What you need to know
- Amazon Alexa has a new feature that comes in handy for people with speech difficulty.
- The new accessibility feature allows users to complete a command at their own pace before Alexa responds.
- Android users can also now type their commands in the Alexa app.
Alexa now gives you more time to finish your command before it responds. Amazon's digital assistant has picked up a new accessibility feature that will make Alexa wait a little while for you to finish your statement or query.
According to Forbes, the new capability is available on some of the best Android phones and iOS devices. It's optional, which means you can choose to add the feature to your Alexa-enabled device such as the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen).
The new accessibility feature might solve one of the lingering issues with digital assistants. For example, it can prove useful for those moments when Alexa suddenly interrupts your statement even before you could finish it because you simply stuttered.
Google launched a similar accessibility effort for Assistant in early 2019 with the introduction of Project Euphonia, which aimed to improve speech recognition software for people with speech impairment. That initiative entailed collecting massive amounts of voice data from people with impaired speech in order to address the issue of AI bias in Assistant caused by a lack of training data.
Amazon's solution, on the other hand, is designed to make Alexa allow you to take more time to finish your sentence. You can turn the functionality on by going to the Device Settings page in the Alexa app.
Alexa is also introducing a new feature that allows you to type your command or query directly into the Alexa app on Android. According to The Verge, the feature was first released on iOS last year and is now in public preview for Android users in the United States.
Aside from accessibility, the new Android feature gives you more flexibility in how you use Alexa, especially in places where silence is required.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.