Alexa Now Works Via Smartphone, No Echo Required
The intelligent personal assistant by Amazon is even more accessible, thanks to the new Alexa app.
Getting assistance from Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated personal assistant, just got easier. Instead of spending cash on a new speaker, now you need only download the Alexa app onto your smartphone. Through the app, you can access all of Alexa's capabilities, from turning on lights to playing a specific type of music.
There's a slight catch, though: Currently the app is only available on Android phones, but iOS users should have access to it later on (a specific date hasn't been released yet).
For those with any Echo device rather than the Show or Spot (which have a built-in screen), the app will add the convenience of a screen without having to buy an entirely new device. Additionally, users can access more information on a variety of topics, including weather forecasts, sports events, and movies and show times, says Jonathan Richardson, a spokesperson for Amazon.
One thing to keep in mind: Unlike traditional Alexa-enabled devices, the app isn't always on. That means you won’t be able to just say “Alexa” to get assistance; instead, you’ll have to open up the app every time you want to ask Alexa a question.