Smart assistants don’t make headlines these days, at least not until they get involved in some privacy-related scandal. That doesn’t mean, however, that they have gone out of fashion. On the contrary, they have almost become so common in some homes that they’ve no longer become special or noteworthy. At least not until they get new features that offer to make life easier, especially during these times of isolation and quarantines.
Amazon introduced the idea of “dropping in” on a connected Echo device, allowing users to pretty much call that device without the person on the other end having to accept the call. The latest May updates to Alexa bring a special twist to that feature, allowing users to drop in on all devices connected to the same account.
Why would anyone want to call themselves, you ask? Drop In on All Devices pretty much turns all your Alexa-powered speakers into an intercom system. Considering some owners have multiple Amazon Echo or similar speakers around the house, it can become a convenient way to reach other household members for announcements, like dinner time.
Another “all devices” feature is the ability to set Reminders on all of them. That makes Alexa more useful as a personal assistant since it can bring up your reminders from anywhere in the house.
Amazon’s Echo Show has also been one of the first dedicated devices for making video calls and displaying photos that you can display in the living room. Now users can send and receive photos using the device or the Alexa mobile app and even react to those photos. Unfortunately, you can only react by slapping on one of three animated emojis that include “laugh,” “love,” and “wow”.