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Alexa Announcements one-way voice feature rolling out to Echo devices

Alexa Announcements one-way voice feature rolling out to Echo devices

Alexa Announcements one-way voice feature rolling out to Echo devices

Enabling Alexa hands-free on supported Fire tablets is as simple as swiping down from the top of your device's home screen, and pressing the "Alexa Hands-Free" icon from within the quick actions menu. Amazon is rolling out the feature in a software update this week.

Amazon is turning Alexa into a public address system for the home, with Echo speakers now able to make one-way announcements to summon the family down for dinner.

Amazon Key debuted late previous year in select markets as a suite of features centered around in-home delivery for Prime members, and now all of its functionalities except for in-home delivery itself are available nationwide, the company said Thursday.

Announcements can also be made from the Alexa app, as you can see below. Note that this restriction is only for the Fire 7 and HD 8. Most smart speakers depend on either Alexa or Google.

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The feature essentially turns the tablet into a poor man's Echo Show, the $230 Echo device with a screen. The speakers aren't as good as a full-sized Echo, and tablets don't have the mic array you'd find on an Echo, either.

The tech giant said Alexa could then be used to control video playback, set a timer, control music and other appliances in a smart home, such as connected lights.

With Amazon Key's more basic features having gone nationwide, in-home delivery is likely to follow in the near future.

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