Google opens up its Android and Pixel devices to Amazon Alexa

May 8, 2018, 7:30 am

Bipasha M.

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Google, like other tech giants Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft has its own Artificial Intelligence powered smart assistant. But as of yet, Google has not monopolized its products with only its smart assistant. It still allows the Android and even Google Pixel phones to use other assistants and not just Google’s own smart assistant. However, Google has now gone further.

There is some sort of hostility that still prevails between Amazon and Google, despite this, Google has decided to let the Android and Pixel users use Amazon’s own Alexa. Alexa can now be used as an Android device’s default Assist app.

Previously users got a chance to choose among many assistants offered on the Android phones. When the home button is long pressed, Assist app or Device Assistance App pops up and in many phones, the Device Assistant is most likely to be ‘Enhanced Google Services” or in short Google Assistant. If the user has other assistants saved in their phones the device will list all the assistants available and will let the users choose among those device assistants. Previously, among those other assistants, only Cortana and Firefox were listed but not Alexa. But now Pixel 2, as well as other phones, are reportedly Alexa listed.

However, it does not mean that it will change what runs when someone says “OK Google” and that trigger would not launch Alexa. The Assist app setting only applies to what assistant it launched when the user long pressed the home button and nothing else. For Pixel 2 users it does not change the default device assistant either. So the bottom line is, users can summon up Alexa by long pressing the home button and nothing else. They cannot fire her up by voice command just by using the Alexa trigger phrase. That is only available in HTC U11 and of course, Amazon’s own Fire tablets are able to trigger the hands-free Alexa voice control.

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