Amazon Brings Equaliser Controls to Alexa, Echo Show Users Get 'Tap to Alexa' Feature

Amazon Brings Equaliser Controls to Alexa, Echo Show Users Get 'Tap to Alexa' Feature
Highlights
  • EQ settings on Echo devices can be adjusted using Alexa voice
  • This new feature is only available for US users for now
  • 'Tap to Alexa' is available for Echo Show devices only for now

Amazon has introduced a new update to all of its Echo devices, and it brings along the ability to adjust the equaliser to allow users more control on how their music sounds. With this update, you can now adjust bass, treble, and the mid-range individually, using voice commands. Separately, Echo Show devices are getting a new feature called "Tap to Alexa" feature that activates the assistant by simply tapping on the display screens of the Echo Show devices. Amazon is expected to roll this feature out for Echo Show Spot devices in the future.

Amazon has announced that with the latest Alexa update, users can adjust the equaliser and sound modes using voice commands. So users can essentially increase or decrease the bass, treble and mid-range, just by telling Alexa to do so, but this change will affect all your music and sounds coming out of Alexa. So if you increase the bass, the sound across all apps, be it podcasts or playlist, will have the same sound effect. Furthermore, you can also tell Alexa to switch to a number of EQ presets like movies, sports, music, and TV. This EQ and sound mode controls update for Alexa is rolling out for US users across the Amazon Echo family of devices, and on select Alexa-enabled devices built using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS), including the Polk Command Bar and Sonos Beam.

"For developers working with entertainment devices and audio-visual playback, the equaliser and sound mode control features extend the capabilities of voice control with Alexa and are available through the Smart Home Skill API and AVS API. Integrated equalizer control will be available soon through the AVS SDK, but select Alexa-enabled devices have already been introduced with these new capabilities: Sound United implemented band and mode control into the recently launched Polk Command Bar, and Sonos incorporated mode control into its newest soundbar, Sonos Beam," the company wrote on its developer blog.

Amazon has also added a new 'Tap to Alexa' feature on Echo Show devices to help those with speech impairment. This feature lets you touch the screen on the device to activate Alexa, and ask it to do various actions, all via touch. The feature brings customisable shortcuts on the Echo Show touchscreen for the most common use cases like knowing the weather, timers, news headlines, and more. There's also a new keyboard icon that lets you type a command, instead of speaking it out. There's a Routines shortcut button too, that triggers multiple commands at one tap. These routines can be preset using the touchscreen, and a shortcut button on the Echo Show will then trigger all those actions at once, whenever it is touched. For example, you can shut your blinds, lock all your doors, and switch off all the lights, all at once, through Routines. Tap to Alexa can be found in the Accessibility section of the Echo Show settings menu, and it needs to be enabled first. CNet reports that Tap to Alexa is exclusive to Echo Show devices for now, but an Amazon spokesperson confirmed that the company is working to bring it to the smaller-sized Echo Spot too.

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Further reading: Amazon, Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Show
Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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