The Amazon Alexa can answer a multitude of questions and help with all sorts of tasks, but there are times it can be a bit long-winded in doing so, which is why there’s a Brief Mode that can be turned on. Brief Mode is pretty much what its name suggests, helping to shorten interactions with the virtual assistant. It’s simple to activate and saves users from waiting around while Alexa finishes another lengthy monologue.

Alexa was first launched by Amazon in 2014 as a voice-controlled assistant that would do things like tell users the weather forecast or play music for them. Over the years, it has been equipped with swathes of more skills, many of which involve extended interactions with questions and answers. This can make dealing with Alexa, typically via one of Amazon’s Echo devices, a frustratingly slow process, especially for those who use it on a regular basis and are already familiar with many of the interactions. It’s for this reason Brief Mode was added in 2018.

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The setting cuts down Alexa’s chat to just what is necessary, with it speaking less and sometimes playing only a short sound where previously there would have been a voice response. For example, when asking Alexa to turn off the smart lights at home with Brief Mode enabled, there will simply be a soft chime to acknowledge the command has been heard as the lights go down. In conversational situations, the questions and answers it gives are kept to a minimum too.

Instructions

Enabling Brief Mode is a straightforward process using the Amazon Alexa companion app on a mobile device. After opening the app, users need to click on the “More” menu option that is displayed as a hamburger-type button. They should then navigate to the “Settings” option, followed by the “Voice Responses” option. Some scrolling within the menus may be required. Having found the Voice Responses section, users will be presented with two options they can toggle on and off: Brief Mode and Whisper Mode (more on that later). A short summary of what each setting entails is provided, and it’s simply a case of pressing the relevant toggle button, after which it’s fine to navigate elsewhere or leave the app altogether.

As is hinted at above, Brief Mode isn’t the only setting of its ilk that can be used for Alexa. When enabled, Whisper Mode helps keep noise to a minimum by having Alexa whisper responses to the user if they have whispered questions or commands themselves. It’s also possible to turn on or off explicit filtering for songs within the Alexa app. Perhaps Alexa’s most valuable tool at the moment, though, is its functionality for checking COVID-19 symptomsa feature that could ultimately save lives.

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Source: Amazon

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