Voice assistants usually only give you brief summaries of the news — helpful if you’re in a hurry, but that’s about it. Amazon is betting that you’ll want something deeper. It’s rolling out an Alexa feature in the US that provides long-form news from Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Newsy and NPR. Ask Alexa to “tell me the news” or to “play news” from a specific outlet and you’ll get detailed audio from all providers, and video from CNBC and Newsy. You can skip stories if you’d rather not examine every story in vivid detail.
Audio works on any Alexa-powered device, while video logically requires a screen-equipped device like an Echo Show. It’s a welcome (and arguably overdue) update, at any rate. Many people complain that the news is reduced to soundbites. This gives you a chance to explore the news in those moments when you can’t pull out your phone or turn on a TV.