HTC U11 gets Alexa Assistant

Vincent Carr
July 17, 2017

Following on from last week's report that a Google Home unit called the police on a couple during a domestic dispute, it's now been revealed that the smart device in question was actually Amazon's Echo. Further, they have to log in to their Amazon account. Unlike Apple Siri which made its journey from a smartphone to a smart speaker, Amazon's Alexa did quite the opposite.

The year 2016 witnessed the rise of several smart-home speakers. It's worth noting that the HTC U11 is now available in the United States, and you can get it for Sapphire Blue, Brilliant Black, Amazing Silver and Solar Red color variants. This feature is confirmed by a Chinese tech guy who said that he received a software update that included new #edgesense feedback animation, as well as, Amazon Alexa support.

To use the call feature with an Amazon Echo, you'll need to verify your mobile number via SMS - this feature can use phone data but doesn't use text messages and minutes from your contract. Hope to see new development in Alexa would also be seen in other smartphone making the smartphone app as a real asset and strong enough to its rivals. The HTC U11 is already a fantastic smartphone and adding another choice for a hands-free assistant makes it even more compelling. It is important to note that, right now, the Echo speaker is already packed with seven of these components, which is already superior to the Google Home and HomePod which only has two and six, respectively. Once you've activated the app once, you'll also get a notification with suggested things to ask Alexa and a microphone activation button.

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Twitter user @ChengmingAlpert noticed a mention of Alexa in the "What's New" section of the Play Store listing for the Edge Sense app, and sure enough, there's a new setting to pick Alexa as the default assistant. It can connect easily to Amazon's retail website and let your shop for products, by just using a voice-input. It also can't do everything that that Google's bot can do, and numerous things it can do are already well handled by the Google Assistant. More importantly, it can not really utilize the strengths of a smartphone, unlike other voice assistants.

With the new update, Amazon Echo and Echo Dot owners will be able to control playback, search for videos, and launch apps without pressing a button on the remote. With Alexa, you cannot access services such as Spotify or Pandora, like you can do on the Echo.

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