Hands-free Alexa coming to Amazon Fire tablets

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As a father of two, I can see using Alexa Announcements for things like "OK, guys, time to brush your teeth" or "Please do your chores".

Amazon has added a new feature for its Echo speakers, which enables users of the Alexa-powered devices to make one-way announcements around a home or office. Say "Alexa, tell everyone dinner's ready", and everyone in your home within earshot of an Echo device will hear you say "dinner's ready". You will not be able to access hands-free Alexa if the device is asleep and plugged into a low-power source (Amazon uses the example of a computer's USB port). The command also works with "Alexa, announce." and "Alexa, broadcast.". Unlike Groups, which just controls multiple bulbs, plugs and other devices in one go, Routines offers much finer control.

Amazon (amzn) has been steadily releasing new Alexa features meant to be used across multiple Echo devices.

The feature essentially turns the tablet into a poor man's Echo Show, the $230 Echo device with a screen.

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Alexa Announcements are available across Amazon's entire lineup of Echo smart speakers.

Can Google Home do announcements?

It should come in handy the next time you need to wrangle your family into one room for dinner, or just want to startle your loved ones and confuse your pets.

With Amazon Key's more basic features having gone nationwide, in-home delivery is likely to follow in the near future.