.
Select ‘Device Settings’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2
Next select your Echo device. For this example we’re using an Echo Dot.
Scroll down to ‘Location’ and enter in your address.
Tap on ‘Save’ and you’re done!

Select your Echo device. Example: Echo Dot.
Enter your address.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Location – Local businesses

Currently Alexa doesn’t have information on local businesses like the nearest restaurants, hotels or shops. So let’s say you stay at Jalan Ampang in Kuala Lumpur, and you ask “Alexa, where’s the nearest restaurant?” Alexa will respond “I couldn’t find that one but I’m working to add more local businesses”. This is understandable as presumably, these features will come with official local support.

 

Location – Traffic

Traffic information for Alexa takes into account two items; the start and destination address. And surprisingly it works in Malaysia. Alexa will respond with the estimated time taken and which routes to take. Don’t expect it to be as robust as Google’s offering (Maps) but its definitely commendable. To add the start and destination address:

Step 1
In the Alexa app select ‘Settings’ from the main menu.
Under Alexa Preferences, select ‘Traffic’.

Select ‘Settings’.
Select ‘Traffic’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2
Enter your start and destination address.
Now test it by asking “Alexa, what’s the traffic like today?”

Enter the start and destination address.

 

Time

 

 

 

 

 

When you have entered an address in the device location, Alexa will automatically determine the time zone based the country of that address. And this is confirmed to be working in Malaysia. Which means you can ask “Alexa, what’s time now?” or “What’s the date tomorrow?” and Alexa will give you the correct time.

You can also set the specific time zone if you would like, but this is optional. To do that:

Step1
In the Alexa app select ‘Settings’ from the main menu.
Then select ‘Device Settings’.

Select ‘Settings’.
Select ‘Device Settings’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next select your Echo device. For this example we’re using an Echo Dot.
Scroll down to ‘Time Zone’ and choose your specific time zone. With this latest update, the Malaysia time zone is now available. So select that if you’re located in Malaysia.

Select your Echo device. Example: Echo Dot.
Select the preferred time zone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weather

 

 

 

 

Asking the weather works with Alexa. And to recap, this information is based on the address which you entered in the device location. Some of the questions you can ask are “Will it rain tonight?” and “What’s the weather tomorrow?”. Just be sure to change the temperature measurement to Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. It was able to provide the weather forecast of the nearest landmark/town to my area which was a nice surprise.

 

Go change it

We hope that this article has helped you in getting the correct settings for using Alexa in Malaysia. Location, time and weather is considered the most basic of basic functions of a voice assistant. Without it, sure, you still can use Alexa to control your smart home products. You may just be surprised how annoying it can be not being able to ask the simplest of questions and getting an accurate answer.