Voice assistants are taking over our devices. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (or Note 8, or S9) comes equipped with a button on the side for activating Samsung8217;s own Bixby and it also comes fully-loaded with Google Assistant, a staple of Android devices.
Meanwhile, Alexa is looking for a route into phones, having caused quite a stir in smart homes, thanks to the wide adoption of the Amazon Echo.
There8217;s a clever way you can set Alexa as the default assistant on recent Samsung Galaxy devices.
- Make sure you8217;ve installed the Amazon Alexa app and signed in on your Galaxy phone.
- Open the Settings menu and select Advanced Features.
- You8217;ll see an option called Device assistance app, select this.
- Tap on the box that says 8220;device assistance app8221; and it opens with a range of options.
- Select Alexa from the list.
- That8217;s it! When you long press the virtual home button, Alexa will launch giving you voice control.
Why would you want to do this? It means that you can use Alexa 8211; and all the things that Alexa knows 8211; quickly from your phone, without having to open the app.
While this method won8217;t give you the 8220;Alexa8221; hotword from your phone, you can long press that button and start talking as if you did. (If you want hotword access, you need a phone that natively supports Alexa, like the HTC U12+.)
Alexa on phones has some limitations: it won8217;t display any details like Google Assistant will, it8217;s a voice-only service. It also won8217;t integrate with Spotify, although it will play Amazon Music, so you can ask Alexa to 8220;play songs by Madonna8221; and off you go.
You can use Alexa to control all of your smart home devices or interact with (most) services that you8217;ve setup through the Alexa app. For example, you can tell it to turn on groups of lights. You can also use Alexa on your phone to interact with Echo devices you have in your home.
Finally you can also use it for Alexa Calling. Just long press that button and say who you want to call (it could be an Echo within your own home). If you8217;re calling an Echo Show or Echo Spot, it will then be a video call.
So, it8217;s easy to do 8211; if you8217;re not a user of Google Assistant and are a fan of Alexa then it8217;s worth doing, as it8217;s a neat little shortcut into Alexa on your Samsung phone!