Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Alexa Assistant now available on HTCU11

The HTC U11 on a beach The HTC U11 on a beach
Frank Williams | 17 July, 2017, 16:13

It's USA only for now, but HTC says localized versions are on the way. You can also set an alarm and use it for intercom by pairing it with other Amazon devices.

If you're someone who's immensely attached to the Amazon ecosystem and looking for the features of Amazon Echo or Dot on your smartphone then, the HTC U11 is a right choice for you. A new report suggests that shopping by voice - "Alexa, order a new pair of my favourite jeans" - is about to become a retail trend. The HTC U11 is the first device to support hands-free usage of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

However, as compared to voice assistants such as Google Assistant and Apple Siri, Alexa's performance is far from being flawless.

The U11's Alexa integration is a good start - it mostly works as you'd expect it to - but it still needs some tuning to be great.

No threat of imminent execution to Kulbhushan Jadhav: SC lawyer
Kulbhushan Jadhav, 46, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military tribunal in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. India, on the other hand, had said Jadhav was an Indian national who was captured by Pakistani army.

The HTC U11 is made out of metal and glass, while it is fueled by the Snapdragon 835 64-bit octa-core processor. They now say that Alexa was used in combination with a home phone or cellular phone system. No voice-assistant device on the market can. This is key in creating the best assistant as phones can teach the AI a lot more about a person. It can't send text messages or place phone calls; it can't open apps; and it can't provide navigation to a destination.

At first, the smart speakers were marketed exclusively as voice assistants that could play music for you, interact with your smart home, and read the news. You can not depend on it as your sole voice assistant. If there is one major thing that is missing from the control commands, it's the inability to launch streaming apps like Netflix.

The first interesting thing about the Alexa offering is that it can actually live right alongside Google Assistant. And Alexa? Well, she's got quite a few skills to tap into - more than 15,000 in fact. The Alexa functionality arrives courtesy of a new HTC Alexa app, now available in the U.S. and coming to United Kingdom before the end of July and Germany in August.

Voice shopping works, but why? You just have to have the latest firmware update for the U11, which is rolling out now (version 1.16.617.6 for unlocked, 1.13.651.6 for Sprint), and install the "HTC Alexa" app from Google Play. After the Amazon Fire Phone failed spectacularly it looked like Amazon might not be able to compete. Until HTC and Amazon figure out a way to make Alexa more useful on the go, I'll be sticking with Google Assistant.

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