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Alexa gains 4 new Amazon Echo skills. Here’s how they work



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Alexa has more new features for you to try.

Ian Knighton / CNET

Your Amazon Echo is a essential part of your home, from protecting your home while you are away to listening to music while doing household chores. Alexa now has four new features for your Echo speaker to make your life a little easier.

For example, your Echo has new entertainment routines to enhance your movie experience Fire TV better. Plus, you can now use Alexa hands-free in the Amazon Shopping app.

Here are four new things Alexa can do on your Amazon Echo.

Alexa asks useful follow-up questions

This latest feature that Amazon has added to its Echo devices helps Alexa determine if it should provide follow-up suggestions for your commands. For example, if you ask Alexa how long it takes to brew tea, it might say something like “Five minutes is a good place to start. Would you like me to set a timer for five minutes?”

Note that not all questions will yield follow-up suggestions from Alexa. The speech bot determines whether to initiate follow-up questions based on the date and time, account status, and previous responses to a suggestion.

Here are more examples:

If you ask “When did World War II end?” Alexa might say, “World War II ended on September 2, 1945,” and then ask, “Want to test your history knowledge with Ultimate History Quiz?”

To “What is the stock price of? [x]? ‘, Alexa might reply with’ When the market closed on Monday, [x] traded at $ 201.15, down 1.99% since the previous close, “then asking” Want to know the intraday high for [x] of the CNBC skill? “

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Alexa has a new feature that allows it to ask follow-up questions.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Your Echo has new entertainment routines

Your Alexa routines help you get through the day – from waking up to the morning news to turning off the lights at night. Now there is a new routine option with Fire TV commands. For example, if you’re watching a movie and someone says “Alexa, I’ll have a snack,” Alexa pauses your TV and turns on the smart lights in your kitchen. Once the person says “Alexa, I’m back,” the voice assistant will turn off the lights and resume your movie.

Use Alexa hands-free in the Amazon Shopping app

As with the Alexa app, you can now use the Amazon Shopping app hands-free. You can ask Alexa to search for products, check your order status, and manage your shopping lists. Open (or download) the Amazon Shopping app on your phone and tap it Microphone icon in the search bar. Select Continue and tap OK to allow Amazon to access your microphone (this is so you can give Alexa commands).

Now you can say ‘Alexa, where’s my stuff’ to navigate to your orders. If you’re looking for a product, say something like “Alexa, show me espresso machines.” To view your shopping list, say “Alexa, show me my shopping list.”

Alexa can speak other languages

You can now ask Alexa to switch to a different language on your Amazon Echo. You can set your Echo speaker to speak two languages, including combining English with German, French, Italian, Spanish or Japanese. To start, say something like “Alexa, speak French.” Alexa will then ask if you want it to speak both English and French – say ‘yes’ to continue.

You can also open the Alexa app on your phone and tap Appliances > All devices > and select the Echo to which you want to add a language. Scroll down and tap Language, then select your preferred language combination from the list.

For more Amazon Echo tips, here how to turn your TV into a bigger echo show and five surprising music hacks to try with your Amazon Echo tonight. Also, if you have more than one Echo speaker, you should try this out.


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