Apparent Outage Leaves Amazon's Alexa 'Having Trouble Understanding Right Now'

A file photo of an Amazon Echo device. Adobe

Alexa? Are you there?

Amazon Echo devices weren't working across the country Friday in what appeared to be an Alexa-related outage.

While handing out meals to Hurricane Florence victims in New Bern, North Carolina, President Donald Trump got a special request — a hug from a young boy who was helping out. Trump obliged

(Published Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018)

Some users who posed questions to the voice-activated and internet-connected personal assistants were being told the devices weren't working, with phrases like, "Sorry, I'm having trouble understanding right now. Please try a little later."

The website DownDetector, which tracks web outages, noted a spike in problems with the Alexa service starting at 9:39 a.m. ET. The number of reports dropped dramatically around 2:00 p.m. ET.

NBC has reached out to Amazon to inquire about the possible outage.

Celebrities like Cardi B and Anthony Hopkins haven't started taking over for Alexa in real time, as Amazon's Super Bowl ad proposed.

Neighbors in Colerain Township, Ohio, rallied to help when someone slashed the Christmas decorations of a 2-year-old with terminal cancer.

(Published Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018)