Alexa just got some street smarts. The voice assistant — who lives inside of Amazon's unusual Echo Bluetooth speaker — now plugs into Yelp to pull local search results. That means that you can now ask it about nearby restaurants. So if you're just about to hop in the car to head out to a new Thai spot, you can quickly ask Alexa what time they close to make sure you're not in for an unpleasant surprise. The searches also work for local businesses.
To make it all work, you'll need to plug your home address into the settings screen of the Alexa app. Once you do that, you're just a voice search away from getting details about nearby places. In addition to spoken results from Alexa, you'll also be able to pull up more detailed business details (and a link to Yelp) from the Alexa app, according to Amazon.
This update is just the latest in a number of improvements to Amazon's quirky Echo. The product got off to a rocky start at first, but steady updates like this have added new functionality, like traffic reports, sports scores, and perhaps most interestingly, highly-adaptable IFTTT integration.
The update for Yelp on Alexa was released on Friday — your Echo should already have it preinstalled.