If Amazon Alexa is basically a member of your family, you’ll want to know about some big changes that are coming soon!
Amazon made headlines recently by unveiling a lineup of new Echo devices, but there are also additional Alexa features on the way that will be available on existing Echo devices — not just new ones.
New Alexa features are coming to Echo devices
In a news release, Amazon said updates to the Alexa virtual assistant will make life even more convenient, safe and entertaining for its millions of users.
“The Alexa service is always getting smarter, whether you’re using the Echo you bought three years ago or an Echo Show you buy tomorrow. We have thousands of engineers and scientists inventing on behalf of customers, and today we’re excited to introduce even more features to help make customers’ lives simpler, safer, and more convenient,” said Tom Taylor, Senior Vice President of Amazon Alexa. “Soon customers will be able to manage their email, easily secure their home, watch the shows they love on Echo Show, and make their daily routines more productive — all just by asking Alexa.”
Amazon has made significant improvements in Alexa’s artificial intelligence over the past year, which has led to the upgrades that will begin rolling out in the coming months.
Team Clark reviewed Amazon’s comprehensive list of the new Alexa features. Here are 10 of our favorites…
1) Alexa Guard: To help keep your home safe when you’re away, Alexa will send you alerts about the sound of glass breaking, smoke detectors or carbon monoxide alarms detected in your home.
2) Location-Based Reminders: Need a reminder to take the chicken out of the freezer when you get home? Ask Alexa and she’ll automatically speak up after you get back to your place.
3) Cook with Alexa: Could you use some help in the kitchen? Just ask Alexa for step-by-step cooking instructions from Kitchen Stories, Allrecipes, Epicurious, Food52, TheKitchn and SideChef.
4) Multi-step Requests: Ask Alexa to do multiple things at once within one request, like adding several items to your shopping list: “Alexa, add bananas, paper towels and cat food to my shopping list.”
5) Email Integration: Can’t get to your computer or smartphone? With Alexa’s help, you can check and reply to email through Gmail, Outlook.com and Hotmail.com.
6) Whisper Mode: Whisper to Alexa and she’ll whisper back so that you don’t disturb other people in the house.
7) More Calling Options: Skype voice and video calling with Alexa will allow you to connect with the hundreds of millions of people using Skype around the world.
8) New Music Service: The global music streaming platform TIDAL will be available on all Echo devices later this year.
9) Amazon Music New Release Notifications: Ask Alexa to follow your favorite artists and receive notifications when they release a new album or track.
10) New Video Services for Echo Show: Integrations with Fire TV Recast, Hulu and NBC will make live TV viewing and on-demand streaming available on any Echo Show.
Read the full list of the upcoming Alexa features at Amazon.com.
If you’re thinking about buying your first Echo or upgrading to a new one, you may want to wait until Black Friday 2018. Amazon typically puts the devices on sale during the holiday shopping season.