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Sometimes you feel like you could just have someone read you a few tweets from your Twitter Timeline. The inspiration to read and ponder over some of your friend’s tweets is just not there. Those are the times you could do with Twitter’s new app, designed for Amazon’s Alexa. Twitter has a new app and its goal is to have Alexa read tweets to your hearing and not read them yourself.
Launched last Friday, the new app lets you listen to the latest tweets straight from your own Echo speaker or any other device powered by Alexa. Twitter’s new app can give you latest information on trends, and even bring you information from your account.
Getting started with the app
The first step to using the app is to get authenticated with your Twitter account. Thereafter, you can launch the app by saying “Alexa, open Twitter.” Sounds easy, remember how important to get used to Alexa’s skill description, which of course, is necessary to avoid hitches. Other Alexa Skills, you need to learn include: “Alexa, ask Twitter for my own tweets,” “Alexa, ask Twitter has anyone retweeted me?” “Alexa, ask Twitter for my Mentions,” “Alexa, ask Twitter what is happening?” and so on.
One thing Alexa won’t do for you is post tweets; I mean that will be asking too much of Amazon’s virtual assistant. However, TechCrunch reports that Alexa can read your Timeline, Mentions, Likes, and Retweets. I guess leaving you to post your new tweets is like leaving you with a bit of authority and not necessarily taking over your Twitter account. So it makes a lot of sense that the new service won’t be responsible for posting new tweets on your account.
How about asking Alexa to do something more difficult other than retweets and Likes. Like asking it to go beyond current trends and finding out what’s happening in a particular place. Perhaps, something like “Alexa, ask Twitter for trends in Boston.”
There are limits because Alexa won’t respond to commands or tweets that include a vulgar language. The virtual assistant would in fact, censor any speech considered irrelevant within tweets.
To enable the new Twitter Skill in Amazon’s Alexa app, you have to switch it on, and authorize it to have access to your Twitter account. Once done, the rest is easy and all you have to do is keep using the right command.
Last July, Alexa made an inroad into door security as the virtual assistant was integrated with August, a startup that specializes in Internet-connected door locks. This followed previous integration enabling the voice assistant to check your credit card balance, order a Uber, and a Domino’s pizza to be delivered at your place.
We expect more services will be integrated with Alexa as Amazon tries to fight off competition from Google and Apple—two big tech giants controlling a big share of the market. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in June that Alexa has more than 1,000 people working in the technology—hoping that Alexa becomes one of the company’s major pillars.
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