Amazon adds ability to ask follow-up questions to Alexa

Being able to ask Google Assistant follow-up questions without needing to say the action word again has removed a lot of frustration we used to experience when interacting with the search giants virtual assistant. Amazon has finally gotten around to adding similar functionality to Alexa in the form of ‘Follow-up Mode’.

Alexa will now listen for follow-up questions after the initial request, with her blue ring (if you are using an Echo device) remaining lit up to show that she is still at your beck-and-call. Once the blue ring dims, you’ll have to wake her up again. There are some scenarios where Alexa won’t wait for a follow-up question, such as if you’ve already ended the conversation, if there is background noise, or if she is playing audio such as music or an audiobook.

This is where we get to one of Alexa’s frustrating user experiences in that you have to enable the Follow-up Mode manually.

  • To turn on Follow-Up Mode, open the Alexa app on your smartphone:
  • Go to the Menu and select Settings.
  • Select your device.
  • Scroll down to Follow-Up Mode and use the toggle to turn it on.

For the moment, Follow-up Mode is only available on Alexa devices that have US English set as their default language. Google Assistant recently gained the ability to add routines to its functions, I wonder if we will soon see Amazon added the functionality to Alexa?

Source: Amazon

About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Huawei MediaPad M5 (8.4) in his pockets and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around in his backpack. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).

  • Graham Tubbs

    Heh – i guess Amazon are releasing skills in different orders in different zones – in the UK, I’ve got routines (“Echo – Evening lights” turns on my sidelight and lamp and activates the mobile phone charger plugs and “Echo – Good night” turns all lights and plugs off.
    But can I access Follow on questions yet? Nope! Still got to love living in the future – pushing switches is so 20th century!

    • Peter Holden

      It’s frustrating living in the UK sometimes when it comes to getting access to new features and hardware that we see released in the US.

      Regarding your comment about pushing switches – I remember having to watch TV laid on the carpet when I was a youngster so that I could manually change channels. Great fun haha!