Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Amazon Alexa has just arrived on smartphones

Amazon Alexa has just arrived on smartphones

The Google Assistant is somewhat more interesting as users can interact with it vocally, however, it isn't as clever as Amazon's Alexa is.

The current Echo uses a seven far-field microphones' array to listen from a distance, but Google's Home only uses two with similar results thanks to software and acoustic modeling. The company announced that a record number of customers have signed up for Amazon Prime, the company's subscription service and also that 50% more subscribers shopped during this Prime Day sale. You can configure it just like any other Echo using the Amazon Alexa app - by default it'll simply be called your "HTC Alexa" even.

Tech investor Aaron Batalion of Lightspeed Venture Partners has also wagered that as Amazon facilitates phone calls between its customers, more buyers will want to stay within the Prime ecosystem so they can keep in touch with other Echo users.

The arrival of Alexa on the HTC U11 is a match made in heaven. As the HTC Sense Companion provides non-spoken suggestions and reminders based on its owner's behavior, while Google Assistant is unparalleled when it comes to the asking of generic questions. You can't change the Alexa wake word on the phone, though.

An OTA update was pushed to these devices last week, which included preparations to get the smartphone ready to support the HTC Alexa App. If you think that might lead to confusion as to which one is the right one to use at any given time, you'd be correct.

Alexa can't do a lot of the things I want an assistant on my phone for: It's obvious to me that Alexa is still thought of by Amazon as an in-home assistant, not an on-the-go one. Just like an Echo device, volume and playback control is performed with your voice commands through the HTC Alexa app.

"Customers on the move can ask Alexa on the U11 for music and news, to cool their smart house on their way home from work, to check if they locked their front door, and to access thousands of other Alexa skills".

There are now more than 15,000 Alexa Skills available and majority work on the HTC U11. You can ask it for guidance by just saying "Alexa, help". You need two apps to use Alexa on the HTC U11.

The U11's Alexa feature is available from the Google Play Store for devices in the U.S. starting today and will come to the United Kingdom and Germany later this summer.

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