Before the Amazon Echo line is shipped to customers in India this week, Amazon has today rolled out the Alexa app for Android and iOS users in the country. The app is vital to setting up Amazon’s lineup of smart speakers. And in addition to speaker setup, the app shows a user their previous searches, display the currently playing music, and set up new skills.
Since Alexa is new in the country, in order to elevate its functionality, Amazon has teamed up with local companies to create India-specific skills. These companies include NDTV, Ola Cabs, Sportskeeda, Syska, and Time of India, among others. This means you can ask for updates from these apps with a simple voice command. Amazon says that there are already 10,000 skills available in India.
For music in particular, users in India will have access to Amazon Music, Saavn, and TuneIn. According to Android Authority, currently Amazon Music isn’t working, and all requests are being handed off to Saavn. Gadgets 360 also reported that TuneIn is reporting back with errors at this time. This could just be some first day jitters for Alexa since it’s launching in a new territory. ALSO READ: Amazon Alexa can now whisper, bleep, change its pitch
In case you already own an Echo device and wish to access local skills, you would need to setup the device from scratch. During setup, you can then choose from English (India) out of the four language options, though you’ll need to bear with the accent. You’ll also need to switch your residence address to India, to ensure it works properly. ALSO READ: Google Assistant to take over Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, and Samsung Bixby by 2021: Report
Earlier this month, Amazon launched the Amazon Echo Dot, Amazon Echo, and Amazon Echo Plus in India. Naturally available on Amazon India, the Amazon Echo is priced at Rs 9,999, the Echo Plus will be available for Rs 14,999, while the Echo Dot will set you back by Rs 4,499. Amazon also revealed that it will be launching its in-house Prime Music service very soon in India. However, the service will be exclusive to Echo. Additionally, as an introductory offer, users who requested an invite will receive 30 percent off on the purchase price of Echo devices along with one year of Prime membership for free. ALSO READ: Prime Video and Echo to be Amazon’s focus areas in India now: Report