Amazon's Alexa is about to land on more smartphones

Watch out Siri and Google Now: Lenovo is integrating Amazon's digital assistant into its Moto Z phone.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

VIDEO: Amazon Alexa jumps from speakers to smartphones

Lenovo is making a version of Amazon's virtual digital assistant available for its Moto Z modular smartphones.

Lenovo said that "later this year" owners of its Moto Z smartphone will be able to buy a Moto Mod with Amazon Alexa. The company did not reveal pricing.

According to Lenovo, Moto Z users will be able to ask Alexa to turn on the heating when they leave work so that the house is warm when they get home, or more prosaically simply add milk to a shopping list.

Later this year Lenovo will integrate Alexa more fully into its smartphones so that you won't have to unlock the phone first.

"With our Amazon Alexa Moto Mod, you can easily perform everyday tasks while on the go, like controlling your smart home, checking the news, requesting a ride from services like Uber, and more -- using just your voice," the company said.

Lenovo isn't the first smartphone maker to add Alexa; last month Huawei announced that Alexa will be built into its Mate 9 handset.

This could turn out to be a significant step; Amazon's digital assistant, embodied in the Amazon Echo smart speaker, has proved very popular and companies are now scrambling to build it into devices from washing machines and smart locks to cars.

That's giving Amazon plenty of momentum in the connected home, but the device we carry with us all the time is the smartphone. If consumers warm to the idea of Alexa everywhere, then integrating the service could be a handy boost for companies like Lenovo and Huawei, giving them a leg-up against bigger rivals with more established digital assistants.

If it takes off, or more smartphone makers jump aboard, Alexa could become a big new rival to Apple's Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft's Cortana.

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