Amazon is introducing a new feature for its smart home app. The new feature, spotted by a The Ambient contributor, allows users to send text messages to Alexa using a keyboard of giving voice-based commands. The new feature, called Type With Alexa, is rolling out as part of a public preview means users can send discreet messages to Alexa in places where using a voice command is not ideal. Google Assistant has had this feature since a long time.
The new keyboard based input allows users to ask Alexa queries like diary updates, calculations, news headlines, and the likes. It also acts as a search tool for smart home routines and devices within the Alexa ecosystem. Those who are a part of the public preview will see a small keyboard icon on the top left corner of the Alexa app. Tapping it will open a chat window, where users can give text-based commands to their virtual assistant. This feature is similar to the one already seen in Google Assistant, which also comes with visual indicators or show-like graphics.
There is no word about the availability of the new feature or how it is being rolled out by Amazon, but the ability to type in commands instead of using your voice is something that can be proved very useful, especially in places where users can not give a voice command. For example, on a train, or a funeral, or a movie theatre.
Amazon had, last month, added an update that makes its Alexa virtual assistant smarter and more intuitive. The e-commerce giant also announced Alexa Care Hub, a feature that would help users keep an eye on ageing parents and relatives.