Amazon continues its mobile journey – as TechCrunch reported, the company has added voice integration to Alexa for the Android app. The initial rollout will be available via Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Until now, the app has primarily served as a tool for managing settings of the devices powering the voice assistant, such as Echo.
With the new voice functionality, users can speak directly into their handsets to set into motion any number of activities, such as activating Alexa skills, searching for information and playing music.
Beyond the initial Android push, a similar offering will come to the iOS App Store, though at the moment there is no official timetable for that launch.
The Alexa movement comes as the company renews its focus on mobile. TechCrunch noted that Amazon has been competing with Siri and Google Assistant, among others. Recently, Amazon announced that Alexa would be coming to Windows 10 PCs. The company has also implemented some voice functionality into its mobile shopping application.
In news reported in this space earlier this month, Alexa is making inroads into numerous areas of the home and beyond. Between 2017 and the beginning of 2018, the number of Alexa skills skyrocketed from 7,053 to more than 25,000 in the U.S. Across the pond, that tally has increased by more than 100 percent in the U.K.
Last month, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) estimated that Amazon and Alexa awareness had jumped to 89 percent over the previous nine months, from 77 percent. In a separate report, 14 percent of respondents to a June 2017 How We Will Pay survey conducted by PYMNTS and Visa said they owned either an Amazon Echo speaker or a Google Home Assistant.