FAQ Part 10: Alexa Flash Briefing

Publication 1/26/18 – The Alexa FAQ series continues with information about the Alexa Flash Briefing: what it is and how to set it up.

Follow the links at the bottom of this post to view all other posts in the series.

Note that the information provided here is accurate as of this writing, on 1/26/18, but is subject to change in the future as the Alexa service and devices evolve.

Flash Briefing Offers Daily, Customized Sound Bites From The News & Information Sources You Select
You know how radio stations will usually offer a news segment once an hour, and then maybe separate, brief segments for celebrity and sports news? And you know how, no matter how hard you try, you frequently end up missing the one of those three updates you most wanted to hear, and have to wait for it to come back around in the next hour?

The Alexa Flash Briefing allows you to set up your own “segment” with the only the content you most want to hear, only from the sources you want to hear it from. There are two more big advantages, compared to the radio segments: there are many more sources for news and information than you’d ever hoped, and you can listen to your personalized segment anytime you want with the Alexa command, “Flash Briefing”, so you never have to worry about missing it.

Each Flash Briefing content provider offers brief, regularly updated headlines and content summaries, making it easy for you to curate your own daily “news” segment to include information ranging from world news headlines to daily affirmations, from sources like CNN, BBC News, Consumerist, NPR and NBC News Radio: Entertainment (for celebrity news). Many of the sources are not actually “news” in the traditional sense, but daily tips, devotions, trivia, humor or other types of information.

Flash Briefing Setup: So Many Choices!
You can set up your Flash Briefing in the Alexa app, under Settings > Accounts > Flash Briefing. Toggle the selector to “on” for any sources you want to add to your personalized Flash Briefing.

Note that “Featured” Flash Briefing skills are shown right there on the screen, but there are over 4,000 Flash Briefing content sources as of this writing in Amazon’s US Skills store so be sure to tap that “Get more Flash Briefing content” link to browse the full selection. Once you’re browsing, there’s a search bar you can use to search by source, subject or keyword. Don’t go too crazy, because depending on the sources you select your Flash Briefing can get pretty long!

After you’ve made your selections, back on the main Flash Briefing screen you can alter the order in which your sources play by tapping the Edit Order link (it’s at the upper right, and easy to miss). You can add new items any time you like, and remove sources either by toggling the item to “off” in the Flash Briefing screen of the Alexa app or by disabling the Skill in the Amazon Skill store to remove its listing from your Flash Briefing screen entirely.

Click here for the Listen to Your Flash Briefing help topic on Amazon’s US site. Click here for the same topic on the UK site.

LME Flash Briefing Skills
I’ve written a few Flash Briefing skills that are intended to add humor, interest or quality to your day, rather than news. Each one updates daily, and the messages are only a few seconds long so they won’t add a lot of length to your Flash Briefing. You can look any of these up in the Alexa app when setting up your Flash Briefing (they are all available in the US, UK, Canada, India and Australia), or to add them using the links provided below:

Enable the skill on its linked page, then go to Settings  > Accounts > Flash Briefing in the Alexa app and locate the new skill, which will be included in the “Off” section by default. Slide its switch to “on” to add it to your Alexa Flash Briefing.

Make Me Smile Daily Alexa Skill Make Me Smile Daily (UK readers, click here)
Get an amusing or surprising fact to lift your spirits each day.

Easter Egg Daily Alexa Flash Briefing skill icon Easter Egg Daily (UK readers, click here)
Add this to your Flash Briefing to get a different Alexa Easter egg every day of the year!

Focus Word Daily Alexa Flash Briefing skill icon Focus Word Daily (UK readers, click here)
Users of the regular Focus Word skill have been asking for it in Flash Briefing form, and here it is at last! Adds an inspirational word or phrase to your Flash Briefing along with a brief statement to provide you with a point of focus you can use during meditation, or as a touchstone throughout the day.

Enjoy your Alexa devices, and be sure to come back here to follow the rest of this Alexa FAQ series.
I’ll be continuing the series with posts providing a look at the various Alexa devices and gadgets now available as well as the differences among them, Alexa calendar integration, and a sort of catch-all mailbag FAQ at the end that will include resource links for Alexa-oriented consumer groups online.

Click here to subscribe, so you’ll be notified when each new post is published. You’ll also want to bookmark any posts in the series you might need to refer to frequently in the future, and use the handy social media links at the bottom of this post to share with others who’ve received (or you know will be receiving!) Alexa devices.

Click here to read part 1, Alexa Basics For Those Giving or Getting An Alexa Device.

Click here to read part 2, Six Things To Try With Alexa.

Click here to read part 3, Alexa With WiFi & Bluetooth.

Click here to read part 4, Alexa Privacy and Security.

Click here to read part 5, Alexa Music Commands and Services.

Click here to read part 6, Alexa Calling and Messaging.

Click here to read part 7, An Alexa Intercom System with Alexa Drop-In.

Click here to read part 8, Alexa Alarms, Reminders and Timers.

Click here to read part 9, Using Alexa To Control Your TV.

Click here to read part 11, Alexa Calendar Integration

Click here to read part 12, Comparing Alexa Devices.

Click here to read part 13, Alexa FAQ Conclusion: Mailbag, Alexa Communities.