Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
Technology | By Christopher Mann

Alexa's new Follow-Up Mode can handle back-to-back requests

Alexa's new Follow-Up Mode can handle back-to-back requests

Amazon's Alexa devices include the $49.99 Echo Dot, to the $99.99 Echo, and the $229.99 Echo Show.

The basic idea is simple, and a little bit obvious in hindsight.

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It's worth mentioning that you don't need a tablet or Echo speaker to receive calls, all you need is the Alexa app. Amazon's Drop In feature will also work between tablets and other Echo devices in your home, so you can use your tablet to communicate with someone else inside your house.

"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. If you want to ask a follow-up question or issue a second command, the assistant will hear you without you having to call out her name. If you don't, she'll just go back to sleep automatically without saying anything else. ALEXA: "OK." (continues listening) YOU: "Set the thermostat to 68".

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To enable Follow-Up Mode, head to the Settings section of the Alexa app, then select your Alexa device and turn the feature on.

Amazon says Alexa will only respond to a follow-up commands if she's "confident" that it is a legitimate request and not just background noise.

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You can use Alexa calling on tablets to phone landline numbers, providing they're connected to an Amazon Echo Connect accessory hub, and you can call anyone in your contacts list for free, just as long as they also have the Alexa app installed on their smartphone or tablet. The company also says the latter phrase is "less likely to have false positives", or in other words the Alexa software is likely to mistake common words and phrases that sound similar to the one that makes Alexa start laughing.

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