Amazon is working to streamline Alexa’s responses and cut down on its chattiness. Some Reddit users have spotted a new feature for Amazon Alexa. Where Alexa would normally respond with “OK” or some other such appropriate response to a query, there is now an option to make Alexa respond with a beep.
How to use the new ‘Brief Mode’
According to a report by AFTVNews, the new Brief Mode was spotted in the Alexa app. Go to Settings > Alexa Voice Responses > toggle Brief Mode to access the feature which is currently available only for a few users. The report claims that several Reddit users first spotted this feature, which has strangely disappeared since for some of them. It is said that the feature was informed to the users by their Echo devices themselves. “So, I just asked Alexa to turn on my lights, she said ‘OK’ just like normal, but after that, she said that this would be the last time she would, and that I would hear a beep tone instead on a successful command,” said Reddit user Aquifel. This seems to be Amazon’s first step towards giving numerous repetitive verbal responses a less verbose alternative.
This seems to be the only difference with brief mode — using beeps instead of verbal cues to acknowledge successful commands — but it’s not hard to imagine how Amazon might expand its applications.
For example, you might want to set certain times of day as “do not disturb,” so Alexa will automatically use non-verbal responses late at night and early in the morning. It would also be great to have the option to trim verbal responses for common commands. When you ask Alexa how long is left on a timer, you don’t need to hear “You have one timer with x number of minutes remaining” every time.
In other words, there’s a lot Amazon could do here, and it’s interesting to think about how these design choices might improve the user experience. As long as they don’t bring back Alexa’s creepy laughs.