After purchasing an Amazon Alexa-enabled device, you may have found yourself saying the wake word “Alexa” more times in a given day than you’re comfortable with. A new feature called “follow-up mode” may change that.
Now available on all hands-free Alexa-enabled devices set to US English, this feature lets you make follow-up requests without repeating the wake word.
“The blue indicator light on the Echo device remains on for a few seconds, letting you know that Alexa is active and ready for your next request,” Amazon explained in a support note. So, if you see the blue ring at the top of your device, you know Alexa is still listening.
This new feature is toggled off by default, so you’ll need to enable it manually. To do that, just open the Alexa app, go to the menu and select Settings, select your device, then scroll down to Follow-Up Mode and use the toggle to turn it on.
Amazon noted that this feature will not work when music, books, or other audio is playing; when you end a conversation with Alexa by saying “stop,” “cancel,” “go to sleep,” or “thank you;” or when “Alexa is not confident you’re speaking to her.” Alexa will not respond to follow-up requests “if she detects that speech was background noise or that the intent of the speech was not clear,” Amazon wrote.
Meanwhile, Alexa has been struggling a bit as of late. The digital assistant went down for several hours earlier this month and has been freaking people out by creepily laughing, seemingly out of nowhere.
In other Amazon news, the online retail giant just launched a new sale on Fire TV devices exclusively for Prime members. Normally priced at $39.99, the Fire TV Stick, which includes an Alexa voice remote, can now be yours for just $24.99. The latest-generation Fire TV, which supports 4K and normally sells for $69.99, is now just $44.99. These prices are even lower than they were during the last Fire TV sale. If you’re not already a Prime member, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial to snag the deal.