Fittingly enough, support for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant is finally coming to the Alexa app for Android phones, although it’s currently a bit of a gimmick.
Rather than being able to talk to Alexa at any time much as you would through Google Assistant, Alexa only works on Android devices if you have the Alexa app open, as Android Police reports. But hey, small steps, right?
The new update, though, which is expected to roll out over the course of the next few days on both the Google Play store and Amazon’s own app store, essentially brings Amazon’s increasingly beloved voice assistant to almost any phone.
Support for iOS is also expected to come soon, although no specific timeline was given.
Many voices, many choices
Amazon’s Alexa is clearly a hit, as seen in the way that the Alexa app topped the iOS App Store’s free charts for many hours after Christmas morning. Understandably, though, Amazon has had a rougher time bringing Alexa to smartphones owing to the dominance of Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.
The upcoming update improves that situation somewhat, as in the past the Alexa app was mainly just a hub for interacting with the settings of various Amazon Echo devices.
Now, though, you’ll be able to control some aspects of your phone through Alexa, such as music volume controls and text message opposition (so long as you keep the app open).
Even if Alexa were more “free” through the app, it’d still lack the deep smartphone hardware integration enjoyed by Siri and Google Assistant.
Maybe Amazon is hoping that everyone is thinking it’s just so cool that they’ll beg for iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices to support Alexa in addition to the usual suspects. Stranger things have happened.