Amazon adds voice control to Alexa app for Android

Amazon's Alexa app can now do more than just control your Echo. An iOS app update is also planned.

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(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

Amazon is adding full voice commands to its Alexa app for Android. Previously, the app only linked hardware like the Echo and allowed users to manage Alexa skills.

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When the update is available, users will now be able to use the "Alexa" hot word to access to-do lists, news, weather, and other real time information, Android Police first reported. The voice assistant can also control smart devices, which we saw plenty of at CES 2018.

The Alexa app will only respond to "Alexa" when the app is open. The update will be rolling out soon to Google Play and Amazon's app store. Amazon is also planning an update to the iOS version of the Alexa app to add the voice assistant.

It makes sense for Amazon to add Alexa voice commands to its Alexa app, adding the voice assistant to virtually any Android handset. In a mobile push, the e-commerce giant already included Alexa in its main shopping app for iOS and Android, and in select Android smartphones from partners.

In related Amazon news, the Amazon Prime monthly fee will rise from $10.99 to $12.99 in the US, the company quietly announced. The new fee is a rise of 18 percent. However, the annual subscription of $99 remains unchanged.

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