Amazon Just Made it Easier to Bark Follow-Up Commands at Alexa

By Tom Pritchard on at

If you have an Amazon Echo, or any virtual assistant for that matter, it can be a bit of a pain to keep summoning the miniature AI with the wake-up command. 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.

Thankfully Amazon's made some changes, and it should cut down the number of times you have to refer to Alexa by name when shouting out multiple commands.

If you're in the habit of offering multiple commands in one sitting, and want Alexa to listen out for them all, all you need to do is switch on 'Follow-Up Mode'. That forces Alexa to listen out for a second command for a few seconds after she's finished dealing with your first one - meaning you don't need to say her name to get her attention again. You'll be able to tell that she's still listening because the blue ring will still be on. If you see it turned off then you missed your window and will need to say the wake-up command again.

Follow-Up Mode can be switched on inside the Alexa app like so:

  1. Go to the Menu and select Settings.
  2. Select your device.
  3. Scroll down to Follow-Up Mode and use the toggle to turn it on.

Easy. Amazon is quick to point out that there are some circumstances where Alexa won't keep listening, so they're worth bearing in mind. Those circumstances include when Alexa is playing some sort of audio (like music or audiobooks), you deliberately end the conversation by saying "stop", "cancel", "go to sleep", or "thank you", and if Alexa wakes up and isn't "confident you're speaking to [her]".

It's a small change, but if you're an active Echo user this is the kind of thing to make your life a little less frustrating. At the very least it'll cut down the amount of times you have to say "Alexa" in any given day. [Amazon via Engadget]

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