Amazon have now rolled out the “Follow Up” feature for Amazon Echo devices to the UK. This feature means you can ask your first question normally using the wake word but you can then ask follow up questions without having to use the wake word again. So for example, Normally to perform a series of commands you might say,
“Alexa, Turn on lights”, “Alexa, Turn heating on” and finally “Alexa, Set heating to 20 degrees”.
But with Follow Up enabled only the first wake word is needed, meaning you could say,
“Alexa, Turn on lights, “Turn heating on” “Set heating to 20 degrees”.
You still need to wait for Alexa to respond to a command before giving another but surprisingly enough the fact that you don’t need to use the wake word every time does make interacting with your Echo speaker feel more natural and less robotic. If you have the “Started Listening Beep” enabled you will hear this every time Alexa answers a question, meaning she is waiting for any follow up questions. If a question is not asked within 5 seconds Alexa will stop listening. The Follow Up feature is off by default and you need to enable it for every device you want to use it on. Here’s how:
1. Open the Amazon Alexa app.
2. Go to the Settings tab. (Located in bottom right corner)
3. Double tap the “Echo & Alexa” button to see a list of all your Echo devices.
4. Double tap on the device you want to enable the feature on.
5. Swipe through the various options until you hear “Follow Up Mode”. Swipt 1 more time & double tap on the “Off” toggle button.
6. A new page will open, again swipe through until you hear “Turn Toggle Off”. Ignore the slightly confusing label and simply double tap to turn it on.
7. Repeat for every device as required.
Hopefully, in the future, we’ll be able to turn off and on this feature using a voice command but currently this isn’t available. Also, After enabling the feature, I had to turn off and on each of my devices before I could use Follow Up, but I know other users didn’t have to do this and could use it straight away.
Although not a huge update, this feature does make using Alexa a nicer cleaner experience and maybe a small step towards the holy grail of being able to perform multiple actions with one voice command such as “Alwxa, Turn on lights, play Double Tap Canada podcast and set heating to 20 degrees”. Then things really could get interesting.