Amazon is bringing its full Alexa voice assistant to any smartphone, with an update that adds Alexa to the existing Alexa app, via Android Police. Until now, it only let you manage Amazon’s assistant on other devices.
Amazon has partnered with companies to integrate its assistant onto smartphones before, but it was only a few devices, like the Huawei Mate 9 or Motorola Moto X4. Adding it to the Alexa app is the first time it’ll be freely available on almost any device.
Crucially, Android Police reports that phones still won’t be able to listen for the “Alexa” command when the app is closed. So, unless you’re willing to open up the app every time you’d like to conjure up Alexa, it’s probably not super useful yet. At the very least, adding it to the freely available Alexa app boosts the number of users that will be able to take advantage of the assistant, even if Amazon won’t achieve quite the same level of hardware / software integration that Google Assistant, Siri, or even Samsung’s Bixby have on their respective platforms.
The update is expected to roll out in the next few days on Android devices, with an iOS version said to be coming soon, according to TechCrunch.