Amazon is adding Alexa voice, video calling and messaging support to select iOS and Android devices.
Amazon’s Australian website seems to confirm the feature is here. This is a powerful feature that supplements the Alexa speakers and Fire tablets.
You download the iOS or Android app, verify your phone number, import your contacts, and that is it.
Hands-free calling is as easy as Asking Alexa to call someone in your contacts list. It can also answer or reject a call.
Another interesting feature is ‘Drop-in’ – an intercom feature for devices on your network. That may also expand to devices on other networks. To use it more widely people in your contacts list are encouraged to download the Alexa app.
Alexa can also send and read messages.
GadgetGuys’s take – Alexa is gaining ground, but I still don’t know who is winning
While the concept of voice control is still relatively new in Australia, it has taken off hugely in the US. I am not sure I want Alexa to have my contacts list, but that is the price of convenience. Perhaps a parred down list would suffice.
Alexa speakers include the Dot, Echo and Echo Plus – all great voice controllers but not necessarily an audiophile’s dream. The Echo Show with a screen is not here yet. These are currently on GadgetGuy’s test bed, and we will have reviews soon.
Kitsound Voice has collaborated with Amazon to add 20W of serious power from 60HZ to 20,000kHz and included a Spotify client.
Libratone’s Zip is a portable 360° speaker claiming 100W power, and Libratone’s award-winning signature sound that delivers deep bass, full midrange, crisp highs.
Onkyo P3 adds DTS Play-Fi sound.
Harman Kardon Allure for Bass appears to have conquered the bass response issue of smaller speakers.
Sonos One (not to be confused with Sonos Play One) has that Sonos sound. It can play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM. Listen to hundreds of other streaming services with the Sonos app. Connect wirelessly with other Sonos Home Sound System speakers to play music in any or every room. GadgetGuy will be reviewing this soon.
Ultimate Ears Boom 2 is IPX7 rated and waterproof up to 30 minutes in water has 15-hour battery life and can ‘Party-Up’ to over 150 Ultimate Ears Speakers for concert hall-filling sound. Ultimate Ears Megaboom and Megablast also offer Alexa enabled versions.