We are in the middle of a Smart Assistant arms race.
Right now, Google and Amazon are both battling it out for market dominance and with Apple and Samsung joining the race in the next few months competition is heating up.
There is no doubt that, right now, Amazon is winning that race with around 70% of the Smart Speaker market being held by Alexa. Their latest move is only going to strengthen their position.
Last week the company announced that they will soon be adding voice commands to the Android version of the Alexa app. In other words, you’ll now be able to take you Smart-Assistant with you wherever you go. This follows on from Amazon adding Alexa voice-search to their shopping app last year.
In the coming days, Amazon will release an update that will provide a fully-functioning Alexa assistant via the app you currently use to enable Skills on your device. The update is set to be available via Google Play but iOS users will have to wait a little longer, presumably as the Smart Phone integration will likely steal users away from Apples’ own voice assistant (Siri). Alexa has previously been built into Smartphones, such as the Huawei Mate 9 and the Motorola X4, but this is the first time that it will be widely available via other devices.
Amazon have also announced plans to create a “mobile accessory” kit for developers that’ll make it easier for hardware suppliers to integrate Alexa into products, such as headphones and watches. In other words… You helpfull home-voice-assistant is soon going to be breaking out of her white tube and following you wherever you go (if you want – she’s not a stalker).
Once again this move underlines Amazon’s strategy to welcome as many users as possible into the Alexa eco-system. The idea being that if users already consider Alexa as their default voice assistant they will be reluctant to change, even if the likes of Google and Samsung offer greater functionality and less friction. That tactic appears to be winning the battle but it remains to be seen if it will win the war.