Although Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant rules the smart speaker market, the same can’t be said for the mobile devices. However, it seems Amazon is finally ready to change that. According to a report in Techcrunch, Amazon has released an updated version of its Alexa app in the Play Store, which includes the actual voice assistant. The previous version of the app merely acted as a place to manage Echo smart speakers and other smart devices based on the Alexa assistant.
The updated Alexa app will act as a virtual Echo for you, but given Google and device manufacturers’ tight control on the mobile devices, the hotword support is missing for now. So, you won’t be able to trigger Alexa by simple calling it out, like you do with Google Assistant on Android devices or with Alexa on Echo speakers.
This limitation may be removed if Amazon ties up with some device manufacturers, but as of now, you will have to open the Alexa app to talk to Alexa voice assistant.
This isn’t the first time Alexa is arriving to Android devices. Amazon has worked with the likes of Motorola, Huawei and HTC in the past to pre-install Alexa on their individual devices. Also, Amazon included a part of Alexa functionality in its main app a while ago, but that is limited to certain countries right now.
Giving users a way to test Alexa on their mobile devices will help in bringing more users to the ecosystem. Some of these first-time Alexa users might even end up buying Echo or other Alexa-powered smart speakers.
If you don’t immediately see Alexa voice assistant in Alexa app on your phone, don’t worry, Amazon is slowly rolling-out access and it might take a few days.
To remind you, Amazon Alexa is also set to debut on Windows 10 PCs. As per an announcement from Amazon at the recently concluded CES trade fair, Amazon is working with HP, Lenovo, Acer, and ASUS to integrate Alexa for PC on their Windows 10 devices.