Amazon Alexa Has Arrived on Android

by | Feb 4, 2018 | Android

“Alexa, how’s the weather outside?”
“Alexa, can you order me a pizza from Dominos?”
“Alexa, do you know Siri?”

These are just some of the questions you might enjoy asking Alexa on your smartphone. Particularly now that Amazon has brought the voice control feature to the Android version of the app. But before you start geeking out, here’s the rundown of the most recent update:

Until recently, the Amazon Alexa app could only be used to control settings for the Echo, Dot, and other supported devices. Considering what the AI-powered assistant is actually capable of, this is nothing to get excited about. But now all that has changed as Amazon brings voice control to the Android version of the app. This makes Alexa a full-fledged digital assistant on Android handsets.

The update was initially available to the US, UK, Germany, and Austria. It is expected to roll out to more countries via the Amazon Appstore and Google Play over the course of the coming days.

Activating Alexa

The first thing you need to do is grant it permission to use your device’s microphone and then your location. With the new voice feature, you can use Alexa to play music and get weather forecasts. You can also easily enable Alexa Skills. You can make calls and send messages to your home Echo device. The update is on the way to the iOS App Store.

Unfortunately, Alexa app for Android currently does not support the wake word function. As such, you will need to press the Blue button whenever you want to activate Alexa. The hands-free experience is still exclusive to Alexa-integrated smartphones like HTC U11, Huawei Mate 9, and Motorola Moto X4.

Alexa for everyday use

With more than 25,000 skills available on the Alexa Skills store, you might be wondering where to get started. We’ve highlighted some ways Alexa can help with your daily activities:

  • Ride services

Enabling ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft is a breeze. Simply say “Alexa, enable Lyft (or Uber). Plug in your account and payment details and your smartphone now has the ability to order you a ride.

  • News

Alexa can keep you updated on current events. For example, the NPR Hourly News Summary skill can be prompted by saying “Alexa, what’s my Flash Briefing?” or “Alexa, what’s in the news?” This will give you a 5-minute briefing of the day’s headlines. Other news channels such as Bloomberg, CNN, the Associated Press, WSJ, The Economist, and BBC are also available.

  • Organization

Whether you are super organized or can’t seem to keep anything together, Alexa is there to help. It is capable of managing your Google calendar, making restaurant reservations, reminding you about important events, and updating grocery lists. It is also helpful in ordering items from Amazon Prime and tracking Amazon packages, just to name a few.

  • Media

Alexa lets you stream music directly from Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio. You can also listen to audiobooks and podcasts. Likewise, stay updated with your favorite sports teams with skills such as NFL, NBA, MLS, MLB, and many more.

  • Health

The AI assistant might be the closest thing you can get to having a personal trainer with skills available to help you stay on track of your health and fitness goals. Some popular skills include the activity tracker Fitbit, and 7-Minute Workout. You can also access relaxation-inducing skills such as Ambient Noise, Stop, Breathe & Think, and Meditation Timer.

2018 is shaping up to be an exciting year for tech. As AI assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Samsung’s Bixby continue to make appearances in our personal and professional lives.

If you’d like to stay updated on the latest AI trends or need help with anything AI-related — like Alexa for Business or Microsoft Cortana integration for your business — give us a call today.

Published with permission from Source.