Amazon to let users type & chat with Alexa very soon

Retail giant Amazon is testing typing functionality for its voice assistant Alexa on iOS devices which will allow users to send messages to Alexa rather than using voice.

This feature can come in handy for users who are in public or in a meeting and do not want to use voice commands to get information.

The new feature, being rolled out as part of a public preview, was first spotted by The Ambient publication.

iPhone and iPad users will be the first ones to experience the feature in the Alexa smart home app. To activate, you will have to tap on the keyboard icon that appears on the top left of the main menu of the app.

An Amazon spokesperson said, ‘Type with Alexa’ will allow users to interact with Alexa without using voice, “meaning everything you can currently say to Alexa can now also be typed using your Alexa mobile app”.

Amazon is hush-hush on when the feature will be rolled out globally, or on Android.

Alexa’s competition, Google Assistant, already offers its users the capability to type a query in multiple languages. Since Google has a much bigger ecosystem it is going to be very long till the time Amazon can catch up.

It’s rumoured that Amazon is also adding new capabilities in its Alexa virtual assistant that will speak to you in more languages. This not only gives the Amazon voice assistant an opportunity to explore foreign markets but it will also gain a vast library of inputs in different languages that can help in machine learning and bettering its services.

To date, Alexa was able to respond in two languages as it received the ability to automatically respond to English and other languages last year.

Now, users can enable a few more languages in the Alexa app — German, French, Canadian-French, Japanese, Spanish, US-Spanish, and Hindi — all paired with English.

with inputs from IANS.

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