In the summer, Amazon launched yet another smart speaker, this time for vehicles allowing drivers to bring the convenience of Alexa on the road. Now, the company is enhancing functionality further by introducing a new Auto Mode that turns a user’s mobile device into a smart display for the Echo Auto.
Activating the new feature is as simple as launching the Alexa smartphone app. To reduce distraction while behind the wheel, the touch buttons are large and easy to read. There are four main screens to choose from:
Home Screen: The Auto Mode home screen is designed to provide one-touch access to your frequent actions, with shortcuts to play and pause your current music source, navigate to home or work, and to make a call. You can simply tap on the shortcut to initiate the action or ask Alexa, for example “Alexa, continue playing my music.”
Navigate: The Navigate screen provides one click access to your favorite locations stored in the Alexa app. Choosing a destination will open your preferred navigation app and begin guidance. You can switch back to the Alexa app using only your voice by simply asking, “Alexa, go back to the Alexa app.” You can also ask Alexa to help you find someplace new, for example, “Alexa, find nearby coffee shops.” As Alexa reads back the responses, Auto Mode displays a simplified list showing only the most relevant information, allowing you to either use your voice to make a selection or simply touch on it to begin navigation.
Communicate: The Communicate screen allows you to easily place a call, Drop In, or make an announcement to your Alexa devices. You can ask Alexa to initiate the action or touch your selection, and Auto Mode will provide an easy to read 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,” or simply tap on the screen and Alexa will do the rest.
Play: The Play screen shows the most recent media played using any Alexa device and a convenient button to play or pause, along with a list of most recently played media. Selecting any of the items in the list starts playing the media and brings up the Now Playing screen, which provides additional controls specific to the type of media being played and the service used. You can stay entertained while on-the-go just by asking Alexa or using Auto Mode’s shortcuts and easy touch controls.
Download the Alexa App in the Google Play store or Apple App Store.