As GearBrain first reported in late November, a new feature, Type with Alexa, is live in the iOS version of the Alexa app allows you to type with Alexa, rather than have to ask questions aloud. But in the past two weeks since we reported on the new tool, an open bar is now embedded at the top, allowing you to type your queries right to Amazon's voice assistant from the front page of the app.
Alexa is one of the better known voice assistants and shares that space with Apple's Siri and Google Assistant. Voice assistants, as their name implies, typically engage with people via voice — you speak to the A.I. and get answers or results from your queries or commands.
You don't need to type in Alexa's name to get the A.I. to respond to queries through the new Type with Alexa featureGearBrain
Having the opportunity to type these increases the accessibility of Alexa to those who rely more on reading than hearing. The new typing feature also has one benefit that speaking aloud to Alexa doesn't have — you don't have to say the Amazon's voice assistant's name to request that it turn on the lights, give you the weather or pull up information.
When speaking with Alexa aloud, the A.I. is not supposed to start listening until it hears its wake word — which is its name. That word turns triggers the AI to start listening for requests, to which it will respond. Alexa, however, through the new Type with Alexa, can now respond to typed in queries without needing its name typed in the bar.
You can try out the new feature on iOS devices in the Alexa app.