Amazon’s Alexa AI has officially come to our mobile phones at last, with the HTC U11 chosen as the pioneering device. Here’s how to get Alexa on your U11 (and other Android phones too), global availability info and how to get started with the Alexa assistant.
Alexa is Amazon’s rapidly evolving voice assistant, who provides the smarts for the Amazon Echo speaker. She can also be found on the Fire TV streaming device, so you can boss your telly around whenever you like.
Now you can take Alexa on the road as well, as she’s finally officially hitting our mobile phones. Although so far, only one handset supports her – HTC’s rather excellent flagship phone, the HTC U11.
Here’s how to get Alexa on your handset, a little work-around for other Android phones and our full tips and tricks guide for making the most of your new smartphone assistant.
How to get HTC Alexa on the U11
First up, you’ll need to make sure that your HTC U11 is bang up to date. To do so, head to the phone’s settings menu and scroll down to the updates section. In here you can check for any waiting updates, before downloading and installing. This is a very simple process, although you’ll want to make sure that you’re connected to WiFi before getting started. Some of these downloads can be rather large, so they’ll eat up your data if you’re not careful.
Note however that the latest update does not add Alexa functionality to your handset. What you’ll then need to do is head to the Google Play store and download the new HTC Alexa app to your U11.
Once this app is installed, you can invoke Alexa in a couple of different ways. As well as simply (and boringly) tapping the app icon, you can also call her name (if she’s set on standby), or use the Edge Sense shortcut. The Alexa window will then pop up on-screen, so you can utter your commands.
Can I get Alexa on any Android device right now, or just the HTC U11?
The HTC U11 is officially the only phone which can run Alexa as standard, although there is a crafty kind of ‘hack’ to get Amazon’s AI working on any Android handset out there. This little trick involves using Logitech’s ZeroTouch satnav system and we’ve detailed how to do it in our nifty guide.
Can I get HTC Alexa on my phone in the UK right now?
Yes, the HTC Alexa app has just been made available here in the UK.
How to get started with HTC Alexa
If you want to assign Alexa to the U11’s Edge Sense shortcut, that’s easy enough to do. Simply head to the phone’s settings menu and scroll to the Edge Sense section, and give this a tap. You can customise the apps which are loaded with a short and long squeeze from this sub-menu, so just select Alexa and you’re good to go.
Alexa understands a pretty impressive range of commands right now and she’s learning all the time. You’ll also find some cool easter eggs hidden away, which are well worth checking out.
Have a read of our in-depth Alexa tips and tricks guide to find out all you need to know.
You can grab the HTC U11 from O2 from £40 per month here in the UK.