Alexa can now broadcast an announcement through all of your Echo devices

Amazon has added yet another new feature to Echo devices called Alexa Announcements. It allows you to broadcast your voice through all of your Echo devices simultaneously. By simply saying “Alexa, announce that…” and speaking your announcement, all of your Echo devices will give off a chime followed by a playback of your recorded announcement.

Instead of saying “Alexa, announce that…” you can also say “Alexa, tell everyone…” or “Alexa, broadcast…” instead. Alexa does not speak the announcement in its voice, but instead plays a recording of the speaker making the announcement.

The feature is smart enough to know where the Alexa command ends and where the announcement starts. So whether you say “Alexa, announce that I’m home” or “Alexa, announce I’m home,” only the “I’m home” portion of your recorded announcement will play in either case. If you want to ensure the message is perfectly cropped and clear, you can say “Alexa, make an announcement” and you’ll be asked to speak the announcement separately as a second step.

Alexa seems to also pay attention to the content of the announcement. If, for example, you say “Alexa, tell everyone that dinner is ready,” Alexa will sound a dinner bell, in addition to the regular chime sound, before playing your announcement. That is the only special announcement alert sound that I’ve found so far.

There is no way to exclude a particular Echo device from all announcements or from a specific announcement, however, if an Echo device has Do Not Disturb enabled, then it will not broadcast the announcement. After an Echo device plays an announcement, the recipient can say “Alexa, repeat” or “Alexa, what was that” within a few seconds to hear the announcement a second time if they missed it the first time.

Playback of announcements is limited to Echo devices, which includes the Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, Echo Show, Echo Spot, and the Echo Look. You can make announcements from those devices but you can also make announcements from other Alexa devices, such as the Dash Wand and Alexa mobile app. Unfortunately, you cannot make or receive announcements through Fire TV devices using the voice remote.

Update

Other special announcement sounds include a rooster sound when you say “Alexa, tell everyone to wake up” and lullaby music when you say “Alexa, tell everyone to go to bed.” Thanks Cheryl for mentioning these two in the comments!

Update 2

Announcing “I Love You” will play kissing sounds, announcing “It’s time to go” will play cartoon running sounds, and announcing “Happy Birthday” will play cheering sounds.

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19 comments
  1. Cheryl Jones says:

    Elias try go to bed and also try wake up.

  2. Tampa8 says:

    Particularly if this works for all devices – meaning those not on the same Wifi connection too but part of your account this is a very good addition. (Elderly Mom gets home from somewhere and makes the announcement so Son/Daughter hears it) etc.. Or some family member somewhere just checks in…

    • cheryl jones says:

      Wouldn’t you use drop in for the elderly mom example? I have never used drop in so I don’t know.

    • AFTVnews says:

      I’d say Alexa messaging is a better use for that. Saying “Alexa, send [son/daughter’s name] a message saying I’m home” would be just as easy the new announcement feature for an elderly person. There’s also no chance you’ll miss the message with Alexa messaging, where an announcement just plays immediately regardless of someone being around to hear it.

  3. Tampa8 says:

    I don’t use the calling option because of how our contact lists are used so this is a way around that. Otherwise you are correct.

    • cheryl jones says:

      If you have the fire tablet you can set up calling on that and it will pull from the contacts app on the fire. I just put 6 people in that app and that is all that amazon has. Now alexa will call anyone of the 6 but only message people who have the alexa app which is 2 people.

  4. Jon says:

    Hey Google, havnt you had this feature for quite some time? Sorry guys, just had to tease a bit. Not trying to start a Google/Amazon war, they do a good enough job of that without our help.

    • cheryl jones says:

      jon remember google just got the ability to wake to music and blue tooth out to an external speaker without the need for the cast dongle…….Ok waving the white flag.
      Seriously competition is good. Keeps everyone on their toes. It is a very exciting time we live in.

  5. David Flannery says:

    Nice, although **about time!** (The intercom system installed in 1963 in our previous home could do this.).

  6. Doesn’t seem to work in the UK yet :(

  7. Stick Man says:

    Assuming the contact trick would work equally as well on my iPad if I installed the Alexa App I’ll give that a try. Like Tampa8 that’s been the reason I don’t use messaging not willing to share my contacts. Still don’t understand why Amazon doesn’t give us an option to enter just the contacts we want to message in the App. While there may be nothing nefarious in the way they use the contact list the potential is there just look at the recent Facebook snafu.

    • Cheryl Jones says:

      I am no expert on this stuff. I cannot get her to message from setting up on the tablet but she does make calls to any of my contacts. Alexa says she can only message those contacts who have signed up for messaging. I also can drop I on a neighbor that also has an alexa.

    • cheryl jones says:

      My fire tablet is the 7 inch 2015 tablet. But here is the official thing from amazon

      What devices support Calling & Messaging?
      Alexa Calling and Messaging is available on:
      Echo devices: Echo Dot, Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Spot and Echo Show
      Fire Tablets: all generation 4 and above Fire tablets, including our latest Fire 7, Fire HD 8, and Fire HD 10. Just make sure your Alexa App is up to date.
      iOS (9.0 or higher) and Android (5.0 or higher) tablets and mobile phones: by using the latest version of the Alexa App.

  8. Tampa8 says:

    Just as a final clarification the announcement feature does work across all devices those on or not on the same wifi system. Nice added feature.

  9. Stick Man says:

    Thanks to Cheryl J. and Tampa8 for the addition info I’ll be playing with setting up my limited contacts on the iPad this weekend. I’ll post my results here.

  10. Ness Bashara says:

    I still can’t use two Echos as imtercom. Wish app was easier to add to. Also removed my Beatles history from my flash briefing. No idea why. Ever since a couple in Oregon was recorded & it was private convo but it sent it as a voice message to a contact ALL UNBEKNOWN TO the couple I don’t share contacts

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