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Your Amazon Echo is now a fully functional PA system. This is thanks to a new feature called Alexa Announcements, which means you can broadcast messages to everyone within earshot of the Echo devices in your home. Which should cajole the kids into action.
Your Amazon Echo is capable of so much, thanks mainly to the power endowed on it by Alexa. And Alexa’s skillset extends much further than just playing music. Her latest skill is Alexa Announcements, which could be useful, or could get really annoying really quickly.
Alexa, Tell Everyone to Leave Me Alone
Alexa Announcements lets you use your Echo devices as a connected PA system. You can make an announcement in earshot of one Echo device, and Alexa will broadcast your message to all of the Echo devices within that household.
You can trigger this feature by saying, “Alexa, announce that…”, “Alexa, tell everyone…”, or “Alexa, broadcast…” followed by your message. And that message can literally be anything, from something as banal as, “Wake Up” to something as sweet as, “I Love You”.
Last night I dreamed my Amazon Echo device went on strike because “I asked her trick questions.” When I awoke, she refused to answer my usual “What’s the time?”
No. In my dream she was “Alyssa". Half awake, I called her Alyssa.
Alexa now responds normally.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) April 5, 2018
As an added bonus Amazon has programmed some sound effects to accompany specific announcements. If you say, “Goodnight everyone” you’ll have a Yawn added to your message, and if you say, “We’re late” you’ll have a running sound effect added.
These are just a couple of examples, but there are many more waiting for you to discover. You could use Google to find out what the others are, or you could spend a thoroughly enjoyable weekend shouting random things at Alexa to see what she comes up with.
Alexa Announcements Is Rolling Out Now
Alexa Announcements is supported on the Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and Echo Look. Unfortunately, the Echo Tap is the odd one out on this occasion. Alexa Announcements is rolling out in the U.S. and Canada from today.
Google actually beat Amazon to the punch on this one. Since November 2017 you have been able to use Google Home as an intercom, broadcasting messages to all Google Home devices in your house using Google Assistant. But it’s better late than never.