Amazon.com is planning to give its Alexa voice-activated assistant the ability to speak up— unprompted—with alerts from apps and gadgets, possibly this fall. It’s a change that could make the service much more useful and a feature developers long have asked for.
Right now, users have to start conversations with Alexa, which lives inside devices like Amazon’s Echo speaker. For example, users can ask Alexa to hail an Uber. But because Alexa doesn’t offer alerts—which software developers call push notifications—Alexa can’t tell you when your car arrives. Instead, users have to ask Alexa where their Uber is, and she directs them to look at the app on their phone for the full details.