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4 new things Alexa can do on your Amazon Echo

Alexa can now send commuter and traffic details to your phone and give you details about the election.

Amazon announced four new features the Echo can do.
Chris Monroe/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET's coverage of the voting in November and its aftermath.

Your Amazon Echo has been a helpful tool around the house -- it turns off your lights when you forget to, make calls when your hands are full and quickly orders necessities for you when you're in a hurry. Now Alexa has four new features that you can try on your Amazon Echo.

Some of the new features include asking Alexa to send traffic information to your phone when you don't have time to look it up. You can also ask Alexa for information about the elections, like when to vote in your area.

We'll keep this post updated as more new features are added to Amazon's voice assistant and Echo speakers. Here are four new things you can ask Alexa to do on your Amazon Echo.

Ask Alexa to send commute info to your phone

You can now ask Alexa to send directions, information about your daily commute and traffic conditions directly to your phone. This is helpful for when you're running out the door and don't have time to type in the location.

You can ask questions like, "Alexa, how is the traffic to work?" or, "Alexa, directions to [name of] cafe." Once Alexa answers, you can say, "Alexa, send that to my phone." Then all you'll need to do is tap start to begin navigating in your phone's maps app (Apple Maps or Google Maps).

Read more: Best cheap Alexa devices for 2020  

Notify you of severe weather alerts

Whether you're in snowstorm, tornado or hurricane season, you can now ask Alexa to send you alerts to notify you of severe weather coming your way. Just say, "Alexa, tell me when there's a severe weather alert," to begin receiving notifications of bad weather in your area.


You can ask Alexa to let you know when there's a severe weather alert.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Alexa can give you election information

Alexa can keep you up-to-date on the 2020 presidential elections, which is helpful if you've been out of the loop. You can hear details about debates and candidate information, and get local details on where to vote and live election results.

Some questions you can ask Alexa about the elections:

  • "Alexa, when is the next debate?"
  • "Alexa, what channel is the debate on?"
  • "Alexa, where does [candidate] stand on [specific issue]?"
  • "Alexa, who is still running for president?"
  • "Alexa, who can I vote for in [state]?"
  • "Alexa, when are the polls open?"
  • "Alexa, when is my primary?"
  • "Alexa, when do I need to register to vote?"
  • "Alexa, how can I register to vote?"
  • "Alexa, what are the election results today?"
  • "Alexa, who won in [state?]"
Now playing: Watch this: Amazon Echo Show 8 review: Alexa is getting even better

Get caught up on NBA games

If you own an Echo device with a screen, such as the Echo Show 5, you can now watch video highlights from NBA games. Just say "Alexa, play the [team] highlights" to see clips from the most recent game.

Find out more things you can do with your smart device by checking out these five unexpected uses for your Amazon Echo and six things you probably haven't tried with your Amazon Echo.