© 2023 By Peter Stewart

How to Set Up and Customize an Amazon Echo Flash Briefing

Do you want to keep up with the news, but don’t have the time to sit through an entire news cycle?

Here's how you can do just that.

Alexa Flash Briefings  are short pieces of audio that you can choose depending on the topics you want to hear about, and then schedule to play sequentially. That way you get to hear what amounts to a personalised news bulletin, with say, a local events guide, an update from your favourite sports team and then a stock market review and inspirational quote and ending with the weather and any traffic problems on your commute route.

That way, you don't have to remember the name of each Briefing or ask Alexa to play them individually: they just play one after another, and if one has not been updated you simply tell Alexa "Skip!".

But how do you do this? 

1. Setting Up a Flash Briefing

Start by saying "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" Alexa kicks off whatever news skill or service is already part of your flash briefing, which could be something like NPR News, CNN, Bloomberg, or Associated Press.

To add more skills or otherwise modify your flash briefing, open your Alexa app. At the Home screen, look for the Flash Briefing Alexa just provided. Tap on the More link and then the link to Customize your Flash Briefing.

Or tap the Settings icon () and select Flash Briefing.

2. Customize Skills

At the Flash Briefing screen, you can disable or enable different skills if more than one is listed. To add more skills, tap on the option to Get more Flash Briefing content.

3. Search New Skills

Alexa brings you to a page displaying skills you can add to your Flash Briefing. You can browse all the skills or search for specific ones by typing a keyword or phrase followed by the words flash briefing. Most Flash Briefing skills are audio-only, however, some offer video clips to view on an Echo Show£219.99 at Amazon.

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4. Enable New Skill

Tap a skill you want to add and tap the Enable button. You can then go back to the list of skills, browse for others that interest you, and enable any you want to add to your Flash Briefing.

5. Manage Skills

When you're finished adding skills, tap the Back button to return to the Flash Briefing Settings page. Review all the skills you've added and decide which ones to keep and which to disable. The active ones appear at the top of the page in the On section; the inactive ones at the bottom in the Off section.

6. Edit Flash Briefing Order

Next, you can sort the skills to determine the order in which you want to hear them. Click on the link to Edit Order. Press and hold on the hamburger icon () next to the skill you want to move and drag and drop it to your desired position. Tap Done.

7. Play Your Flash Briefing

Now, say "Alexa, what's my Flash Briefing?" Alexa begins with the first skill on your list. If you want to move on, say "Alexa, next." Alexa segues to the next item in that skill or jumps to the next skill in your briefing.