Amazon updated Alexa to allow it to automatically switch between more languages. The update comes after a small number of Alexa additions during November, increasing functionality and making Alexa even more useful.
Alexa first gained the ability to automatically respond to requests in English and other languages in 2019. However, you are limited to only two languages at a time. That hasn’t changed, but now users can enable multiple languages again in the Alexa app. Alexa can speak German, French, Canadian-French, Japanese, Spanish, US-Spanish and Hindi – all paired with English. In addition, users can switch languages without opening the app by saying “Alexa, speaks Spanish” to set a new main language or “Alexa, speaks Spanish and English” to prepare the partner to switch between them.
Alexa has also gained the ability to respond to what Amazon calls “latent goals.” This basically means that Alexa can handle requests that are “hidden” within or naturally follow the original question. To borrow the Amazon example, if you ask “How long does it take to brew tea?” then Alexa can assume that her latent goal is to set a tea timer, answer “Five minutes is a good start,” and continue with “Would you like me to set a timer for five minutes?”
In addition to these two big changes, Alexa has gained the ability to include Fire TV commands into Alexa routines. So you can say “Alexa, I want a drink,” and Alexa will know to pause your show and turn on your kitchen lights. And to contribute to the growing Alexa creep across products and services, you can now also use the assistant in the Amazon Shopping app to search for products and status updates on orders hands-free.
These are just a few of the skills-oriented changes to Alexa that Amazon launched in November. The Echo as a whole has also been updated. Echo Frames are now widely available, Echo Buds have new workout skills that support Alexa, and Echo Shows now have access to the Amazon Care Hub to check on loved ones.