Voice assistants can be an extremely useful way to multi-task – just say your query or command out loud, and it’ll respond with the information you need such as the weather, or setting a timer, leaving your hands free to do something else.
However, have you ever found speaking to one of the best smart speakers or smart displays, a little, well clunky? If you’ve got an Amazon Echo in your home, constantly having to utter ‘Alexa’ in order to get the smart speaker’s attention can be rather wearing.
This is where Follow-Up Mode can help, as it ensures Alexa can answer questions in quick succession – making it almost as if she is holding a conversation with you.
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Alexa Follow-Up mode stops Amazon’s voice assistant from becoming dormant the moment it’s delivered the information you requested. Instead, its friendly blue ring (which signifies it’s listening and keen to help) continues to glow for five more seconds in the expectation you may have more commands. None of these subsequent requests need you to use the wake word Alexa; you can simply ask the next question.
For example, after asking “Alexa, is it going to rain today?”, if Follow-Up Mode is active, you can continue with, “What’s the weather forecast for tomorrow?” or “What time is my Amazon package arriving?” It’s a simple improvement, but it’s also easy to set up.
It can also make a conversation with Alexa feel more natural too, almost as if you’re speaking to another person. For example, if you say “Alexa, who is the Queen of England” and then once it’s responded follow-up with “how old is she” not only will Alexa respond without needing its Wake word uttered again, it also understands exactly who ‘she’ is.
However, unlike Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and smart displays, Alexa Follow-Up Mode only applies to the device you’re using to converse with Alexa on. If you switch to another device, you’ll need to use the wake word again.
There are two ways to switch on Follow-Up Mode, You can either say “Alexa, enable Follow-Up Mode” or you can use the Alexa app.
Open the app and from the Devices tab, choose Echo & Alexa, and select the device you want to enable Follow-Up Mode on. Now open the device settings menu by using the cog icon in the top right-hand corner, scroll down and tap Follow-Up Mode. Tap the screen toggle to turn the option on or off.