If you value silence in your home, Alexa has not historically been the best addition to your household. Sure, she is helpful, but she’s also a bit verbose, often repeating your questions back to you, or taking five words to say what could be said in one. But now, Alexa may be getting a bit more laconic, and a bit less disruptive to your life. Users on Reddit have noticed that Alexa-enabled devices, like the Echo or Echo Show, now have a new so-called “brief mode” that does away with some of Alexa’s spoken responses with simple beeps.
As one Reddit user noted, “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.” While this isn’t a particularly meaningful change to the way in which Alexa works, it could make your interactions with the smart assistant a bit more straightforward. After all, you don’t always need verbal confirmation that something has been accomplished.
It would appear that you can actually toggle on or off the new Brief Mode within the settings tab of your Alexa app. Per a screenshot provided by AFTVnews, folks who navigate over to the new Brief Mode option will see a message that says, “In this mode, Alexa speaks less, and for some simple messages plays a short sound instead of a voice response.”
If this new functionality proves popular, it seems likely that Amazon could expand the option to apply to other commands as well. As The Verge notes, one could easily imagine a situation in which certain times of day are set to as “do not disturb,” which would trigger Alexa to only respond using beeps, or perhaps even different colored light rings. Moving forward, Alexa might find a way to be less verbose in general — for example, if you ask how much time you have left on a timer, she may one day simply give you a number, rather than a long-winded, “You have one timer with 30 minutes remaining.”
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