This year Amazon started partnering with PC makers to ship select computers with an Alexa voice assistant app pre-installed, letting you talk to your computer to get answers to questions, set reminders, control music playback, or interact with smart home gear among other things.
Now you can do most of those things on any Windows 10 PC, whether it came with Alexa pre-installed or not.
Amazon has released an official Alexa app and it’s available for download from the Microsoft Store.
One thing to keep in mind is that while PCs that ship with Alexa may support “wake word” functionality, allowing you to use Alexa without touching your PC. If your computer doesn’t support that feature, you have two options:
- Click the Alexa button in the app before you start talking.
- Use a keyboard shortcut (the default is Ctrl+Shift+A, but you can change that).
Note that the keyboard shortcut feature only works if the app is running in the background, so you may need to enable the “launch app on sign in” option to get the most out of it.
In the coming year, Microsoft plans to add PC-specific features that will let you control some Windows functions using your voice.
Or you could just use Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant which is baked into Windows 10… or no voice assistant at all.
But if you’re already using Alexa on your other devices (such as smart speakers and tablets), it’s nice to have access to some of the same features on a computer.
via The Verge
Until voice assistants sound like HAL 9000 I’m not interested.
And that turned out well.
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