You can now slow down or speed up Amazon Alexa

After Google and Apple Microsoft caught listening to private calls

After Google and Apple Microsoft caught listening to private calls

For those who don't know, Alexa Announcements has always been a staple on the Amazon Echo-branded smart speakers and allows users to send messages to other Alexa-powered devices. If users ever hoped that Alexa spoke faster, then Amazon's announcement about the speed of Alexa's speech is a wish come true.

The Announcements feature enables users to turn all the Alexa-enabled smart speakers in their home into a one-way intercom system and make announcements such as "dinner is ready". To change the rate at which Alexa responds, just say "Alexa, speak slower", or "Alexa, speak faster".

"We heard from customers that they would like the ability to change Alexa's speaking rate for a variety of reasons", Alexa for Everyone boss Sarah Caplener said in a blog post today. Adjusting to you preferred rate is actually pretty easy. By the way, returning to the standard setting is as simple as saying "Alexa, speak at your default rate".

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Amazon is bringing its Alexa Announcements feature to its Fire TV set-top boxes and HDMI streaming dongles in the UK. This option would be a big help for users who are older or hard of hearing, as they sometimes need a little more time to listen to Alexa. On the other hand, those who are blind or have visual impairments are mostly used to audio content already so they may want to go faster. Amazon says it has tested the feature with employees and select customers, and has been encouraged by the response.

It looks like the feature has only gone live in the USA so far - as we couldn't get a UK-based Alexa smart speaker to recreate it.

The seven speed options are now available in the U.S only. We'll keep you posted if that's a concern for you.

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