Alexa Briefly Lost Its Voice on Friday

Chris Welch, writing for The Verge:

A regional outage impacting Amazon’s servers led to Alexa becoming unresponsive on Echo products and other devices that support the assistant. I tried a simple weather inquiry on the Echo Dot in my living room, and the signature blue ring stayed lit up for about 15 seconds without any answer. A tone eventually sounded, and Alexa said it had lost connection. Subsequent attempts also failed, producing a red ring accompanied by Alexa asking me to try again later.

By mid-afternoon, Alexa had returned to normal and was responding to voice commands again. The issue was likely tied to troubles Friday with Amazon Web Services. Slack and other applications that depend on AWS as a backbone experienced downtime earlier in the day.

I ran into this problem. It didn’t last long, but at first I couldn’t tell whether the problem was with my particular Echo, Amazon’s online service, or something else. While I was trying to figure out what was going on, my Echo told me it was having a problem connecting to Wi-Fi, and that I should use the Alexa app on my phone to reconnect it. I wasted about 5 minutes doing that. I would have been a lot less annoyed if the Echo had simply told me that there was a problem on Amazon’s side.

Monday, 5 March 2018