Amazon confirms Skype calling is coming to Alexa, loads of other improvements
But one of the most important improvements announced by Amazon earlier today is Skype calling, which is coming to Alexa very soon. When the new feature will become available, you'll be able to say “Alexa, call Jimmy on Skype” to connect with Jimmy anywhere he uses Skype.
Amazon also announced it will bring email integration for Alexa, so you'll be able to manage your inbox by asking Alexa to check and reply to email through Gmail, Outlook, and Hotmail. In order for that to work, you'll need to link your email in your Alexa app and say, “Alexa, do I have emails from Sarah?”
There's also a new Whisper Mode, which allows you to whisper to Alexa (and apparently she will whisper her response back to you). This is meant to avoid waking up your partner to ask Alexa for information like weather or traffic.
Alexa Routine is a brand new feature that allows you to customize your daily routine. These routines will trigger when you leave or arrive at home or work. Moreover, you can add timed delays in between Alexa Routine actions like time-limited music, as well as temperature and motion-based Alexa Routines that trigger when the temperature in a room gets too high or too low, or when motion is detected.
If you plan on getting the Echo Show, you'll be pleased to know that it comes with a built-in web browser that can be opened by using the commands “Alexa, open Silk” or “Alexa, open Firefox.” In order to browse, you can use the on-screen keyboard to browse.
As mentioned earlier, Alexa will feature support for TIDAL. Amazon announced that all Echo devices will be compatible with the music service later this year. And for those who love music, Amazon has added a new feature that allows them to connect two of the same, supported Echo devices for stereo sound.
The Echo Show will also gain integrations with various video services like Fire TV Recast, Hulu, and NBC. Last but not least, thousands of skills will be available on the new Echo Show, as well as many games for the screen.