Great news for everyone who has ever given up, when opening the Amazon Alexa app for smartphones and seeing a large number of nonsense skill recommendations that were put in front and center – the app gets a much-needed turnaround.The new home screen on the Alexa app, which is currently rolling out and will be available on iOS, Android, and Fire OS devices for everyone by the end of August, includes shortcuts to get things done faster with Alexa.
Things like frequently used apps will appear directly on the home screen, along with more personalized suggestions.
There will also be manual control options for frequently used activities and skills; Think about the volume on the speakers, play music, alerts, shopping lists, reminders, and the like.
The Alexa button is now located at the top of the main screen, making it easier to access although it will not be easier than just saying “Alexa” whenever the application is open on the screen, which has always been the case.
The last tool is on the bottom bar, with a new More option that repeats what is currently shown when you click on the Advanced icon in the upper right corner. This is one store for things like reminders, routines, skills, and settings.
What’s new with Alexa?
In addition to licking the new paint for the Alexa app, Amazon has also revealed several other updates that have hit the smart home platform over the past few weeks, including …
- News notifications – U.S. customers can now receive notifications about top stories from NPR or Fox News on their Echo devices. These notifications are short summaries of important news stories that can relate to longer content if customers want to know more. News notifications will be posted to other news providers in the coming months. To get started just say, “Alexa, enable news notifications for NPR” or “Alexa, enable news notifications for Fox News”. You can also manage notification settings in the Alexa app. Make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of the app and go to Settings> Notifications> News.
- Alexa Accessibility website – Amazon launched Alexa Accessibility Hub, a new website that acts as a central resource for US customers to learn more about Alexa Accessibility features, business methods, and customer stories. Alexa offers many features that can help people of all abilities be more connected, entertaining, and independent. Customers can find additional information about features like Alexa Captioning, Real-Time Text, Show and Tell, VoiceView Screen Reader, Tap to Alexa, and more on the website.
- Enable Voice Routines – American customers can now enable voice marked routines. Just say, “Alexa, enable the good morning routine.” And when you say “Alexa, good morning,” Alexa will tell you fun facts, weather, and your flash summary. You can also say “Alexa, enable focus to start time routine” and when you say “Alexa, start focus time”, 30 minutes of classical music will start playing to help you keep your study or session on track. You can also enable and customize routines easily in the Alexa app or learn more about them here.
- Wellness Tips – Customers in the US, Canada, India, and Australia can now ask Alexa about their daily health advice to receive information on a wide range of wellness topics including mental health, exercise, and other ways to create healthy habits obtained from Mayo Clinic, NIH, and CDC And Talkspace. To get started, simply say “Alexa, what is my wellness advice today?” Or “Alexa, what was your wellness advice yesterday?”
- Use the Alexa app to download images as Echo Show display – Customers in the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, and Australia can now use the Alexa app to upload multiple images to Echo Show. To download images in the Alexa app, tap Devices> tap the device you want to customize> Home screen wallpaper. Unlimited storage for full-size photos from Amazon Photos is included with Prime. Find out more here.
Stock Market Information – Clients can now ask Alexa stock market questions, including stocks that are performing at the highest performance every day. To begin with just say, “Alexa, what are the highest stocks today?” Or “Alexa, what is the highest stock now?”