Amazon Alexa Auto Mode feature has been launched that allows users to enhance their in-vehicle experience by allowing them to easily navigate, stay connected, and be entertained while driving. The new feature works on Amazon Echo Auto devices and connects with users’ smartphones, and uses their screens to display information. The latest development puts Amazon Echo Auto on par with Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay. The company says that the Auto Mode consists of four screens — Home, Navigation, Communication, and Play — and a menu bar that allows users to quickly switch between them.
The Amazon Alexa Auto Mode works in tandem with Echo Auto and supported Alexa auto accessories. It allows users to navigate, communicate, and play media while driving — just like in Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The feature uses a smartphone’s screen and converts it into a source to display information across four different screens — Home, Navigation, Communication, and Play. There is a menu bar that allows users to quickly switch between these screens, eventually enhancing in-vehicle voice experience better.
“Auto Mode was designed to help you stay focused on the road with easy to read visuals, large touch targets and intuitive features and shortcuts for the most common Alexa interactions used in the vehicle like navigating to saved locations, placing calls to contacts and Alexa devices, and playing recent media,” Amazon said in a statement.
Auto Mode will be rolled out to Android and iOS in the coming weeks, and will be available in India, the US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
Amazon Alexa Auto Mode features
Home Screen: It is a central screen that provides one-touch access to a driver’s frequent actions with shortcuts to play and pause current music source, navigate to places, and to make a call. A simple tap on the shortcut initiates the action or the driver can use voice command to control it. For example, the driver can say, “Alexa, continue playing my music” to play songs.
Navigate: The Navigate screen provides access to locations stored in the Alexa app. Once you choose a place to visit, the Amazon Alexa Auto Mode feature opens a preferred navigation app, like Google Maps or Apple Maps, and begins navigation. Drivers can switch back to the Alexa app by voice by simply asking, “Alexa, go back to the Alexa app.” Furthermore, drivers can also find places by just voice. For example, say, “Alexa, find nearby coffee shops.”
Communicate: Another thing that Amazon Alexa Auto Mode does is allows drivers to easily place a call, Drop In, or make an announcement to your Alexa devices. Amazon says that drivers can ask Alexa to initiate the action, and the feature will read a list of recently placed calls and devices. If you want to drop in on your family to let them know you are headed home, you can say “Alexa, Drop In on my Kitchen Echo Show.”
Play: Amazon Alexa Auto Mode also keeps users entertained while they are driving. This screen shows the most recent media played using any Alexa device. Drivers can choose a song to play on the Now Playing screen, which provides additional controls specific to the type of media being played and the service (Spotify, YouTube Music, etc.) used.
How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.