The launch of HTC’s new flagship U11 phone will be the first phone to have Alexa integration from the start. Amazon’s voice assistant is baked right in, unlike Huawei’s Mate 9 which first introduced support for Alexa via an app. Wireless Week comments:
“The full extent of Alexa’s capabilities is unclear, but HTC indicated users will be able to control smart home products, ask for news, weather, and music, and utilize some of the other 12,000 tools available in the Alexa skill store. The Alexa voice service will be available to customers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, the company said.”
Giving Consumers a Choice
It is interesting that HTC is launching with Alexa considering it is just one of three AI assistants integrated into the U11. The phone will also have Google Assistant and HTC’s own Sense Companion. This will be the first time both assistants will be fully integrated into a smart phone making it a true test of what user experience consumers will prefer. While Google Assistant has already the main option for millions Android users, Alexa fans now have a choice between the two.
Having one voice assistant on the phone would have probably been enough and considering the U11 runs on the Android operating system, adding Alexa in addition to the Google Assistant could seem redundant. But Alexa has taken the lead with third-party integrations and boasts over 12,000 total skills, making it foreseeable that consumers could use both assistants for different tasks. Either way, HTC is covering its bases by letting the consumer decide instead.