Introducing new Alexa features
We’re humbled by the stories we hear every day about how Alexa makes our customers’ lives a little better. Stories from customers like Belle, who at 103 years young relies on Alexa to help her live independently, inspire us to build features that make life a bit easier and—hopefully—more fun.
Today, we announced a new line up of Echo devices, an all-new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite, and several new Alexa features designed to help you stay connected, entertained, productive—and give you some extra peace of mind.
Staying in touch with your family and friends is now more important than ever. We’ve added some new features to help you stay connected.
Video calling and Drop In have been more popular this year than ever before. Soon, it will be easy for up to eight friends or family members to join a hands-free audio or video call with Alexa. Simply say, “Alexa, call my family,” for example, to connect with your family for the next catch-up, happy hour, or birthday celebration. You will be able to create and name groups in the Alexa app.
Zoom and Amazon Chime on Echo Show
Later this year, you’ll be able to join a video conference call with Alexa through Zoom and Amazon Chime. Just say, “Alexa, join my Zoom meeting,” or “Alexa, start my Chime meeting,” to join a video meeting on select Echo Show devices.
Add a little fun to Alexa video calls or Drop In calls. Later this year, you’ll be able to turn on in-call effects so you can appear around bubbles or a garden landscape, or immerse yourself in artistic styles like street art or a classic painting.
We've also added new features and services to help keep your homes and loved ones safe.
With the new Care Hub, Alexa can help you stay in touch with aging family members, even when they live far away. First, you and your family member agree to create a connection between your two Alexa accounts. Then, if your loved one needs help, they can call you as their emergency contact, even if a phone is out of reach—they just say “Alexa, call for help.” You can also view a high-level activity feed, so you know they’re up and going about their day, or set up an alert if the device detects no activity before a certain time of day, so you can call to check in. To learn more visit amazon.com/CareHub.
Guard Plus includes all the great Alexa Guard features and offers even more ways to help customers protect their homes. For example, you can ask Alexa to connect you, hands-free, to trained agents at the Emergency Helpline 24/7 who can request medical, fire, or police assistance on your behalf. With Guard Plus, Alexa can also detect and alert you about sounds of activity in your home while you’re away and sound a siren from Echo devices. Guard Plus can also help deter potential intruders by playing the sounds of dogs barking from Echo devices in your home if motion is detected by outdoor smart home cameras. Later this year, customers in the U.S. can sign up for a free one-month trial, or subscribe to the service for $4.99 a month or $49 a year. Ring Protect Plus customers will get Guard Plus for no additional cost as part of their current subscription. Security providers including A3 Smart Home, Abode, Resideo, Scout Alarm, and Wyze will also offer Guard Plus along with their subscription plans. To learn more visit amazon.com/alexaguard.
More privacy features
Privacy is foundational—it’s at the heart of every device, feature, and experience we build. Today, we’re introducing additional privacy controls and easier ways to learn about Alexa and privacy. You can say, “Alexa, how do I review my privacy settings,” to get more information on how to manage your privacy controls, or later this year say, “Alexa, delete everything I've said,” to delete your voice history. You can also choose whether or not to save your voice recordings. If you choose not to save your voice recordings, they will be automatically deleted after Alexa processes your request. For more information, read our latest blog on how Alexa makes privacy even easier.
Alexa is even more natural and proactive, making your day-to-day tasks a little easier.
"Alexa, what’s for dinner?"
Coming up with new recipe ideas will soon be even easier with Alexa. Plan meals for the week by adding items to your Whole Foods Market or Amazon Fresh cart, and once your delivery arrives, ask, “Alexa, what's for dinner” to see personalized recipes based on what you just had delivered. Need something fast? Ask Alexa for recipes you can cook quickly. Want to cook with chickpeas instead of salmon? Just ask, and Alexa will share updated recommendations.
Upcoming new sound detectors
Later this year, Alexa will be able to recognize even more sounds like a baby crying or someone coughing or snoring. You’ll also be able to choose to set up convenient Routines—for example, you could create a Routine that turns the light on in the bedroom to help you wake up when Alexa detects the sound of a baby crying, or one that turns on white noise when your partner starts to snore at night.
We’re adding even more ways to stay entertained.
Netflix on Echo Show
You can already watch your favorite Prime Video shows and movies on Echo Show. Soon, you will also be able to watch any content available on Netflix. Easily browse, search, and play content from the whole Netflix catalog using your voice—simply say “Alexa, search comedy movies on Netflix” to get started.
Sharing music with friends or family will soon be as easy as saying, “Alexa, share this song with Liz.” The person you’ve sent the song to will be able to listen with their Echo device or through the Alexa app—and they can send back a reaction so you know what they think.
Alexa can help young readers build fluency and foster a love for reading with the all-new Reading Sidekick. This works with hundreds of children’s books, and is a great companion to help supplement the reading time kids have with their parents and teachers. With a physical or digital copy of a supported book in hand, kids can say, “Alexa, let’s read,” to get started. Alexa and the child will take turns reading from the book—when the child is reading, Alexa will provide encouragement and offer support. A preview of Reading Sidekick will begin rolling out for Amazon Kids+ families in the coming months.
Alexa voice profiles for kids
Parents tell us they love the Amazon Kids parental controls and want them all over the house, not just on their Echo Dot Kids Edition. Soon, parents can create a voice profile for their kids so Alexa will automatically switch to the kids Alexa experience when a child is speaking to her. No matter where they are in the house, if a child talks to Alexa, she will provide kid-friendly responses, games, skills, music, and more. Additionally, families with Amazon Kids+ will have access to even more kid-friendly Audible books, premium Alexa Skills, podcasts, and more. On Echo Show, kids can also view videos as part of the Amazon Kids+ subscription, or parents with a Prime membership can choose to share kid-friendly Prime Video titles. Parents can visit Parent Dashboard (parents.amazon.com) at any time to review their child’s activity or add additional content to their child’s profile. A preview of Alexa voice profiles for kids will begin rolling out for Amazon Kids and Kids+ members in the coming months. And, of course, parental consent is required.
These features will be rolling out over the coming months and we look forward to inventing even more features on behalf of customers.