If you’re like me, then you like to create complex automation’s with your Alexa, like turning on lights and playing music when you say “Alexa, it’s party time.” But sometimes, you only want to do this once, and programming it into Alexa just to do something once is kind of a pain. That’s where Amazon’s new follow-up mode comes to the rescue.

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Now you can make as many requests as you want without having to re-invoke the wake command. An example might be turning the lights off, and then turning down the thermostat. This would look something like this:

  • You: “Alexa, turn the lights on”
  • Alexa: “Okay” (Blue light stays on to indicate Alexa is still listening)
  • You: “Cool down (thermostat name)”
  • Alexa “Okay, (thermostat name) cooling down”

So as you can see, you won’t have to wait for Alexa to respond to waking every time, which can be really annoying when you’re trying to do multiple things. At that point, without follow-up, you might as well just do it yourself.

When you have this mode active, it will listen for an additional 5 seconds after the first command for another command, than another 5 seconds after that, and so on. The blue ring on the top of the echo will remain active to inform you that it is still listening for another command.

Some Drawbacks

This doesn’t mean that you can string a bunch of commands into one sentence. You have to clearly state each command, otherwise it will assume it’s just background noise. In fact, during the 5 seconds after the first command, Alexa is going to be a lot pickier about what commands it picks up. They made it this way to avoid background noises causing chain commands that you didn’t intend. Amazon’s official report states that it will only respond if it is “confident” that you’re making another command.

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How to Enable Follow-up Mode

To enable follow-up mode (it’s disabled by default, of course) head to your Alexa app, go to settings and look for your devices name. Once you click on your device you should see a follow up mode toggle option. According to Amazon, follow-up mode will be available on all Alexa devices, which includes any third party devices using Alexa. Currently, follow-up mode is only available in English, but other languages should be available soon.

Things to Note

While you can use this mode to set your thermostat and then turn the lights off, what you can’t do is chain a command if you’re listening to music or if you’re using Alexa to answer a call. Although Amazon claims that follow up mode will be available for all third party apps, it’s unknown if it will actually work with all devices.

Other Alexa Features

There are a lot of other cool features that you can use alongside follow up mode. Some of our favorite features are:

  • Alexa Spotify Music
  • Alexa Kid Friendly FreeTime for Alexa
  • Create Shopping and To-Do Lists
  • Alexa A Variety Timers and Alarms
  • Unlimited Echo Skills
  • Alexa Weather Reports and Forecasts
  • Alexa Movie Info and Ticket Info
  • Play Pandora with Alexa
  • Alexa Smart Home Controls
  • Alexa Multi-Room Audio
  • Play Audible Audio Books with Alexa
  • Alexa Voice Calling & Messaging
  • Alexa News Updates and Traffic News
  • Use Alexa’s 360 Degree Bluetooth Speaker
  • Amazon Ordering and Tracking with Alexa
  • Alexa Sports News and Updates