Are you tired of screaming up the stairs to let the kids know that dinner is ready? They’re probably tired of it too. Now, thanks to a new feature that Amazon is rolling out, you can inform the children of the status of dinner in a much more loving and reasonable tone. (Because parents are never stressed out.) Alexa announcements effectively transform your Echo devices into an in-home intercom system.

Amazon Announcements have been rolled out across the entirety of the Echo lineup in both the United States and Canada. So whether you’re rocking a newer 2nd generation Echo or you’ve got an Echo Dot (or six) scattered throughout the house, you can broadcast your message to every Echo in your home.

The intercom system allows for “one-way announcements to all of the Echo devices” in the house. I imagine this is just another way for Amazon to convince you to pick up a few more Echos.

The way it works is quite simple. Just say something like, “Alexa, announce that dinner is ready” and all the Echo devices in the house will play back the message that “dinner is ready.” Alternative syntax formations that’ll also work with Alexa Announcements include “Alexa, broadcast (message)” and “Alexa, tell everyone (message).”

Your mileage may vary, but when I tried to use announcements with the Alexa-enabled Sonos One smart speaker, it didn’t work. This was true both in terms of trying to send out an announcement and in trying to receive an announcement. You might remember earlier this week how full hands-free Alexa support is being rolled out to Fire 7 Fire HD 8 tablets. I haven’t tried Alexa Announcements on the tablet yet, so I can’t say for certain whether it really functions like a true “Echo” device.


The Amazon Echo family of smart speakers start from $49.99 for the Echo Dot and $99.99 for the 2nd generation Echo in the United States (and at $69.99 and $129.99 Canadian, respectively, on Amazon.ca).

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