In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon has given Alexa the ability to answer questions about the virus, including helping you identify whether symptoms you're worried about might indicate whether you have it.
If you ask Alexa a question like "Alexa, what do I do if I think I have coronavirus", the smart assistant will ask you questions relating to the symptoms you're feeling, your potential exposure and travel, and will offer advice for your answers based on guidelines from the CDC.
Obviously, this shouldn't be considered a replacement for a real medical test if you're able to get one, but there's a lot of confusing information about what symptoms you should be wary of and under what circumstances you'll have been in danger of catching it, and Alexa may be able to assuage your concerns, or help you take a sensible next action.
These abilities are live in countries all over the world, and are possible not only on Amazon Echo devices with Alexa built in, but other devices too – that means other smart speakers, soundbars, TVs and on phones.
- Coronavirus home test kits: Where can you get them and when? (opens in new tab)
- Which shops are open today during the UK Coronavirus lockdown? (opens in new tab)
Echo devices with screens, such as the Echo Show 5 (opens in new tab), can also show news updates to make sure you have the latest information about policies and government programs, though at these times of isolation, we don't recommend following the news all day – it won't be great for your mental health. Just check in for updates a couple of times per day.
Apple has also added a similar coronavirus screen ability to Siri (opens in new tab), which can now ask you questions based on US government guidelines if you think you have COVID-19.