New Alexa setting makes follow-up questions much easier to ask

New Alexa setting makes follow-up questions much easier to ask

Amazon's Echo line of devices gets a new feature in the form of "follow-up" mode, which lets users spit out command after command without repeating the wake word each time. The blue ring on your Alexa device of choice will light up during these 5 seconds to indicate that she's listening.

Open the latest version of the Alexa mobile app. If you're one that asks Alexa a lot of questions, you're used to invoking her the old fashioned way with an "Alexa" callout first and foremost. To fix the issue, Amazon is disabling that command and changing the trigger phrase to "Alexa, can you laugh?"

Alexa is easily the current leader of the growing virtual assistant market, and Amazon is keen to stay ahead of competition from Google and Apple.

With Follow-Up Mode, the digital assistant listens for five seconds after she's finished responding.

With follow-up mode, users can give Alexa commands or requests back to back, without having to say "Alexa" for each one. Go to settings, find the device you want to activate it on then toggle the slider for follow-up mode.

"Every time Alexa laughs, an angel dies", entrepreneur and innovator Elon Musk joked in a Twitter exchange on the development.

Not anymore. Follow-Up Mode changes all that.

Go to Alexa on the web. The feature is only available for U.S. English and won't work when listening to music, streaming an audiobook or making a call.

Amazon also told CNET that its Alexa will only reply to follow-up requests if she's "confident" that it is a legitimate request rather than just noise in the background.

It'll be interesting to see how well this works. Amazon does seem to eventually figure out things that are not working and make improvements quickly.

The feature is now only available in US English in the US.

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