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Amazon’s Echo Show now lets you use Alexa by tapping instead of talking

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Amazon is rolling out an update to its Echo Show smart display / speaker that enables “Tap to Alexa,” a new way of activating the digital assistant by using the touchscreen instead of voice commands. Tap to Alexa makes Alexa available to people who are unable to easily interact with Alexa by voice, such as users with speech impairments. But it might also prove to be a convenient option for anyone who’s just tired of talking to a gadget.

Tap to Alexa can be enabled by going to the Echo Show’s settings menu, choosing accessibility, and toggling on the feature. On the display, Amazon shows common Alexa queries (weather, timers, or traffic conditions), but users are also able to customize their own requests — like controlling smart home gadgets — making them accessible with a tap.

Separately, Amazon is rolling out Alexa Captioning in the UK, Germany, Japan, India, France, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The captions display Alexa’s responses to a user on all Alexa-compatible devices that have a screen. Alexa Captioning is already available in the United States.