Amazon downtime shuts up Alexa for a few hours

If you've noticed your Amazon Echo being a little less chatty than usual, don't panic – a spell of downtime in Amazon's cloud servers knocked out the Alexa app for a few hours, but all systems are go again and your Echo should be back to full functionality.

Apparently Amazon Web Services was out of action for a brief spell, causing Echos around the world (or at least in the US) to respond with a "lost connection" message whenever their users wanted to know the latest weather or needed to find out just how tall the Eiffel Tower was.

Other users reported sluggishness in Alexa's responses, so the digital assistant could still respond to questions, but needed a good long think about them first. Most areas are now reporting that Alexa is back up and running normally.

Not-so-smart homes

Amazon Web Services, which underpins a host of apps such as Slack as well as everything Amazon does on the web, is responsible for around a third of all cloud services, according to Wikipedia. When it hits issues, chances are you'll see it in more than one app.

The downtime actually mirrors the advert Amazon recently ran during the Super Bowl, where a series of celebrities were given the cold shoulder by Alexa, and Alexa users were quick to draw comparisons between the two on social media.

It just goes to show: you can put together the most sophisticated smart home setup possible, but if the services it relies on hit the buffers, you're still going to end up switching on light switches manually and looking outside to see what the weather's doing... just like the old days.

Via SlashGear

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.