Amazon's Alexa wasn't her usual helpful self for many users across the U.S. Wednesday afternoon. The smart home gadget and voice assistant appeared stumped for users in several cities instead of responding to news, music, or weather information requests.
According to reports, among the affected cities include San Francisco, Boston, and New York. The outage appeared to have started around 5 p.m. PT, based on user reactions on Twitter.
When commanded to perform a certain task, Alexa could only respond with: "Sorry. I'm having trouble. Please try in a little while." The issue emerged hours after Sonos confirmed that users were having difficulty playing Spotify via Google Assistant and Alexa following an outage.
This isn't the first Alexa outage reported by users. In December last year, the service crashed briefly on Christmas, likely due to the thousands of owners trying to connect their Echo to Amazon's servers around the same time.
The Alexa outage was first reported by The Guardian, stating that Echo owners were unable to get their device perform regular tasks such as smart home controls or playing music. While it was most likely due to the increase activity, Amazon declined to offer the reason as to what caused the outage. The company did not explain how the issue was resolved either.
October of the same year, Alexa went AWOL for many years. Instead of reacting to commands, Alexa simply says "sorry, something went wrong."
Today's outage was resolved at 5:30 p.m. PT.
"This afternoon we had an issue that impacted some Alexa customers' ability to interact with the service," a spokesperson with Amazon said. "The Alexa service is now operating normally."
In other Amazon news, the Alexa Guard is now rolling out across the U.S., following an invite-only preview that lasted months. This new feature allow your Echo speaker to detect signs of danger whenever you're not at home.
Should a smoke alarm go off or a glass breaks inside your home, Alexa will send out Smart Alerts to your phone consisting of audio clips. If your Echo has a built-in camera, it will send you a live video feed of your home.
The new Alexa Guard is also capable of mimicking your daily smart light usage to make it seem like somebody is at home. While this adds a security feature to one's home, Amazon notes that Alexa Guard isn't marketed as an alert system. It doesn't have a feature that allows it to alert authorities either. Still, this new skill gives Alexa a slight edge over other voice assistants.