Amazon added several new tricks and tools to its Echo devices and Alexa app.
Amazon has made several new improvements to its Echo speakers and the Alexa app in the past month, from a redesigned app that makes it easier for you to find what you're looking for to starting a routine with your voice.
Last month, the big tech company also announced three new Alexa updates designed to help you to better interact with Alexa. Here are the latest features that you can use on your Amazon Echo now.
Starting now, you can get notifications on your Amazon Echo for the latest news from NPR and Fox News. The notifications will play short summaries of top stories of the day and can connect you to the full story if you're interested in hearing more.
To get started, say "Alexa, enable news notifications for NPR/Fox News." The new feature is rolling out to more news outlets in the coming months.
You can now enable Featured Routines with a voice command. For example, to start your morning routine, you can say "Alexa, enable my good morning routine," so when you say "Alexa, good morning," it'll start the routine you created. This is great if you wake up 30 minutes before your scheduled routine and you want to go ahead and get the day started.
Amazon has made it easier to upload your photos to your Echo Show. To do so, open the Alexa app on your phone and tap Devices, then select the Echo Show you want to upload the photos to. Next, tap Home Screen Background and either upload photos from your phone or your linked Facebook account. You'll need to give Amazon permission to access your photos before you can start downloading.
If you're not within talking proximity to your Echo speaker, no problem. You can now access Alexa on your speaker through the Alexa app with just your voice. To turn on the feature, open the Alexa app on your phone and tap the blue Alexa icon at the top of the screen. A window will open that says Use Alexa hands-free. Tap Turn On to begin using the new tool.
Amazon redesigned the home screen in the Alexa app that changes the way you navigate within the app. For example, the settings are now located on the lower right hand side of the screen, rather than the top left. The more you use the app, the better it can personalize suggestions on the home screen. So if you regularly listen to a specific music playlist, it will appear at the top of your suggestions.
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