Amazon is expanding Alexa’s abilities on your tablets by bringing new communication features. The company first added the ability to actually use the personal assistant using the app back in January, and today’s update brings a key feature to tablets.
With the latest update for the Alexa app, users on iPads, Android tablets, and Amazon Fire tablets can use the personal assistant to make voice calls or send voice messages using Alexa. Amazon is also bringing support for Drop In that lets users send messages to each other within their home if you have multiple Alexa-powered devices, reports Engadget. “Making calls with Alexa is easy. Once you’ve synced your contacts in the Alexa App, just ask Alexa to place a call. Set up your voice profile to teach Alexa to recognize your voice. Since Alexa recognizes your voice, when you say, “Alexa, call Mom”, Alexa will call your mom.”
Even though you probably won’t use Alexa to make calls from your tablets, this is still kind of a big deal. For months, Alexa’s app was only really useful for controlling the assistant on Amazon’s Echo speakers and setting up third-party integrations. But Amazon has been focused on bringing Alexa out of its hardware products, and this requires the company to make the Alexa app more powerful by adding such features. The company is even working with Windows 10 PC makers to bring Alexa to new Windows 10 PCs, and Amazon seems desperate to get into your mobile device with Alexa — just like Microsoft is doing with Cortana.