It seems as though Amazon is trying out a new “Brief Mode” for Alexa. The new mode results in Alexa talking less by replacing some of Alexa’s verbal confirmations with beeps. Instead of replying “Okay” after being asked to change the state of a smart home device, with Brief Mode enabled, Alexa performs the requested action and responds with a confirmation chime.
It’s unclear at this point if Alexa’s new Brief Mode is already starting to roll out to devices or if it accidentally became available to the public. Several people on reddit have reported receiving the new capability on some of their Echo devices, but some say the new ability disappeared a few hours later.
Those who received access to Brief Mode say that Alexa verbally informed them of the new capability after they asked the voice assistant to control lights. If Amazon rolls the feature out to everyone, it seems as though they plan for it to be the new default behavior for Alexa, since it’s automatically being turned on.
An option to turn Brief Mode on or off has not appeared in the Alexa app. This could explain why the feature is disappearing from devices that have received it in the past. While Alexa may be ready to switch into Brief Mode, an update to the Alexa app that lets you control Brief Mode may not be as ready.
It appears as though “Brief Mode” is starting to be rolled out to more devices. There is now a toggle to turn Brief Mode on or off in the Alexa app. It’s located at the very bottom of the settings area under a new “Alexa Voice Responses” section.