Amazon will start rolling out new features and functionality for Alexa in the coming weeks, per TechCrunch. The features, which were originally announced this past September at Amazons Echo event, aim to improve Alexas usefulness across various areas, from communication to household chores.
As the race to offer the most intelligent and convenient voice assistant heats up, its crucial that Amazon continues to roll out such updates and further encourage consumers to turn to Alexa as their go-to assistant throughout the day.
Heres an overview of the new Alexa functionality updates that will start rolling out in the coming weeks:
- Alexa can communicate with others via email.Users with Alexa-enabled devices can ask Alexa to check, read, delete, and reply to emails on Gmail, Hotmail, or Outlook accounts. Previously, users could only use Alexa to communicate with others via voice calls, video calls, or SMS messaging.
- The voice assistant can also call local businesses.Alexa-enabled devices can directly call local businesses, building on their previous ability to identify information about those businesses, such as their hours and phone numbers. A user looking to see whether any grocery stores nearby sell a certain brand of cereal could ask Alexa to identify the nearest Whole Foods, and, with the new ability, call that location from the Alexa device by saying call them.
- Alexa can begin Routines based on a users location.To set up location-based Routines, users have to enable location sharing in the Alexa smartphone app; then, when users cross a designated geographical location with their phone, a custom routine is triggered. Once a user leaves home, for instance, the Alexa app could detect that and trigger the connected lights in the house to turn off and the smart door to lock.
Alexas new email-checking, business-calling, and location-based Routines features will likely spur more frequent usage of the voice assistant among US consumers.The emailing and business-calling functionality enables more flexibility in communicating via Alexa an area US voice assistant users are looking forward to most.
Additionally, the location-based Routines functionality will make Alexa more useful for a variety of popular voice assistant activities, including controlling TV functions, texting, and making a reservation. With location-based Routines, users could set up Alexa to automatically turn on their TV, make a reservation at their favorite restaurant, and send a text to a spouse once they're a mile from home.
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