If you're an Echo owner, you probably use the smart speaker on a pretty regular basis. You might use it to control your smart home, order items through Amazon or simply to entertain guests with music and random facts.
As useful as an Echo can be for all of those things, the devices aren't without their faults. Indeed, one such fault has been the inability to chain voice commands without repeating your device's wake word - something Amazon addressed last week with their "Follow Up" mode. The feature, if you opt-in, allows your Echo to briefly listen for additional commands after one has already been processed.
Amazon's apparent desire to address even the smallest customer complaints seems to be continuing, according to a report from AFTVnews. The company has reportedly been quietly testing a new "brief mode" feature for Echo devices which converts Alexa's often-wordy responses with simple beeps.
"I just asked Alexa to turn on my lights, she said ‘OK’ just like normal, but after that, she said that this would be the last time she would, and that I would hear a beep tone instead [of] a successful command,"
This information first came from Reddit, where users said their Echos were informing them of the new functionality in response to some commands. "I just asked Alexa to turn on my lights, she said ‘OK’ just like normal, but after that, she said that this would be the last time she would, and that I would hear a beep tone instead on a successful command," one Redditor wrote.
As an Echo owner myself, I can confirm these reports. When I asked Alexa to turn off my bedroom light last night, she complied and then asked me if I'd like to turn on Brief Mode.
Since I was confused and half-asleep at the time, I said no. Interestingly, it sounds like some users weren't even given the option to verbally opt-out of the functionality but rather had the feature forced upon them. We've reached out to Amazon for clarification.
At any rate, if you'd like to try Brief Mode out for yourself, the functionality now seems to be available to everyone. To turn it on, simply open the Alexa app on your smartphone and scroll all the way to the bottom of the "Settings" menu. You'll see a new "Alexa Voice Responses" section containing a toggle for the new feature.