Alexa has a few new commands that can help you prepare for hazardous weather or crummy traffic conditions. These features have actually been around for a few weeks—Amazon quietly slipped them onto Alexa-supported devices last month—but since the company didn’t mention the updates until recently, most people haven’t noticed them. Let’s go over all the new features you may have missed.
Extreme weather alerts and traffic updates
While February saw several new features added to Alexa, the two most notable are automatic extreme weather alerts and traffic reports for your phone.
We’ll start with the weather notifications. Alexa can now give users a warning if an extreme weather alert is active where they live. Saying “Alexa, tell me about severe weather alerts” will turn on the feature. Alexa will now automatically announce any alerts without needing to ask first. This will be especially helpful in regions where natural disasters or seasonal extremes are common. You can also turn off the feature by asking Alexa to “cancel severe weather alerts.”
As for traffic updates, you can now get an up-to-date traffic report by asking “Alexa, what’s the traffic like?” You can also ask about traffic conditions along specific routes or destinations, and then send the report to your phone by saying “Alexa, send that to my phone.” The phone notification can also be used to initiate your driving navigation app.
New event recaps
The last few updates are smaller but still worth pointing out. Alexa users can now ask the assistant for recaps on NBA games, as well as highlight from debates and other televised 2020 election events. You’re also able to directly access a handful of newly-added Amazon Prime Video content, including Hunters, Honey Boy, and more by asking Alexa to play the specific series or movie you want to watch (provided the Alexa device is connected to or supports video playback).