Amazon’s Alexa is an incredibly capable virtual assistant. In fact, it has such a wide array of features that there’s a good chance you aren’t quite sure what all Alexa can do. For example, did you know that Alexa can access your email? You can link your email account to Alexa and have her read the messages aloud. At least you can do that for a few more days, as Amazon is removing the feature next week. On Monday, November 8, Amazon will unlink all Alexa email accounts.
Amazon Alexa loses access to email accounts
As noted by TechHive, users on Reddit and Twitter received emails informing them of the change.
“We are writing to let you know that as of November 8, 2021, email access will no longer be supported for Alexa customers,” Amazon told customers in an email. “This means that you will no longer be able to link your Gmail or Microsoft email account to Alexa to browse or manage your email, and any linked email account will be automatically unlinked.”
The email then states that “related email functionality” will also be affected. This includes email routines and email notifications. Additionally, Alexa will not be able to track third-party packages. Previously, with access to your email, Alexa could scan your inbox for shipping notifications. On the other hand, you will still be able to track any Amazon orders you place. If you ask your device “Alexa, where is my stuff?” To find out when Amazon packages are expected to arrive. So if you order most of your products through Amazon, you have peace of mind.
Amazon first deployed the read email feature in 2018. After linking an email account, users could read, delete, archive, and reply to messages with voice commands. In the future, anyone who used this feature will have to start using phones and computers again. The good news is, you can still link your calendar to Alexa.
Why is Amazon killing this feature?
Here’s what Amazon said TechHive about the decision to remove Alexa’s access to email accounts:
We regularly evaluate the features and experiences available to customers and prioritize those that make customers’ lives easier and allow them to get the most out of their Alexa experience. As with everything we do, we’ll continue to evolve the experience based on customer feedback.
In all likelihood, you had never used this feature in the first place. There are certainly use cases – one Redditor said their elderly mother found the feature useful – but Amazon wouldn’t kill a widely used feature. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people didn’t know this feature existed. Others wondered why anyone would voluntarily give Amazon access to their email accounts in the first place.
New Alexa Features
Amazon may be removing a feature, but it’s also adding several nifty new Alexa skills. The company’s recently released Alexa October update adds several new features to the popular voice assistant. You can read all of Alexa’s new features on the Amazon site, and here’s a quick rundown of the new features:
- Easily move music, podcasts and more from one speaker or room to another
- Move music from an Echo speaker in your home to your Alexa-enabled headphones when you leave the house
- Move audio from one speaker group to another
- New ‘Two Minute Exercise’ feature gives you weekly pre-game scans of your favorite NFL games
- “Alexa, Play Something on Netflix” command finds movies and shows to stream to your Fire TV devices
- You can now open the TikTok TV app on Fire TV devices in the US with an Alexa command
- “Alexa, what are my offers? »Allows you to view the first Black Friday offers on Amazon