Amazon has now made Alexa available to ALL Android phones via the official Amazon Alexa app, which you can now pick up inside the Google Play Store. Previously, the Amazon Alexa app could only be used to interact with Amazon Echo/Dot products. A recent update had changed all that, however, making the Alexa app a fully-fledged personal assistant – just like Google Assistant.
It works on ALL Android phones too, so even if you’re not using one from our Best Android Phone Guide you can still get in on the action!
In order for the app to work properly, the app needs to be open. This is unfortunately just a reality of Alexa not being hard-wired into Android’s source code. It’s an app and it works like an app, which means when the app is closed Alexa will not respond. Alexa is slowly starting to appear inside a few non-Amazon products. Huawei’s Mate 9 phone was the first Android phone to ship with Alexa and I expect we’ll see plenty more phones ship with her in the future, as more and more brands strive to get away from Google’s grip.
What Can Amazon Alexa Do?
Glad you asked! here’s a breakdown of just a few of things Alexa can do:
- CONNECT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS – With the Alexa App, you can call and message Amazon Echo device owners and anyone else with the Alexa App on their phones. When you’re away from home, use the app to make a quick call or send a message to your family’s Echo. Use Drop In to instantly connect with your devices for a call. For example, you can drop in to let the family know it’s time for dinner or check in on the baby’s nursery.
- ALWAYS READY, CONNECTED, AND FAST – For Alexa device owners, the free Amazon Alexa App is a companion to your Alexa device for setup, remote control, and enhanced features. Alexa is always ready to play your favorite music, provide weather and news updates, answer questions, create lists, and much more. Alexa’s brain is in the cloud, so she continually learns and adds more functionality over time. The more you use Alexa, the more she adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.
- HOW IT WORKS – Interactions with devices with Alexa are automatically mirrored visually on your Amazon Alexa App, providing more information as you want it. The Amazon Alexa App lets you easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more — wherever you are.
Obviously, if you want the full-fat Alexa experience in your home, you’re 100% better off getting one of Amazon’s dedicated Alexa devices – the Echo, the Dot, etc. These types of devices are getting increasingly more popular as more and more features and abilities are added. I have an Amazon Dot in my kitchen, and I use it pretty much every time I’m in there.
It controls my lights, my music, it answers my questions, and it books me Ubers. And because I’ve been using it for years, Alexa now knows me pretty much inside out, so I can get super-personalized recommendations to my queries. I do think I prefer Amazon’s Alexa to both Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri – it just seems more useful for everyday things. It’s also far less buggy too.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.