Amazon Alexa Comes To Android Phones


Amazon’s Alexa can become a default assistant on Android smartphones, replacing Google Assistant, according to multiple reports Monday (May 7), which credited a Reddit user with noticing the change.

Android phone owners who have installed the Alexa app on their devices can press the home button on their devices to access it, according to CNET. Alexa cannot be activated by voice on the Android phones, it said. Owners of those phones already could employ the Microsoft Cortana virtual assistant.

Alexa works on Google Pixel and Pixel 2, One Plus 5, One Plus One, Xperia, Moto G5 Plus, Essential Phone 1, and Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S8 Plus and S9 devices, The Verge reported.

Just because Alexa has made it onto Android phones doesn’t mean the retailer’s virtual personal assistant and shopping help will do much. The Verge described Alexa’s functionally as “limited” when used on Android devices. Alexa can do Google searches, but it “can’t pull up maps or make native calls.”

The Android development, reportedly spotted on Saturday, was followed in a few days by an announcement from Amazon that Alexa now offers in-skill purchasing for Alexa skills. That means developers can now make money off the sale of digital content that enhances games, stores or other Alexa skills, according to Jeff Blankenburg in an Amazon developer post.