Smart speakers are now gaining a lot of popularity, and the market is dominated by Google Home and Amazon Alexa with a market share of 92 percent, a Strategy Analytics report revealed. When it comes to Android smartphones, they come with Google Assistant by default. And while Amazon Alexa is available to download and use from the Google Play Store, there was no option to set one of them as default voice assistant.
Now, a Reddit user recently noticed that the latest Amazon Alexa app lets you set it as a default voice assistant on Android smartphone. Previously, you were able to replace Google Assistant with Microsoft Cortana, and now you have one more option in the form of Amazon Alexa. So, the next time you press and hold the “Home Button” you can summon Alexa or Cortana.
I did go ahead and replace Google Assistant with Amazon Alexa, and while it works, the functionality is limited. For instance, you can invoke Google Assistant by saying “Ok Google” or “Hey Google” but the same does not happen in Alexa’s case. You can only press and hold the home button to invoke Alexa, and ask basic things like weather, time and fun facts, among others. However, you can’t ask the assistant to pull up maps or make calls or open apps.
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Based on the Reddit thread, the supported devices include the Google Pixel 2, OnePlus 5, Essential Phone PH-1, and Samsung flagship smartphones among others. I tried it on the Huawei P20 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8 and OnePlus 5T, and it works. Now, let’s go ahead and see how to do it.
How to change default voice assistant app on Android
To begin with, head over to Settings > Apps and Notifications > Default Apps > Assistant & Voice Input. (Do note – some menu options may differ from one manufacturer to the other, but more or less, it will remain the same)
You will then see an option to choose the default assistant app. Depending on the number of apps you have installed; the relevant options will appear. In my case, I have Google Assistant, Cortana and Alexa apps installed, and it gives me an option to choose between them.
Next, it will ask you to “allow” permission to microphone, GPS, control smart devices and more. Once that is done, you’re all set. The next time you press and hold the home button, Alexa will be invoked. The procedure for Cortana remains the same.