Amazon released Echo back in November of 2014 and has made huge advances in developing Alexa, it’s smart assistant. While Alexa is great at things like controlling smart home devices, its ability to answer multiple queries is not so great. It appears to be getting better, though. Amazon has added some limited contextual awareness to Alexa.

Based on what others are saying around the web and our own testing, you can now ask Alexa basic questions about something you’ve already established. For example, ask Alexa who the president is, then in a second query say “Alexa, how old is he?”. Alexa can do this now. It can even carry on longer conversations about a single topic, but not all topics. It seems to be able to remember when you’re talking about a person pretty well. Some questions just don’t work.

This is a nice improvement for Alexa, but Google Home is still vastly better at this sort of thing. Not only does it understand context better, it has a lot more data to draw from thanks to Google’s Knowledge Graph. Amazon is clearly still working on context, so I’m sure it’ll get better. Still a long way to go before it catches up to Google, if it ever does.

Update: Amazon developers seem to be actively expanding this capability. Context awareness seems to work when querying about places or weather. For example, after asking about the weather you can follow up by asking “Alexa, what about tomorrow?” and she will respond.