By: Nick Gambino
Alexa, like most voice assistants, has been in the news business for a while now. If you were to ask one of these trusty assistants for the news, they would read you off a list of the top headlines of the moment, but that was it.
Now Amazon is rolling out a new feature for Alexa where she won’t just stop at the headline but will continue to deliver long-form news briefings, so you’ll never have to read ever again. Well, at least never have to read the news ever again.
Engadget reports that the roll-out will include news from CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Newsy and NPR. Though, my guess is they’ll expand their sources in the future. To get your daily briefing just tell Alexa to “play news” or “tell me the news” from the outlet of your choosing, and Alexa will get busy. And of course, you’ll have the option of skipping stories that don’t interest you.
If you’ve never set up flash briefings on your Amazon device before, getting started is a little different. Just say “Alexa, play news” and she’ll then ask you to pick the news outlet before delivering the long-form briefing.
If you’re a headlines guy or gal, this new feature probably isn’t your bag, but for those that care to explore beyond quick soundbites and keep themselves informed, this is a welcome addition to the Alexa arsenal.
While the recent addition of a more human-like delivery to the Alexa voice when reading news made it a more appealing option for your daily information, the long-form briefing feature will not be read by the newscaster voice. Instead, the news is pre-recorded by the news outlet and then delivered through the speaker.
And if you have an Echo show or Echo Spot with video capabilities, both Newsy and CNBC will provide a video news story instead of just audio. CNN, Fox News and NPR will only provide audio news for the time being.
Amazon started rolling out the feature this past Monday to U.S. users. So, if you don’t have it yet, and live in the U.S., just be patient, it should show up soon.