I knew something was missing…
Say what you will, I’m a huge fan of Alexa. Amazon’s virtual assistant wakes me up in the morning, gives me my morning news, and takes notes and sets appointments for me, all controlled by my voice. There’s just something about not having to reach for a device, and just being able to speak out what I want, that makes it an instant win for me. I have multiple devices throughout my home, so I can just call out to the assistant wherever I’m at.
Users wanting an official app on their smartphone have been out of luck. Sure, Amazon has an Alexa app, but that is really just for managing your devices. There is a third party app called Reverb, which I have on my phones. It works great, and makes you wonder why Amazon hasn’t made their own. Some phone makers have started adding the service to their phones, and not too long ago, Amazon added the Alexa assistant to it’s Amazon Shopping app, but I must admit I’ve never even tried that feature out.
Now that all changes as Amazon is bringing Alexa to the Alexa app. I know, that sounds weird, but as I said before, the Alexa app has never been anything more than a device manager. With a new update that has began to roll out, the voice assistant can now be found within the app, and within anyone’s phones.
Most users will probably find the Google Assistant more useful on their phone, after all, the Google Assistant started out mobile first, while Alexa was designed to sit in your home. Those things that you typically want to know while your mobile is quick work with the Google Assistant, and I’m not so sure that Alexa is ready to do that yet. But Alexa has something that the Google Assistant doesn’t have, and that is personality. Sure, it’s a virtual personality, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had.
The new service within the app will work with a wake word, unlike the Reverb app which requires you to push a button within the app or a widget to speak instructions, however this will only work when the app is open and active on the phone screen. This should make the more privacy minded feel a little more comfortable.
Do you use any Amazon Echo products? Would you use the Alexa service on your smartphone?