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Amazon launches Alexa app for Windows 10 PCs


Amazon today launched an Alexa app for Windows 10 PCs. Available on the Microsoft Store, the voice application allows PC owners to speak to Alexa to set reminders, timers and alarms; create lists and to-dos; track their calendar appointments; get news, weather and other information; play music; listen to podcasts and audio books; control the smart home, and more. The app is another way that Alexa is being unhitched from Echo speakers and other devices that generally stay in the home. Similar to the Alexa app for mobile devices, the Windows 10 app means you can use Alexa for access to content and information when youre traveling, as well as to do things like lock your doors or check your security cameras, for example. The app also offers access to tens of thousands of Alexa skills, says Amazon. However, some features — including video, communications, Spotify and Pandora — are not supported on the Alexa app for Windows 10 at launch. The apps arrival comes shortly after Amazon and Microsoft opened up the Alexa-Cortana integration into public preview, which lets customers call up Cortana through their Echo devices and enable Amazons Alexa on Windows 10 devices and on Harman Kardon Invoke speakers. Some PCs are designated as Alexa Built-In, meaning theyre already tuned for Alexa and youll be able to speak to Alexa hands-free. These include several PCs from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo. The Cortana skill is not currently available through the Alexa for PC app. But it remains available on Echo devices like Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Plus, Echo Show, and Echo Spot, Amazon says. The Alexa app is available for Windows 10 PCs in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, and will be coming to more locations in 2019.

Alexa now available on Windows 10 PCs


Amazon is releasing its Alexa app for Windows 10 today. While the app has been available on select Windows 10 laptops recently, today marks its launch in the Microsoft Store for all Windows 10 PCs. You can download and install it on any Windows 10 PC, but only compatible devices will support Alexa wake word functionality. If you dont have a compatible PC then you can hit the button within the app to speak to Alexa, or invoke the assistant using a keyboard shortcut. The Alexa for Windows 10 app includes access to now playing to control music and the ability, like any other Alexa app, to control smart home devices. Video, calls, Spotify, and Pandora are all not currently supported within this Alexa for Windows 10 app, though. Amazon hasnt added PC specific controls to ask Alexa to do access Windows features, but Amazon says PC-specific capabilities will be added in early 2019 in addition to ongoing feature updates. Amazons Alexa app for Windows 10 comes just months after Microsoft and Amazon released a preview of Cortana and Alexa integration. The preview lets Cortana users access Alexa, and vice versa. The integration is a little clunky, so this official Alexa app for Windows 10 will probably be a better choice for those who want to access Amazons digital assistant from a laptop or PC. Microsofts partnership with Amazon also saw Alexa support for the companys Xbox One console recently.