A recent email from Amazon sent to Alexa users announced the decision to axe the device’s email connectivity features. Starting November 8, Alexa no longer will be able to access Gmail or Microsoft email, and any currently linked email accounts will be unlinked. In addition, email-related functions, such as email routines and notifications, as well as being able to track third-party packages, also will be impacted.
According to Amazon’s email, this change only will affect linked emails and email-related features—linked calendar accounts will continue to function. Amazon also has assured users that, despite the loss of package tracking, they still will be able to check on Amazon orders by asking Alexa, “Where’s my stuff?”
Alexa’s ability to dictate and compose emails has been helpful for people with impaired vision or mobility, and there are concerns over how those users will be impacted—particularly with only about a week’s notice about the change.
As of now, Amazon has not provided a reason for the decision, though Reddit user rebeccalj speculates it could be related to Gmail requiring 2FA starting on November 9.
When asked about it by TechHive, an Amazon spokesperson stated that the company wants to make customers’ lives easier and listens to their feedback.