Auto mode is a new feature coming to Amazon’s Alexa app that transforms your phone into a “driver friendly display” when used with Alexa Auto accessories. Echo Auto, The The company says. These include large touchscreen icons that provide access to Alexa’s custom voice commands as well as features such as directions, music playback and calls. Amazon says it will be available on the Alexa app on iOS and Android in the coming weeks “when Echo Auto or other supported Alexa Auto parts are paired.”
Driving-Focus mode has four screens. There is a navigation screen that provides shortcuts to favorite destinations, and links to your default navigation app for directions (saying “Alexa, go to the Alexa app” transfers you to the Amazon app).
Meanwhile, the communication screen gives shortcuts to make calls, drop-in or make notifications from other Alexa devices (lets you let your family know on the way home, Amazon says). PlayScreen Media provides access to playback. Finally, the home screen provides shortcuts to frequently used actions.
Amazon says it is designed to work with devices such as the new Auto Mode Echo Auto, A small Bluetooth-enabled device that was Amazon’s last big attempt to add Alexa to your car. However, when we reviewed it ourselves, we found that Alexa was not great at helping with the many kinds of questions we had while driving.
Echo Auto failed to pick the right places when we asked for directions, and it was usually confusing when our internet was interrupted. It is not clear if these issues will be fully fixed in the new auto mode of the add-on, but having a screen interface will make it clear what options you have.
Amazon says auto mode will be available in the United States, Canada, Germany, France, India, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.