Echo Studio volume and alexa controls

  • Amazon has launched an Alexa for Apps preview that launches Android and iOS apps with your voice.
  • It works with the Alexa app, built-in Alexa, and supporting headphones.
  • TikTok, Uber, and other app makers are already adding support.

Amazon’s Alexa app will soon be useful for starting tasks in other mobile apps.

The company has unveiled (via The Verge) an Alexa for Apps preview toolkit that uses custom skills to launch Android and iOS apps. So long as an app supports deep links, you just have to use your voice to complete a search, find more information or access virtually any other feature.

This will work with the Alexa app (including hands-free), devices with Alexa built-in, and wearables like Amazon’s own Echo Buds.

 

Developers wanting to use Alexa for Apps can apply to join the preview now. Amazon is also releasing a host of additional Alexa features at the same time, including a beta for a more natural conversational model, pausing skills, Amazon shopping on touchscreen Echo devices, and launching Alexa skills from apps and the web.

You might not have to wait long to try this Alexa control yourself, at least. Numerous major app creators are already integrating Alexa into their feature set. TikTok will let you start recording without tapping the screen, while Twitter can search for a hashtag or a keyword. Uber can show you the driver’s location after you’ve booked a ride through the Alexa skill, and Sonic can show restaurant locations.

It will likely take some time before more apps make use of Alexa’s new talents. This could, however, go a long way toward closing some feature gaps with rival voice helpers. Both Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri can already use voice to complete tasks in a range of apps. Amazon doesn’t have the luxury of integrating directly with an operating system, but this could get it close enough that you won’t be as tempted to switch voice assistants.

Read more: Our guide to everything Alexa can do

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