OK ALEXA

Here’s how to make Alexa the default assistant on an Android phone

If you miss barking orders at your home Alexa device while you’re on the move, you’re now in luck.

That is, if you have an Android phone. Many core parts of the Android operating system can be customized, from what app you use for messages down to the program you use to display apps on the home screen. And you can now change the default voice assistant on an Android phone to Amazon’s Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana, the Verge recently uncovered.

The menu screens on different Android models tend to vary slightly, but to swap out assistants, you’ll want to head to settings and look for “assist apps” or something similar. There you should see options beyond Google’s own assistant, depending on what other assistants you’ve installed. (Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana both have their own apps on the Google Play Store.)

But be warned: Swapping out Google Assistant for Alexa won’t be that useful of an experience. You can’t say “Alexa” to wake the assistant, and you won’t be able to carry out more complicated actions such as pulling up a map or making a call. But if what you desire is immediate access to the assistant that lets you buy 1,500 live ladybugs, or a turntable for your cat with ease, your prayers have been answered.

Hopefully this doesn’t encourage Amazon to try making its own phone again, as that didn’t go so well last time.

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