I am trying to set up an alarm as part of a skill, but am unable to automatically determine the user's time zone. Do I really have to ask the user where they are located and then figure out their local time from UTC? In the Alexa app setup, there is an entry for zip code. Is that not available to skill developers? If not, how does the native Amazon skill set an alarm for a specific time?
I am not making an alarm, just using that as an example of how this limits performance. I actually only need to know what the current local time is. With regard to the user, this app is not storing any user info directly, so I was hoping to be able to pull the time zone information in real time without having to ask the user.
I don't think you need to ask every time. Only once per user, assuming you store it on your side.
I'm sort of curious about how you're planning to implement an alarm, since you don't have push notifications and sessions can only sit idle on the order of seconds...
So, a few things:
-No, it is not available to us
-It probably IS available to developers of built-in features, they get access to a lot of things that we don't, obviously.
-Even if you could access it, a running issue I've heard other people complain about is that the timezone can only be US time zones. On more than one occasion I've heard someone from Australia complain about not being able to use their own time zones. Trying to utilize what they have would probably limit the usage of your skill to US only.
Now, here's the good news: The collection of time zones is a finite, easily enumerated list, which means you can probably add it as a custom slot type pretty easily, instead of making people go type their timezone in at a website somewhere. It's obviously annoying that you have to ask to begin with, but at least the question itself won't be hard to implement.