What you need to know
- Amazon has rolled out a new Auto Mode in the Alexa app.
- The new Auto Mode can turn your smartphone into a driver-friendly display to enhance Alexa's in-vehicle voice experience.
- Amazon has also added a new Start My Commute routine that will be available on the Echo Auto and Alexa-enabled vehicles in the U.S. in the coming weeks.
Amazon has announced two new features for its Alexa voice assistant, aimed at making it easier for you to navigate and stay connected while behind the wheel.
The new Auto Mode makes it possible for you to see and do more with the Alexa auto accessory in your car. It turns your phone into a smart display with easy access to the most commonly used actions such as navigating to a saved location, making a phone call to contacts or Alexa devices, and playing media.
The Auto Mode features four screens – Navigation, Communicate, Play, and the home screen. There is also a persistent menu bar to help you quickly switch between the four screens. Amazon says the new Auto Mode will roll out to both Android and iOS users in the coming weeks in Canada, Germany, France, India, Italy, Spain, the U.K., and the U.S.
Along with the Auto Mode, Amazon is adding a new "Start My Commute" featured routine, which will work on Alexa-enabled devices such as the Echo Auto and Alexa-enabled cars. To enable the routine, you will just have to say "Alexa, start my commute." Once enabled, you can get updates on the weather and traffic from Alexa. The voice assistant will also ask if you would like to listen to music or catch up on daily news.
You will even be able to customize the routine further by heading over to the Routines section in the Alexa app on your phone. The new featured routine will begin rolling out to users in the U.S. in the coming weeks. It will join the "Alexa, pay for gas" feature, which was rolled out last month and is now available at over 11,500 Exxon and Mobil gas stations across the U.S.
Amazon Echo Auto
If you're a Prime member, you can get the Echo Auto for just $20 through October 12 as an early Prime Day deal. The Echo Auto enables you to add Alexa to your car to do things like make calls, manage your calendar, check the news, get weather updates, and play music hands-free.
Can we get music playing automatically when I get back in the car? And can it be reliable, not the hit-or-miss nonsense that it's been since the Echo Auto rolled out? I'm in the process of moving, and life is an endless series of 3-minute trips to storage. I've gone back to an iPod because by the time Echo Auto decides to play music, the trip is over.
Amazon isn't showing that $20 price for me and I'm a Prime member.
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