Amazon has launched a few features in recent weeks. At the end of the month, we would like to summarize them again in case they have passed you by. (One feature will be missing soon though, that’s the IFTTT connection).
Widget Quick Actions allow users to add icons to the top of compatible Echo Show devices for faster access to widgets. Instead of swiping to the side to get to widgets or swiping up to access a menu as before, the new icons on the home screen open the appropriate widget. Widget quick actions are available on Echo Show 8 and 10, and will soon be available on Echo Show 5.
Users now have the ability to trigger a single routine in multiple ways. For example, a bedtime routine that involves turning off lights, closing blinds, and playing sleep sounds can be started either every weekday at 10:00 p.m. or by the user saying the command “Alexa, good night.”
The “Most Important Connections” widget gives customers on their Echo Show 8, 10 or 15 access to their most important contacts and frequently used devices in the home. Calls or drop-ins can be launched with a simple tap. Later this year, this feature will also be available for the Echo Show 5.
Echo Show 8 (2nd and 3rd generation) now offer a home screen with adaptive content. Using computer vision technology, on-screen content adapts to the user’s distance from the device. This makes content, such as short news headlines or recipe recommendations, easy to see from a distance, while as the user approaches, the screen automatically changes to a more detailed view. If users have created a visual ID, content can also be personalized by displaying recently used playlists or the personal calendar, for example. Adaptive content will soon be available for other Echo Show devices.
Parents now have the ability to limit the maximum volume of their Echo Kids devices, such as Echo Dot Kids or Echo Show 5 Kids, as well as other supported devices in Kids Mode, directly from the Parents Dashboard. Here, they can select the appropriate kids profile and use the “Set maximum volume” option. Using a slider, they can set the desired maximum volume.
If reminders are not yet done, Alexa can now remind customers again. This feature is handy for important events like doctor’s appointments or bill payments that should not be overlooked. To use this feature, customers can either go to the reminder detail page in the Alexa app and enable the “Remind me again” option, or they can say, “Alexa, create an important reminder.” Alexa will actively track and repeatedly remind until the reminder is marked as done.