New Video – Amazon Echo: Change Alexa’s Flash Briefing News & Weather To Suit You

The Flash Briefing feature on Amazon Echo devices is quite useful, unless you dislike the news or weather provider – in which case a very useful feature quickly becomes wasted.

Thankfully it’s quite easy to change the news and weather provider used for your flash briefing, along with adding loads of other briefing sources – including tech updates, terrorism threat levels and a whole bunch more. This is all possible through the Amazon Alexa app.

Video Transcript

Hey YouTube, I’m Tristan from Smart Home Point. One of the features are quite like on the Amazon Echo range of smart speakers is the ability to actually get the weather and news updates via flash briefing. And this is basically a pre-packaged command where you say “Alexa give me my flash briefing” and it will run through a news provider, local to you or to your country. And then after it gives all the news updates, it’ll give you your weather update. Now this is quite a nice feature.

Although if you don’t like the news provider, it’s a bit of a wasted feature. Equally if you only really wanted the weather, but maybe a little bit of news, you kind of have to sit through all the news updates before you get to the weather and that can be a bit boring. But thankfully you can configure all this. You can change the order that you actually get the flash briefings. You can have the weather first, then the news, you could also change the news provider and the weather provider really easily through the Amazon Alexa app. So this video just talks through how you do that. Let’s take a look.

Okay. So in terms of actually changing the default flash briefing behavior, if you launch your Amazon Alexa app, down in the bottom, obviously the design of this app recently changed, but everyone should have this design now. Down in the bottom, go to more. And then you’ve got this settings tab here. We’ll go into that. And if you scroll down, you’ll see this flash briefing section. Okay. So we’ll go into there. Okay, it’s got some information there that just says what this is, which is your updates and top headlines. And you can also edit the order to customize what content comes first. So in terms of editing the order, if that’s all you wanted to do, if you just wanted to get the weather first, you might think you wanna drag click and drag here, you can’t specifically but what you need to do is click the edit button. And then at that point you can actually drag and drop.

So if you wanna get your weather first, then the news, that’s how you do it. You click done at the top and then at that point, so then at that point, you’ll actually get your weather first and then your news. If you don’t want to reorder, when and where you receive things, what you can actually do instead is receive different content instead. So firstly, you can change or delete what you’ve got here by just clicking the toggle button here. So for example, if I no longer want BBC News I can click that then that turns off. So at this point now, if I was to click back at that point, if I go to my Amazon Echo device and I actually ask for flash briefing, all I’m gonna receive is the weather. I’m not gonna receive BBC news because I’ve turned that off. But in addition to that, what I can also do is add brand new content and you can do that either by clicking here or clicking here.

And as you can see, there’s quite a lot of different results for different flash briefings. You can get CNN News, even though the ratings is not very good on that. You can get Sky Sports and you can get absolutely loads of different news sources here, which is really convenient. BBC Minute as well, which as the name suggest is just one minute of news and that’s quite a convenient one, because as you’ve seen before the actual Amazon Echo news update is a little bit slow.

So if you just wanted a minute of news and then your weather, what you could do is click on enable to use. And then if we go back, yeah at that point because I’ve enabled that, I’ve clicked back twice and now you can see it’s here. And so if I ask for flash briefing, I’m gonna get the BBC… one minute of BBC Minute news, then I’m gonna receive my weather forecast. And that’s before if I want things in a different order I can click on that and add it on the top and I can move that around. And that’s pretty much all there is to the flash briefing section really.

Uhm, as you can see, you have got quite substantial mentioned news here, and you can actually even get Hot UK Deals, you know, there’s actually quite a lot you can do, Met Office as well. So if you don’t like the default Amazon weather provider, as I looked at in another video, you can get news from another source, such as the Met Office or anything else. And equally you can get updates, on in this case, this is for the UK. You can actually get updates on the Threat Level, the Terrorism Threat Level in the UK and a whole bunch of other stuff. And you know, certainly where you are based in the country or in the world, you’ll actually receive customized flash briefing providers based on that, based on your location. But as you can see, there’s a lot there, what I’ll probably do is just add another one, so the UK Threat Level, I’ll select that to enable to use, now that’s enabled.

Let’s go back twice and you can see my flash briefing is now made up of the weather, BBC Minute, and then the UK Threat Level. Let’s say I wanna change that order. Let’s say I got the Threat Level at the start, then the weather, then BBC Minute, I’ll click on done. Just click on back there. And that’s all there is to it. So now I’m gonna go to my Echo device and actually show you how this works.

“Alexa, Flash briefing”.

[Narrator] Here’s your news from the joint terrorism analysis center. The current national Threat Level is severe. In weather, in Cwmbran, it’s 11 degrees Celsius with partly cloudy skies. The news from BBC Minutes. (reporter speaks inaudibly) That’s all for now.

Okay, there you are so I’ve customized it exactly how I liked it. And for me, that works pretty well. And as you can see, there’s a lot of different options out there for you. If you wanna customize things to exactly your liking. Okay, I hope you found this video useful. If you did please click the thumbs up button and don’t forget to subscribe. Thank you.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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