Your Amazon Echo is getting a very useful feature today and here’s what is new

If you own an Amazon Echo then there’s a neat new feature arriving on this device from today.

The BBC has just announced a new update which should help users get an improved experience when asking to hear all the latest news.

In fact, the BBC says it is reinventing the way it delivers news on voice devices.

The update, which is the first interactive voice news service, will allow Echo fans to skip ahead to the stories they have time for, and find out more about the stories that grab their attention.

To access this feature you simply say ‘Give me BBC News’ to an Alexa-enabled device.

Along with better access to the daily news, this update also brings other new features which include:

• Specialist pieces: Reporting, interviews and features from BBC News’ many specialist reporters and correspondents who add new angles on the day’s emerging stories

• Flexible bulletins: Listeners can get news bulletins at a time and length that suits them – not restricted by the BBC’s schedules, and can explore longer interviews or stories that are forced to make way for breaking news

• The BBC archive: Where relevant, clips and interviews from the BBC’s vast radio archive will supplement current stories, providing invaluable context and voices from the past

Speaking about the update, Mukul Devichand, executive editor, BBC Voice + AI, said: “Smart speakers give us the chance to reimagine what radio would be like if it were invented today, free from its technical limitations. By making the news interactive on smart speakers, listeners can jump to the stories they need to hear just before rushing out of the house, or, when they have more time, they can delve into a piece and find out more.

“Delivering the trusted content people expect from the BBC, this new form of audio news comes at an important moment. It will help people navigate through one of the most dramatic news cycles in recent times.”

Ands Andy Webb, Head of Product, BBC Voice + AI, added: “A world of opportunities open up once you connect a speaker to the internet and make it interactive. We’re taking advantage of that by combining our world-class content makers and engineers, exploring how this exciting new medium could look and how we can better serve our audiences now and in future.”

The BBC says it is introducing interactive news on voice devices on Amazon Alexa-enabled devices to begin with, and will be looking to introduce it on other platforms in the future.

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