08 October 2018
Amazon's 2018 lineup of Echo devices is now official with different types of products for a different kind of target audience. Since Alexa is at the heart of each of these devices, Amazon also took the opportunity to announce a lot of new features for the digital assistant. These features are spread across different categories and can prove to be really useful.
One of the biggest additions to Alexa is the support for security features. It is being called Alexa Guard where it will be able to alert users about the sound of glass-breaking, smoke detectors, or carbon monoxide alarms detected in the user's house. It can now be integrated with Ring and ADT for extra safety features. This feature can be activated by simply saying, "Alexa, I am leaving".
If you are someone who uses smart home devices, Alexa can now alert you whenever any of those devices is not the way you would intend at a particular time of the day. It means let's say you are going to bed but forgot to turn off the drawing room light, Alexa will remind you about the same and can even turn the light off on your behalf. This feature will work better as Alexa will analyze a user's day-to-day usage more and more.
Amazon has now made it possible for users to interact with Alexa even when there is no or unreliable internet connection. It is being called Local Voice Control where Alexa can be used for accomplishing local tasks like turn on/off lights and controlling plugs and switches. For those who use Ring and August doorbell cameras, the Echo Show will allow them to check who is on the door as well as to talk with them.
Anyone who has ever used any Alexa-powered device can certainly vouch for the benefits of Alexa Routines. These are a set of actions that Alexa performs whenever a custom single phrase is used. Amazon has now expanded with the addition of new Alexa Routines which are location-based, temperature-based, and motion-based. For those who love to cook, Alexa now supports Kitchen Stories, Allrecipes, Epicurious, Food52, TheKitchn, and SideChef for step-by-step cooking instructions.
Alexa further offers Email Integration where it can be used for checking and replying to emails on Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail. There is a new Whisper Mode where you can whisper to Alexa and she whispers back with the response. It is aimed at interacting with Alexa when someone is sleeping in the room and you do not want to wake them up.
There are a bunch of new Alexa features for music lovers too. It will start supporting TIDAL music service later this year and also offer Amazon Music's new releases notifications. Any two of the same kind of Echo devices can be used for stereo sound with the help of left-right stereo pairing support.
Amazon has even more Alexa features for users to try out depending on the use case. You can read about them in detail by visiting the source link below.