Amazon’s Alexa is live on the HTC U11, bumps Google Assistant aside

Well, maybe you do need another digital assistant.

If you own an Android phone with Google’s services, you have a digital assistant at the ready. The difference, however, between devices is the version. Google Now launched in 2012 as an all-in-one spot organizer for your life. Then, in 2016, Google Assistant took over with its artificial intelligence backing. Phones with Marshmallow and above have Google Assistant, but companies like Microsoft and Amazon are working to get their own digital assistants pre-installed on new devices.

Amazon first brought Alexa to the Huawei Mate 9, and now the company has secured its digital assistant on HTC’s 2017 flagship. Alexa is finally ready for the U11 after a couple of months of development.

A partnership between HTC and Amazon has allowed Alexa, the online juggernaut’s digital assistant, to make its way to the U11. Both companies created the HTC Alexa app. It’s made specifically for the U11, and it unlocks support for activation through always-on listening and Edge Sense. You can either say “Alexa” to get the phone to listen or squeeze it.

Alexa on the phone lets you create shopping lists, get news briefings, listen to music and audiobooks, request weather updates, and more.

Currently Alexa on the U11 is limited to U.S.-based devices. And HTC says the app makes it the world’s first phone to have “always-ready, hands-free access” to Amazon’s digital assistant. Still, owners of the U11 can continue using Google Assistant. Holding the home button or using the “OK Google” hotword will bring Google’s offering up as usual despite the presence of Alexa.

Download it now: Google Play


About the Author: Justin Herrick

Born and raised in New Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University where he studied marketing with a focus on digital marketing. He's very talkative and enjoys discussing anything from technology and sports to video games and television. As for Justin's current device rotation, he carries around the Google Pixel and Nexus 9. In the rare case that his phone or tablet is not in his hand, he is either flicking through cards on his Moto 360 (2015) or typing away on the Microsoft Surface Book. Justin is patiently waiting for the day that Google replicates the Galaxy Nexus with modern day specifications.