Alexa, the digital assistant created by e-commerce giant Amazon, has been expanding to more devices. It started as an assistant on a speaker and has been extended to devices like smartphones, smart televisions, and is even coming to consumer electronics devices like refrigerators. Now, the digital assistant might be looking to conquer a new home – Apple Watch. Albeit unofficially.
A third-party app named Voice In A Can brings Amazon’s Alexa to the Apple Watch. Since the launch of Apple’s wearable in 2015, Siri has been the only digital personal assistant available on the platform. Voice In A Can is a standalone app, which means you don’t need your phone around for it to work. All you need is a data or Wi-Fi connection for Alexa to speak on your watch.
Damian Mehers, the developer of Voice In A Can application, recommends adding the app as a Watch complication for an even easier use. Once you have installed the app and linked it to your Amazon account, Alexa can do all the things it is possible for the assistant to do on other devices.
While Alexa has been found to be more capable as a digital assistant compared to Apple’s Siri, the Alexa on Voice In A Can is rather limited. It cannot play music, audiobooks or podcasts just yet. It can control your smart home devices linked to Alexa and take advantage of smart home features built into the assistant. But, it cannot do basic things like playback of flash briefings.
Another pain point with this app is that your Watch will disconnect from Alexa every time the screen goes black. In order to make sure Alexa is enabled and listening, you will need to increase the timeout limits. In order to activate Alexa on your Apple Watch, you will need to have the screen awake and tap a button to activate the digital assistant.
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With Voice In A Can app, Alexa has unofficially found a place on Apple Watch, but due to the walled nature of Apple’s ecosystem, the digital assistant is paralysed with its capabilities. There is a possibility that Amazon will bring official support for Alexa to Apple Watch, and might have features like playback of music and podcast. In the time being, if you plan to check out Alexa on your Apple-made smartwatch, the app is available for $1.99 or Rs 159 in India.