Amazon is making Alexa even more powerful with a slew of new features
When it comes to smart speakers, Amazon dominates the US market with its Alexa-powered Echo devices. According to a report published early this year by eMarketer, nearly 70% of US smart speaker users will own an Echo in 2020, down from 73% last year.
The more reason for Amazon to continue to improve Alexa, its personal digital assistant powering many home devices in the United States. Amazon announced recently a host of new features that are now available in Alexa or will be in the coming weeks. Here are some of the most important new Alexa features recently introduced by Amazon:
- Drop In for all of your devices – customers can now use group Drop In to instantly connect all of their Echo devices into a group conversation. Simply say, “Alexa, drop in on all devices” to start an audio intercom call to have conversations like “what should we have for dinner?” or “does anyone want anything from grocery store?”
- Reminders on all devices – customers in the U.S. can now set reminders to play across all their Alexa devices, a frequently requested feature. In the Alexa app, customers can choose “All devices” when creating an individual reminder or enable the feature for all reminders by going to Settings > Reminders and opting into “Announce on all devices.”
- Photo sharing and reactions – you can easily share photos with your Alexa contacts from your Echo Show and the Alexa app. Now, when someone shares a photo with you, you can send a reaction back by choosing one of three animated emoji options, including “laugh,” “love,” and “wow.”
- Daily Music Pick – Amazon Music revealed Daily Music Pick, a new Alexa feature in which artists provide customers with daily music recommendations. Just say “Alexa, play the Daily Music Pick” and each day a new artist will select a song, album, or playlist that they’ve been enjoying at home.
Besides these new features, Amazon announced that Echo Auto is making its way to Australia and that Alexa is now available for Volkswagen Golf 8 owners in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Also, Lenovo Smart Tab M10 FHD Plus (2nd Gen) and Sonos Arc, a new premium smart soundbar launching on June 10, will be getting Alexa built-in.