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Amazon is planning push notifications for your Echo

'Notifications for Alexa' will let skills notify you visually.
Rob LeFebvre, @roblef
05.16.17 in Home

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Amazon has been updating its line of voice-assistant devices to make them more user-friendly for a while. The Tap no longer needs a physical touch to activate it and your Echo devices can make calls and leave messages. Better yet, they will soon be able to whisper and have better wake word accuracy. According to a post on Amazon's developer site, Echo devices are getting another upgrade here, too: visual notifications for skills.

When one of your notification-enabled skills get new information, you'll get a chime and a pulsing green light on your Echo, Dot, or Show device when there's new information. This is the same way Amazon's calling service notifies you of a message. You'll just ask, "Alexa, what did I miss?" or "What are my notifications?" and Alexa will let you know what's new all at once, instead of having to query each individual skill to get new updates.

The new system will roll out for select skills and shopping updates on most Alexa-enabled devices at first, including Amazon's Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. Companies in line to get the feature already include AccuWeather, The Washington Post, Just Eat and Life360. Other developers will have access to the software needed to add notifications to their own skills soon. The feature is opt-in only, which means you'll have to enable it to have it work. You can suppress notifications by putting your device into Do Not Disturb mode, too.

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