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Alexa's new 'Brief Mode' makes the assistant talk less

Amazon's constantly adding new features to Alexa to ensure it's as helpful as can be, but the latest goodie actually makes the assistant talk less. As part of a new feature called "Brief Mode", Alexa's responses are shortened, and in some cases, replaced with just an audio cue rather than saying "Ok."

According to users on Reddit, they were first informed of the feature when normally interacting with Alexa. In one instance, Alexa told someone that it'd start using shorter responses when they asked it to turn off the lights. Later on, a new setting for Brief Mode was discovered in the Alexa app.

You can find the new option at the very bottom of the settings, and it's within a new page titled "Alexa Voice Responses." Per the description for Brief Mode:

In this mode, Alexa speaks less, and for some simple messages plays a short sound instead of a voice response.

This is an interesting move on Amazon's part, and it's a feature that I'd actually like to see make its way to the Google Assistant at some point. I love using my Google Home to control all of the lights in my apartment, but a short audio cue would be preferable as opposed to constantly hearing the Assistant say "Sure, turning Hue White Lamp 3 off."

What do you think? Is this a feature you're looking forward to on Alexa?

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

8 Comments
  • I'd use it in a heartbeat! I usually use a white noise skill at night to sleep. Since husband is sleeping before his head hits the pillow and I like to watch a little TV first, when I turn on the white noise and then ask Alexa to set a sleep timer, she goes through the Entire Thing! Sure! Setting a sleep timer for one hour. Or whatever I've quietly whispered to her. Wakes husband up every time. grrrrrrrrr
  • Wish google would catch up to some of these Alexa innovations...the Homes are pretty behind in terms of features in comparison.
  • Now if they could make Alexa more capable of answering search questions other than the weather and measurement conversions.
  • I ~like~ hearing Alexa speak. It makes her seem more "human". I don't want to be reminded that she is a cold soul-less bot. I want to hear her speak MORE not less.
  • This is definitely a must have feature, started using it as soon as Alexa told me ..way less intrusive than before ..me like !
  • Since using my own voice initiates the conversation...not hearing Alexa answer makes no difference to me. When I want a quiet action to take place , for instance turning out the lights at night when family is asleep , I simply use my phone. I won't bother using it.
  • I often think Google home needs this kind of feature when you're listening to music, and then ask it to play a specific song, it really ruins the mood when you hear "sure playing ###### from Spotify"
  • Google home totally needs this feature. The quieter night mode is great but for example I don't need confirmation that 4 lights are turning off. And I want to switch the hotword to something completely different.