Amazon is pretty serious about bringing its smart digital assistant Alexa everywhere. It's mostly found inside homes — but what's significant about it isn't its location but it's distribution.
Not only is it inside households, but some homeowners also actually have various Alexa-powered devices evenly distributed within the house — and the Echo lineup makes sure there's one for every function, for every room. The Echo Spot, for instance, serves perfectly as a bedside timepiece and alarm clock. The Echo Show looks great inside a kitchen. The Echo smart speakers can be placed anywhere and can be asked anything at any time.
Amazon has taken over the home, and now it wants to grab a piece of Google's pie by taking over smartphones too.
Amazon Alexa Voice Commands Now On Android
Voice integration has arrived on Alexa for Android. Until now, the app has been primarily a way for users to control and manage settings for the Echo and other smart home devices built around Amazon's assistant, but now it actually does what it's meant to do.
The arrival of voice commands means that users can now speak directly to Alexa using the app to trigger certain functions — play music, use Alexa skills, the whole nine yards. The update is being rolled out over the course of the coming days via Google Play and Amazon's Appstore, as TechCrunch points out. A similar update is also coming to the iOS version, but a release schedule has yet to be determined.
There's A Catch
On Echo devices, Alexa is accessed by saying the "Alexa" wake word, which triggers the device on. It won't play out the same in the case of the mobile app, unfortunately, so that means users still have to open the app before they can spit out commands. This means it might not be super useful just yet because it's hard that users would bother to open an app every single time just to make voice commands.
At the very least, Amazon's decision to roll it out for Android — and eventually iOS — users makes sense, as it definitely stands to widen the reach and balloon the user base of Alexa.
What do you think? Would you find voice commands on the Amazon Alexa app particularly useful, or is it a step down from the voice assistant experience on Echo smart speakers? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below if you have any thoughts!