While some people think Alexa is stupid, most of us realize Amazon’s artificial intelligence is extremely capable. After all, Alexa can help you play music on your Echo, control your smart devices, dole out medical advice, and even order takeout.
The only problem with Alexa is the need to say “Alexa” every time you want her to do something. Which can be a drag if you want to issue multiple requests. However, Amazon is endeavoring to make this a thing of the past with a new feature called Follow-Up mode.
Alexa Gains a New Follow-Up Mode
Follow-Up mode, as first spotted by CNET, means you can now ask Alexa to listen for longer. Once you have opted in, Alexa will then keep on listening for a few seconds after dealing with a request. Letting you make another request without saying “Alexa” again.
What you CAN do with Follow-Up mode is string multiple requests together. So, ask Alexa something, then when she’s replied with OK, ask her something else. What you CAN’T do is ask her to do multiple things at once. Because she cannot yet multitask.
Not even joking went down stairs at 3am to my Alexa making a pizza and shouting drunk slurs at me…
— Arron Crascall (@arron_crascall) March 12, 2018
To turn Follow-Up mode on, just open the Alexa app and go to the Menu. Then, click on Settings and select your device. Then, just scroll down until you see Follow-Up mode, and toggle the slider across to On.
Even with Follow-Up mode on you can tell Alexa to stop listening by saying “Stop,” “Cancel,” “Thank You,” or “Go to Sleep”. She also won’t remain active when there’s audio playing, or when she’s not entirely sure you’re talking to her directly.
A Good Follow-Up to Alexa Laughing
Follow-Up mode is available on all hands-free Alexa-enabled devices, which includes the Echo Dot, the Echo Plus, and the Echo Show. Unfortunately, it’s only available for U.S. English, although Amazon could add support for other languages in the future.
This seems like a good skill for Amazon to give Alexa. However, not all of Alexa’s new skills are so welcome. Amazon recently gave Alexa the ability to laugh on command. Cue people being scared witless by an unnatural laugh emanating from the darkness.