Today, HTC unveiled their latest smartphone dubbed the U11 and one particular feature that stands out is that this phone officially supports Alexa in a way that is nearly identical to the Echo line of speakers Amazon offers.
While the device is undoubtedly an Android phone first that also happens to run Google Assistant, HTC has also elected to include Amazon’s Alexa assistant right out of the box.
What’s super fascinating is that Alexa works hands-free just like it does on an Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Look and Amazon’s soon-to-be-released Echo Show. This means you can use it in the same way you’d use an Echo in your home, car, or even at the office. Want to know the weather? Just say “Alexa, what’s the weather?” Want to turn off you smart lights? Just ask.
Basically, Amazon is now fighting Google as a potential assistant on Android phones. While it’s not as tightly integrated with things like cards that show you when you should leave to avoid traffic or when your next flight is, it’s still interesting to see Alexa and Google Assistant compete on the same phone.
What this means for the future of Alexa on phones is going to be interesting. And with Android being “open” it’ll be fascinating to see how far in the system Amazon could potentially integrate itself. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of this in the months to come.