As announced at CES 2018, Amazon says it’s bringing its Alexa voice assistant to more devices. This year, not only will the assistant come to headphones and wearables, but starting this spring, those with Windows 10 PCs will be able to download an app that will ship the functionality.
Already PC makers are saying their machines will include support for Alexa such as HP with its new Pavillion Wave system. Acer, Asus, and Lenovo also say they’ll ship PCs this year with Alexa on board. Mind you, you won’t need custom hardware to run the assistant on your machine, but things like far-field microphones are being included in more and more laptops and desktops that make it handy to talk to AI bots on your computer. Machines from these companies should include this feature.
The new Alexa app for Windows 10 is notably separate from the deal Microsoft and Amazon struck last year that allowed for integration between Alexa and the former’s Cortana voice assistant. Basically, at some point in the future, you’ll be able to ask Cortana to tell Alexa to do something and vice versa. We have yet to see this concept brought to life, so my money is on the dedicated Alexa app shipping before integration with Cortana becomes a usable feature.
To use Alexa, you’ll be able to load up the app and tap a button, use a keyboard shortcut, or say the “Alexa” hotword. Things like checking the weather, seeing sports scores, and using the various Skills already available for the assistant will be supported in the app, so you really shouldn’t miss out on a whole lot by using it when to other Alexa-enabled products.
No date was given as to when we can expect the Alexa app for Windows 10, but it should come in spring nonetheless.