This spring, Amazon introduced Alexa to a wider global audience by providing the virtual assistant with a feature that could only be accessed from within Amazon’s main shopping app. However, this integration – which allows you to ask Alexa about news, weather, basic facts, or use the assistant’s add-on “skills,” among other things – was available only for iPhone users. But starting from this week, Alexa is hitting the Android Play Store, as well.
Amazon hasn’t made any public announcement about this launch yet. But when asked on this matter, Amazon confirmed this new development is indeed taking place.
It seems a bit strange for Alexa to be integrated with the Amazon shopping application, given the fact that Amazon already has a standalone Alexa application that is accessible to the public.
Amazon is heavily banking on its flagship app’s massive reach to market Alexa’s capabilities to a broader customer base – especially those people who may not yet have any idea about Alexa’s capabilities. It’s sort of like a way to try a demo of Alexa without having to buy an Echo or other Alexa-powered devices.
Amazon’s app already has a wide range of voice capabilities for things like checking on orders or finding products, and thus it makes more sense to simply augment those existing commands by integrating Alexa’s more powerful assistant.
Alexa ships on Echo speakers and different gadgets; the in-app version of Alexa can play out a comparative arrangement of functions, including answering essential verifiable inquiries regarding individuals, places, dates, music, sports and that’s only the tip of the iceberg; or even provide you with an update on your daily news through the Flash Briefing feature, and so much more.
Alexa can also dole out information on weather and traffic conditions, or even play music for you while you shop within the Amazon app.
The in-app Alexa likewise gives you a chance to control savvy home gadgets (to a degree), or utilize other Alexa abilities that let you do things like play a game, arrange an Uber ride, put in your Starbucks order, and the sky is the limit from there.
It doesn’t appear like Amazon shopping app clients would truly need to play out these kinds of undertakings from their Amazon app, however again, this feels more like an Alexa demo than an ordinary use case. The thought is to get customers acquainted with Alexa, which could urge them to buy a hardware device, like the Echo or Echo Dot, to bring her into their home.
The Alexa feature isn’t live for all Amazon app users on Android currently.
Indeed, it appears that present Echo gadget proprietors got an early heads up on the integration for the Alexa partner app. In the Alexa app, a notice appeared alerting to another Alexa gadget being naturally added to clients’ records. The new expansion, as it turned out, was the Amazon portable app. Surprise!
The notification card additionally includes alternatives to tweak Alexa or reject the card.
To the extent we can tell, there isn’t any new Alexa functionality included with the Android launch – it’s just now becoming accessible to Android clients in addition to iOS. Like most arrivals of this scale, the feature is rolling out slowly, instead of hitting all clients at once!