Amazon has announced its Alexa iOS and Android app will get a new feature called Auto Mode in the coming weeks.
Auto Mode in the Alexa app turns your iPhone or Android smartphone into a smart display to work with the company’s Echo Auto, and supported Alexa auto accessories. The feature will show large visuals and have large touch targets for common actions, such as saved locations, phone calls or playing recent media.
There are four screens for Auto Mode in the Alexa app:
- Home Screen: shortcuts to play and pause your current music source, navigate to home or work, and to make a call. You can simply tap on the shortcut to initiate the action or ask Alexa, for example “Alexa, continue playing my music.”
- Navigate: one click access to your favorite locations stored in the Alexa app. You can switch back to the Alexa app using only your voice by simply asking, “Alexa, go back to the Alexa app.”
- Communicate: The Communicate screen allows you to easily place a call, Drop In, or make an announcement to your Alexa devices, using your voice.
- Play: shows the most recent media played using any Alexa device with a button to play/pause.
You’ll have to be smart about touching your smartphone while driving, as it may be another distraction, and could land you a ticket depending on your jurisdiction (I bought this $20 vent mount to use and it’s been great).
Amazon tells iPhone in Canada Auto Mode is rolling out to Android and iOS in the coming weeks, and will be available in the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, India, Italy, Spain, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
We’ve been testing Echo Auto as a companion in our vehicle over the past little while, and Alexa can work better than Siri when in the car to play music, as it works side-by-side with Apple’s CarPlay.