Amazon just brought one of Google Home’s more useful features to the Echo.
The company introduced Alexa Announcements, a feature that effectively turns your Echo into an in-home intercom system if you have multiple speakers in your house.
Rolling out to Echo devices in the U.S. and Canada today, the new feature lets you broadcast a message to multiple Echo speakers at once. Just say “Alexa, tell everyone to come upstairs,” and “come upstairs,” will play on every Echo in your house. The command also works with “Alexa, announce…” and “Alexa, broadcast…”.
If you only have one Echo, you can take advantage of the feature by using the Alexa app, provided you have an Android phone or Fire tablet. (The speaker has to be linked to the same account you’re using on your phone.)
Amazon’s update comes five months after Google introduced a similar feature called Broadcast, which lets you, well, broadcast messages to your Google Home speakers using Google Assistant.
Of course, one of Amazon’s relative strengths over Google is the number of third-party Alexa-enabled devices. An Amazon spokesperson says they don’t yet have a way for third parties to integrate the Announcements feature, but it’s something the company’s working on.