By: Nick Gambino
There’s now an Alexa App designed specifically for your Windows 10 PC. Some of you may remember that they released a preview of Alexa and Cortana integration earlier, but that still required the use of an Echo to mediate the handshake. That’s no longer necessary.
The Alexa for Windows 10 app allows users to perform voice-activated tasks for convenience or to give their fingers a rest. You can set timers, alarms or reminders, create lists, keep up-to-date on news, play your music and a zillion other things. You can even have Alexa read certain compatible Kindle books out loud to you. You could also conceivably have her read a book to your kid before they go to sleep, but come on, don’t you think that’s going a little too far?
You’ll also be able to use Alexa for smart home operations. You can lock your doors, check your cameras, turn off the lights, toast some bread, you name it. Well, maybe don’t name it because there are a few things it won’t be capable of to start with. Namely, it won’t see Spotify, Pandora or Skype compatibility for a while, but it’s suggested that they’re working on it.
Seeing as though Spotify and Skype are two of the most used apps in their respective niche, it would behoove Amazon and Microsoft to offer support. Of course, users could just use their fingers like most humans. Let’s not get too soft here.
Not every PC will have the luxury of being able to summon Alexa with a mere mention of her name. Some of the more basic laptops and desktops out there don’t have that functionality built into them. There are plenty of PCs that promote having “Alexa Built-In.” For those that don’t, you’ll still be able to summon Alexa, but you’ll have to tap the button within the app or use a keyboard shortcut. So, it’ll be hands-free after you wake her up.
This move shows Alexa taking another step towards operating independently from Amazon’s Echo line of speakers. By operating independently with other apps and devices, the assistant will most likely see widespread adoption.
The Alexa for Windows 10 app is currently available in the U.S., Germany and the U.K., with more countries coming next year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nick Gambino is a regular script writer and tech beat reporter for NewsWatch. He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter.