HTC USA releases software update for the U11, adds Alexa support

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While Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and Samsung Bixby are squaring against each other by offering different features, Amazon Alexa is on a different track altogether.

HTC has announced the launch of a new Amazon Alexa app on their HTC U 11 smartphone and the app works hands free on the handset. Back in May, we reported that adverts might soon be coming to the Amazon Echo, and today it was revealed that HTC has been shoving adverts in the face of some of its users. Android 7.1 Nougat comes pre-installed on this phone, and on top of it, you'll be able to find HTC's Sense UI.

Setting up HTC Alexa is pretty simple.

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In this case, Amazon is naturally leading the game as it offers its Amazon Echo for a price of $49.99. Hope to see new development in Alexa would also be seen in other smartphone making the smartphone app as a real asset and strong enough to its rivals. More Skills across a wider variety of tasks makes a system like Alexa more appealing than rival voice assistants. There is no word yet on what will be possible or not possible in this incarnation of Amazon's smart virtual assistant, but we can pretty much presume the sky's the limit. So if the U11 is sitting on a table and you say "Alexa", it will hear you and its screen will wake up, but you'll have to manually unlock the phone before you say the rest of your request.

Amazon Echo has updated its smart speaker with the ability to control playback on other Amazon devices using your voice.

When enabled, Alexa will permanently live in your notification shade with suggestions for what you can ask Alexa. If you think that might lead to confusion as to which one is the right one to use at any given time, you'd be correct.

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Unlike the standalone speaker, you must wait for the “blip” to start speaking your command. Not that the HTC Companion is even worth mentioning at this point.

Although Amazon Music and Audible audiobook are supported, third party music players like Pandora and Spotify are not. With Alexa, you cannot access services such as Spotify or Pandora, like you can do on the Echo. Further, the Alexa can also be triggered by the company's proprietary "HTC Edge Sense" technology where users just have to squeeze the side of the phone. Although the firm's Alexa is one of the most popular assistants on the market today, it is generally featured in its own products like the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, and more.

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