Amazon as a company is steadily making its way in the journey to become one of the greatest tech brands in the world. With the introduction of voice controls on their Android Alexa app recently, the company could well be on its way to getting to that enviable height. Before now the app was just a way for users to manage their settings for Echo and other smart devices built around its smart assistant.
With the introduction of voice controls, users are enabled to speak commands to their phones – such as playing music and activating ALEXA skills therein – as they would an Echo.
Recently, there have been updates to the app on the Google Play Store and on Amazon’s unique App Store. It is expected that updates would be available for iOS devices, but the timing of their availability is still vague at this time.
Mobile devices, of course, have been a big missing piece in Amazon’s Alexa push. The company has added some select functionality on various Android devices. To that end, they have entered into partnerships with various mobile company manufacturers like Huawei and Motorola to make it available to specific devices. However, each of these offers have been merely customized solutions.
Things would have been another easier and functional if Amazon had its own range of mobile products which can be customized to be compatible with the functions of Alexa. Indeed, without handsets of its own, the company has had difficulty competing with the likes of Google Assistant and Siri on that front. Microsoft has taken a similar route, offering up Cortana as an add-on app for mobile devices, in order to extend the reach of the product reach beyond the desktop.
As at last week at CES, Amazon announced that it had plans to bring the functionality of Alexa to Windows 10 PCs through a particular number of manufacturers.
Amazon has also, interestingly, brought some voice functionality to its mobile shopping app, while forgoing the functionality for the Alexa app until now. In spite of this, the app has become a hit on app store charts, owing to the wild success of the company’s Echo devices in the past holiday season.
The company has confirmed that the Alexa app in its current form does not support wake word functionality. In the meantime, there is still hope that Amazon will continue to take giant strides in the functions of their unique app, Alexa.