Realistically, it seems totally silly that this wasn’t already an included feature from the very beginning. I guess better late than never! With an upcoming update to the Alexa mobile app, you’ll finally be able to ask Alexa the same questions and issue the same commands as you’ve already been doing with their Amazon Echo smart speaker at home.

Up until now, the only reason you needed the Alexa mobile app on your smartphone or tablet was so that you could set up your Echo and configure your personalized Alexa. It’s through the mobile app that you can enable various Alexa skills, configure your various routines, fiddle with your Flash Briefing and so on. But you couldn’t actually access the smart assistant itself (herself?).

Well, that’s changing. Amazon is working on an update for the Alexa mobile app so that you can issue Alexa commands directly on your smartphone or tablet. This grants you access to everything that you’re already doing on your new Amazon Echo, except you’ve now got Amazon’s smart assistant in your pocket. You know, alongside Google Assistant or Siri, depending on your platform of choice.

The good news or bad news, depending on your perspective, is that the “Alexa” wake word won’t work everywhere on your phone the same way that you can get “OK Google” to work even when your phone is in sleep mode. Instead, you’ll need to have the Alexa mobile app open before you actually say anything. Alternatively, you can press the new big Alexa button at the bottom of the app too.

Amazon hasn’t indicated exactly when the new version of the app will roll out, so we’ll just have to stay tuned. Based on the screenshot above, it should be version 1.24.3555.0.

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