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Amazon Alexa calling and messaging comes to Fire, Android and iOS tablets

12 March 2018

The basic idea is simple, and a little bit obvious in hindsight.

Thankfully, Amazon has realized this issue and introduced a new feature called Follow-Up Mode, which makes Alexa listen for a couple of seconds after she has finished speaking. With Follow-Up Mode, Alexa will listen for 5 seconds after she's done responding to you to see if you have anything else to ask. As usual, saying "stop", "cancel" or "go to sleep" will stop Alexa from listening.

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Meanwhile, Amazon also explained that the random laughs might have been caused by coincidental phrases that Alexa hears and processes as commands. The company suggested in an email that the laughs had occurred "in rare circumstances" because the speaker was picking up a "false positive" for the command "Alexa, laugh". You can't, for instance, say "Alexa, turn off the lights and set the thermostat to 68". If you need a lot doing, you can end up saying "Alexa" so many times that it starts to sound like a fake word or that you're going slightly mad talking to someone who isn't actually real. ALEXA: "OK, the heat is set to 68".

The have been widespread reports that Amazon Alexa has been freaking users out by giving a creepy laugh at unexpected moments and even reading out the names of funeral homes. Just head to the Settings page of the app, select the device you want to configure, find Follow-Up Mode and tap the toggle to switch it on.

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The feature should be available to the entire Echo lineup and some third-party Alexa devices; however, it's only available for US English and won't activate while you're listening to music, streaming an audiobook, or making a call. For example, "Alexa, call mum" and she will oblige, or you can ask Alexa to drop in on a relative or a Echo Show in the nursery to check on your child.

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Amazon Alexa calling and messaging comes to Fire, Android and iOS tablets