HTC’s latest U11 smartphone has received rave reviews post its release but the company has now delivered on a promise that it made even before the handset’s official launch. The HTC U11 has now received support for Amazon Alexa in the US, with a software update and a dedicated app, and this means that users will now be able to wake up their smartphone by simply saying “Alexa” and give any instruction of their preference.
Notably, there are three ways to trigger Amazon’s Alexa assistant on HTC U11 right now, as pointed out in a report by The Verge. Users can assign the Edge Sense feature to the digital assistant, which will allow them to squeeze the smartphone from sides and launch Alexa. They can tap the HTC Alexa app’s icon or simply say Alexa, as mentioned earlier.
Interestingly, the HTC U11 already supports Google Assistant and if you hold the Home button on the handset, it will still continue to launch Google’s virtual assistant. Currently there is no option to remap this action to launch Alexa, points out Android Central. With HTC Alexa, users can “shop for birthday presents. Create a shopping list. Get a Flash Briefing from your favourite news sources. Listen to music, audiobooks, and so much more. Voice commands like ‘Alexa, what’s the weather today?’ are covered too,” the app description says on Google Play store.
While Alexa support does enable users to perform functionalities that the Amazon smart home speakers provide, they lack some of the features that Google Assistant offers. Notably, the Alexa doesn’t let users control options on your smartphone like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as per the report. Alexa on the HTC U11 cannot do everything it can on the Echo, the report adds. Alexa cannot play music from third-party services, it cannot call other Echo devices, set alarms/ timers/ reminders, or send Alexa messages.
The company says that the support for Alexa will be next coming to the UK and Germany soon. As Alexa has not been introduced in India by Amazon yet, we might have to wait some time before the support is made available over here.