March 22, 2018
Amazon Alexa On Echo Dot & Other Devices Has New 'Brief Mode' Feature For Some Users

The Amazon Alexa voice assistant for various Echo devices, including the Dot, Spot, and Show, features a new mode. This new mode, called "Brief Mode," is only available for select owners of the popular devices. However, it could be useful for those owners who want to cut down on some of the constant replies that the devices give after each request. Here's the latest on the trial feature and how Echo owners can see if they can enable it.

For owners of the Echo Dot or other devices in the Amazon interactive speaker lineup, most commands or requests result in Alexa giving an "OK." For example, after each request to turn on a different room's lights, Alexa will give the "OK" reply, and that could become a bit irritating to some owners of the devices. In a recent Forbes technology report from Anthony Karcz, it's reported that the newest trial feature for Echo devices will now allow owners to silence Alexa from those constant "OK" replies that the voice assistant gives. However, Echo owners need to check their Amazon Alexa app to see if they are among those with the feature available during the trial.

It's relatively easy to see if one can use this new "Brief Mode" feature with their device. First, they'll have to open their Amazon Alexa app and press or tap on the menu icon (vertical lines) in the upper left corner. Next, the app user needs to select "Settings" and scroll to the very bottom of that screen to see if "Alexa Voice Responses" is an option under "General." Tap on that "Alexa Voice Responses" and then tap on the slider button to activate the new feature. From now on, the Echo will respond with beeps rather than "OK" to let users know a request has been performed.

If that new settings option is missing from the Alexa App, then it's unavailable on that account for the current time, but it might be coming soon. There was also another new feature rolled out for all Echo owners two weeks ago, called "Follow-Up Mode." With this particular mode, Echo owners can continue to provide their device with more than one command until eventually telling Alexa "Thank You" or "Stop" at the end of their string of requests.

While "Brief Mode" isn't available for all Echo owners yet, it shows Amazon's willingness to continue innovating voice technologies. While Apple's Siri was the first of the interactive voice assistants to take the world by storm, Amazon Alexa moved to the forefront with their lineup of interactive assistant speakers. Google and Apple have now followed suit, releasing the Google Home and ApplePod devices. The two companies are looking to push their way into the "voice technology" space with more product releases and features.
So far, Amazon has been ahead of the game in terms of their smart-home integration with the voice assistant, and as they continue to tweak their speakers and add features, Amazon Alexa seems to be "OK" to maintain that position for the time being.