A new text messaging bot out of Yahoo wants to manage your grocery list and family calendar so you don’t have to.
The Captain assistant, which launched in the U.S. on Monday, lets you add items to a list or reminders to a shared calendar by SMS-based message. For example, you can text Captain to remind your son that he has a dentist appointment on Tuesday, or have it remind your partner to pick up the dry cleaning this afternoon. Then, the assistant will add it to a calendar and text the other person.
You can also update a master grocery list through Captain. Each member of your family can add items to the same list through text message, and Captain will ensure there aren’t duplicates and show you the list on command.
“Gone are the days of interrupting your spouse’s workday with updated carpool information and fielding text messages from your kids about what they need from the store,” wrote Shani Clark, Yahoo’s senior product director, in a blog post announcing Captain.
There’s dozens of apps that already do this, such as Cozi, and Captain isn’t as smart as an Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Home assistant. Instead, it stands out by tapping into something everyone already uses everyday: text messages.
With Yahoo’s assistant you don’t have to get your kids or significant other to download a new app and check it regularly. To get started setting it up, just text “Hi” to 773-786.
Yahoo’s latest venture comes as it nears a sale to Verizon. Last month, the telecommunications giant said it would pay $350 million less for Yahoo following a series of data breaches last year. The sale is set to close in the second quarter of this year.