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Alexa Mimics Android, Debuts New Auto Mode and Commute Routine | by Tapaan Chauhan | Dec, 2020

Tapaan Chauhan

The Amazon Alexa Auto Mode feature has been introduced that can enhance the user’s vehicle experience by allowing them to easily navigate, stay connected, and entertain the passengers while driving. The new feature works on Amazon Echo Auto devices and connects with users’ smartphones, and uses its screen to display information. The latest development equates Amazon Echo Auto with Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay. The company says that the auto mode has four screens — Home, Navigation, Communication and Play — and a menu bar that allows users to switch quickly with them.

It allows users to navigate, communicate and play media while driving — just like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The feature uses a smartphone’s screen and converts it into a source to display information on four different screens — home, navigation, communication, and play. There is a menu bar that allows users to quickly switch between these screens, ultimately improving the in-voice experience.

This is a central screen that provides one-touch access to the driver’s frequent actions with shortcuts to play and pause the current music source, navigate to locations, and make calls. A simple tap on the shortcut initiates the action, or the driver can use voice commands to control it. For example, the driver might say, “Alexa, continue my music to play songs”.

The Navigate screen provides access to locations stored in the Alexa app. Once you choose a place to travel, the Amazon Alexa Auto Mode feature opens a navigation app, like Google Maps or Apple Maps, and starts navigation. Drivers can only return to the Alexa app by giving voice, “Alexa, go back to the Alexa app.” Besides, drivers can also find space only by voice. For example, “Alexa, search nearby coffee shops.”

Another thing that Amazon Alexa Auto Mode does is allow drivers to call quickly, drop-in, or announce their Alexa devices. Amazon says drivers can ask Alexa to initiate action, and the feature will read a list of recently placed calls and devices.

Amazon Alexa Auto Mode also entertains users as they drive. This screen is shown to the most recent media using any Alexa device. Drivers can now choose a song to sing on the playing screen, which provides specific control for the type of media and service (Spotify, YouTube Music, etc.) used.

The auto mode was designed to help you stay focused on the road with visual, large touch targets and intuitive features, including shortcuts. Besides, it also guides you with shortcuts for the most common Alexa interactions used in a vehicle, such as saved Navigating places, calling contacts and Alexa devices, and recent media games. Auto mode will be rolled out for Android and iOS in the coming weeks. It will be available in India, US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, UK, Australia and New Zealand.

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