Alexa Now Handles Follow-Up Requests and Makes Calls on Tablets
Amazon has updated Alexa with several new powers that make it a more usable and fully-rounded voice assistant. First, Alexa gains a "Follow-Up Mode" that makes interacting with the assistant more natural. Once enabled, Alexa will listen for 5 seconds after completing an exchange for follow-up requests. The idea is to negate the need to repeatedly use the "Alexa" or "Echo" wake phrases. People will be able to wake an Echo device once, complete an interaction, and then immediately follow it up with a second request/interaction without using the wake phrase again. According to CNET, the blue ring on Echo devices will remain illuminated during this 5-second listening period. If no request is made, the Echo device will go back to sleep. Separately, TechCrunch reports that Amazon has brought Alexa voice calling to iPads, Android tablets, and Amazon-branded fire tablets. Alexa on Echo devices has been able to place voice calls for several months. Tablet owners can now initiate voice/video calls and send messages with Alexa on the slate of their choice. Amazon Fire tablets further gain the ability to act as intercoms, called Drop-In Mode, for talking to other Fire devices on the same WiFi network. Both Follow-Up Mode and voice calling on tablets need to be activated within the latest version of the Alexa app on mobile devices.
Oct 5, 2018
Amazon has a number of updates to Alexa in store for phones and in-home connected devices. First, the mobile application for iPhones and Android devices has been given an entirely new look.
Jun 27, 2018
Amazon has updated its Alexa mobile app for iOS devices with the ability to support voice requests. The Android Alexa mobile app has had this feature since January.
Jun 21, 2018
Amazon today made the Motorola Moto Z3 Play and Moto G6 Play, both with Alexa on board, available through its Prime Exclusives program. Phones sold through the Prime Exclusive program have a single sign-in for all Amazon services, such as Amazon Video and Amazon Music.
Jul 26, 2018
Amazon today revealed Alexa Cast, a new feature that simplifies the experience of interacting with Alexa-powered devices. Alexa Cast specifically targets the action of casting music from a mobile phone to an Alexa speaker.
Oct 18, 2017
Motorola today announced the Moto Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa, a new modular attachment that lets Moto Z owners access Alexa when on the go. The Smart Speaker includes four microphones and Motorola says it can detect voices and respond to requests in most environments.