December 15, 2018

Amazon has brought Alexa calls and messaging to tablets

12 March 2018, 04:45 | Cameron Gross

Amazon updates Alexa so you don't have to say 'Alexa' repeatedly

Alexa's new Follow-Up Mode can handle back-to-back requests

Instead of having to repeatedly say "Hey Alexa" for every question, 'Follow-up Mode' will have the digital assistant continue to listen for a few seconds after an initial question.

The basic idea is simple, and a little bit obvious in hindsight. If the device is ready for a follow-up question, the blue indicator light will flash, thereby indicating to the user that he/she can ask the next question.

Amazon's Alexa devices include the $49.99 Echo Dot, to the $99.99 Echo, and the $229.99 Echo Show. "She didn't even say anything, just laughed".

To be clear, this doesn't mean that Alexa can handle multiple commands at once.

To enable Follow-Up Mode, head to the Settings section of the Alexa app, then select your Alexa device and turn the feature on.

Amazon will change the command for laughter to "Alexa, can you laugh?" and disable the shorter command.

You will no longer need to be around your Echo Speaker to make free calls and messages with Alexa. So, if you see the blue ring at the top of your device, you know Alexa is still listening.

Amazon's digital assistant, Alexa, who, thanks to her artificial intelligence, answers questions and receives orders from users, shows odd symptoms - which refer to parapsychological thrillers - as she suddenly starts without a reason to laugh in a frightening way it can freeze the blood. This follows a problem last week where Amazon Alexa stopped working altogether and wouldn't respond to voice commands at all and essentially lost her voice. The company also says the latter phrase is "less likely to have false positives", or in other words the Alexa software is likely to mistake common words and phrases that sound similar to the one that makes Alexa start laughing. Android and iOS have extra steps, forcing you to manually open the Alexa app before you can talk to the virtual assistant, but the basics are the same.

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