If Alexa seems to be giving you the cold shoulder, then don’t worry - you haven’t offended her into silence. It’s more than likely that Amazon’s cloud servers are having some outage issues, which affects Alexa’s ability to function.
As of 26 September 2018 there are reports of Alexa being down in the UK, so if you have a problem today it's almost certainly not local to you.
However, if you're ever unsure, there are a few ways to check whether Alexa is down:
- Check DownDetector for outage reports
- Check social media, especially Twitter, for mentions of 'Alexa'
- Also check Amazon Echo's Facebook and Twitter pages for user complaints
In this instance DownDetector is reporting problems at Amazon Alexa since around 8.28am BST. From the comments it appears to be largely a problem with older Echo devices.
Check out our Amazon Echo review here.
AWS (Amazon Web Services) experiences some downtime occasionally, but this is something they’re getting much better at dealing with. It’s also very much in Amazon’s interest to make sure their service has as close to 100% uptime as possible, as if any problems persist, consumers and businesses alike will seek another platform.
While it will be frustrating to have Alexa take a good long think before answering your question, if she even answers at all, just think about the amount of freaking out and arm waving going on at the Amazon offices as they try and get it back up and running.
The world of Amazon Web Services
AWS is actually responsible for hosting a wide variety of services across the world, in multiple different industries. Everything from Slack to video game servers are hosted by Amazon. By offering a platform for web services, Amazon gives other companies the opportunity to use their infrastructure rather than buying/building their own.
This is all fine and dandy, until it stops working - but we’ve no doubt that Amazon are very much on top of the issue.