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With Alexa’s new feature, your Echo speaker will announce your Uber Eats order updates


Wondering where your Uber Eats order is? Alexa will soon be able to tell you. Amazon announced a new one today partnership with Uber allowing Echo device owners to track their Uber Eats orders through Amazon’s voice assistant. Starting later this month, Uber Eats users will be able to enable a new order tracking feature that will allow them to receive updates through their Echo smart speaker, depending on their preferences.

Amazon is struggling to get users to adopt their third-party voice apps known as Alexa Skills as Echo users tend to use their devices basic taskssuch as setting timers, playing music, or controlling their smart home. The Uber integration could push Alexa device owners to try something new, as Uber would market the order tracking feature in its own app, which would help drive adoption.

When the update goes live, users will be able to enable a new “Track with Alexa” option in the Voice Assistant settings of the Uber Eats app. Then, after checking out with their food order, they can tap a new Alexa button to track the progress of the order.

Uber Eats x Alexa

There are a couple of ways for Echo owners to get the order tracking updates. They can choose the more traditional notification method that changes the Echo’s blue ring light to yellow, which customers can respond to by saying “Alexa, what’s my notification?” This is similar to how Alexa users can check in to their Amazon delivery updates, for example.

The other option allows Alexa to actually announce when there’s a status change in the order for one or all of the Echo devices in the household. This way, the Uber Eats customer doesn’t have to keep looking at their phone to see where their order is, as Alexa will announce when the food is ready, when it’s being picked up for delivery, and when the driver has arrived at their house.

Alexa will also announce when something changes about the order, such as if it was canceled for some reason.

Uber worked closely with Amazon on how the feature should work. It decided to make the feature something the user has to enable with each order, rather than something they enable at the account level. The latter, the company believed, could have risky downsides.

“Imagine, for example, a customer who ordered a sandwich, but forgot that he had turned on hands-free notifications with Alexa. And now imagine if they had a sleeping baby at home,” explains Ethan Hollinshead, Uber Eats lead product manager. in a blog post. “Or imagine a scenario where someone places an order while traveling and Alexa sends a notification to everyone at home.”

Instead, the new experience combines the convenience of Alexa alerting you to updates on an opt-in basis, but without the troubling drawbacks of an always-on integration. You can choose whether you want Alexa’s alerts with every order.

The feature, which joins Uber’s other integrations with Google Assistant and Siri, is expected to reach Uber Eats’ U.S. customers sometime later this month.

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