Amazon’s Alexa smart home assistant just got a little bit smarter and a little bit easier to talk to.
Alexa-enabled devices have been updated to allow users follow up with a second question for Alexa without needing to say “Alexa” again, CNET reported Friday, allowing for a more natural conversation.
The new feature is called Follow-Up Mode, and it has to be enabled by users before it can be used.
Devices like the Echo and Echo Dot will give users five seconds to hit it with a follow-up question after it answers your first one, lighting up blue to indicate that it’s still listening. The mode won’t listen to just anything that’s said though, but will instead look out for things that it thinks it’s being asked.
In other words, you don’t have to stay silent in fear of asking it something accidentally. You can also end the conversation by saying something like “thank you” or “stop.”
It’s a small improvement for the smart home assistant, but it’s a good step toward making things like Alexa seem more natural and a little easier to use.
Alexa recently received another update that made it a little smarter: time-based music requests. This allows users to say something like “Alexa, play that playlist I listened to Saturday night,” which is extremely helpful if you don’t remember what you were recently listening to but just knew you were vibing to it.
The AI still can’t handle multiple requests in one breath; you have to wait for Alexa to answer one question before you can ask another one. But maybe someday.