Alexa, the intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, has had a major upgrade this week. Alexa became popular on the Amazon Echo, Amazon Tap and Echo Dot devices developed by Amazon Lab126. Since then, Alexa has been getting a slew of skills from independent developers and agencies to work with specific applications.
Alexa can now find music for a wide range of activities with a voice command; it is beyond simple song requests – more of a digital D.J. It is integrated with Amazon’s Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited.
Alexa’s new skill is something similar to Spotify and Apple Music playlists, but more theme-based. It allows the user to combine the request with a particular type of activity. For example, the user can ask Alexa for “pop music for cooking”, “classical music for de-stressing” and “rock music for Friday evening” and so on.
The company adds that the ‘music for activities’ feature also works with Spotify’s library; this was confirmed during testing.
Amazon’s goal is to make playing music easier, and simpler than fiddling around in an app looking for music to match user moods and those special spontaneous moments. And it’s as simple as using a voice command. 500 different activity-based voice commands are now available, including music for parties, de-stressing, meditation, cooking and much more.
Though Alexa was already doing a good job streaming music, Amazon wasn’t convinced because it did not have a natural touch to it. Now, the new ‘music for activities’ feature released this past week has much more of a personalized feel. Amazon says that 25 to 27 percent of users ask for music to de-stress after a grueling day at work.