Amazon announced back in September that it was bringing Alexa to mobile, and it's now making good on its word.
Amazon's Alexa voice-controlled virtual assistant has become increasingly popular and helpful over the past year, carrying out a number of tasks such as ordering stuff off Amazon, playing music on command and more. Alexa has been limited so far to a handful of Amazon devices such as the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Fire TV, but not anymore.
Alexa finally goes mobile with its latest rollout to select Amazon tablets, enabling owners of the 7-inch, 8-inch and 10-inch Fire tablets to enjoy the functionality of the smart assistant.
What Can It Do?
Enabling Alexa on a Fire tablet allows users to perform a number of tasks simply by uttering voice commands. For instance, users can say "Alexa, open Spotify" and have the virtual assistant launch the app at once.
Other tasks that users can seamlessly carry out via Alexa include getting the latest news, checking the weather forecast, playing music from Amazon's streaming music service and getting the scores of various sports games.
To get this sort of information, users can utter their commands in a natural way such as "Alexa, tell me the score for that X game" or "Alexa, tell me the weather in New York." For sports scores, Alexa will also list scores for other games played on the same day. For weather inquiries, it will not only read the forecast, but also present it on-screen with the weather and temperature for the current day and a forecast for the following week.
One of the best things about using Alexa on a tablet is that it allows users to easily order and reorder millions of items off Amazon, and the assistant will remember your choice. For instance, if you tell Alexa to order coffee, it will display a visual card of the brand you've previously ordered. All you need is to confirm your order and have it shipped to your doorstep.
Amazon Echo owners or those who have some other Alexa-enabled device can add "skills" from third parties such as Domino's, Uber and others, and enjoy extra functionality. Even better, users will be able to enjoy those functions on their Fire tablet as well, as long as they have the app installed. If you have smart devices connected to Alexa, you'll also be able to control them from the tablet.
With third-party apps, however, Alexa will not display any pop-up cards on the tablet's screen - at least not for now.
Alexa may not be as useful on a tablet as it is on the Amazon Echo, for instance, but it's nevertheless a great option to have and it has a number of cool tricks to offer. Moreover, having Alexa on a Fire tablet doesn't come with any extra charge, nor does it increase the price of the tablet itself.