Amazon Alexa app gets new Auto Mode for extra safety while driving

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Amazon has updated the Alexa mobile app with an important new feature that should help those who are dedicated to the platform. Simply called Auto Mode, this new feature enables users to turn on a simplified interface while they're driving, stripping the Alexa mobile experience down to the basic features users may need to access while driving. The feature may be useful for those who drive cars lacking a smart system like Android Auto.

Though infotainment systems have become increasingly common in vehicles, many people still use their phone with a clip or magnetic latch. There are some advantages to using your phone — it is probably more responsive and faster than the built-in system in your car, for example, assuming you have an inexpensive vehicle, and it may have a larger display. Assuming that's the case (and that you use Amazon products), the new Alexa Auto Mode is here to simplify things.

Auto Mode gives users access to a total of our screens, one for navigation, another for communication, yet another for accessing music and other audio services, and the home screen. All four screens feature a persistent menu bar that enables drivers to quickly toggle between the options without taking their eyes off the road for too long.

Amazon says that it specifically designed Auto Mode to feature large touch targets, easy-to-ready graphics, and otherwise intuitive features so that users can quickly perform common activities like accessing a saved address while driving. This touch interface joins the existing Alexa voice capabilities for users who prefer to speak commands.

There are obvious advantages to the new interface — you can quickly tap to change the navigation to your home address or other saved favorites, for example. The interface also offers quick message options to send to someone, such as 'Running late,' with a single tap. Likewise, users can expect to see their most recently played audio and playback controls for playing music.

The full experience is detailed on Amazon's website here.