Inform yourself about the voice, voice assistant and smart speaker topics
Simply put: an App for smartphones/tablets is a Skill for Voice Assistants. Just like we have diversity in the app world (e.g. apps for Android or apps for Apple Store), there are also Skills for Alexa and Actions for Google Smart Assistants. By using the Skills you can equip your Amazon Echo device with further features and capabilities. The functionalities of Alexa can be expanded by Skills and used for smart speakers, telephones, cars, televisions, headphones, wristwatches and other devices. As an Alexa Skill developer, we can use Skills to easily create and manage engaging and effective conversation experiences between users and your Skill.
Actions extend the functionality of the Google Assistant, the virtual personal assistant from Google. The Alexa feature is called a Skill and the one from Google one is called an Action. The functionality of Google Assistant can be expanded through Google Actions and is used for smart speakers, telephones, cars, TVs, headphones, wristwatches and other devices.
Users engage Google Assistant for conversations to get things done, for instance, to buy groceries or book a trip. As a Google Actions developer, we can use Actions to easily create and manage engaging and effective conversation experiences between users and your Actions.
The technical details of Alexa are complex, but Thevoicemarketer.health will make it easy and understandable for you.
After activation (see “Setup” below), the service is started by simply saying “Alexa”. Then Alexa seeks (or tries) to interpret what you’re saying. At the end of your question/command, Alexa sends this recording over the Internet to the Alexa cloud servers on which the AVS (Alexa Voice Service) is installed.
The AVS then converts your voice signals into computer voice commands that can be used to carry out a task (e.g. search for a requested service or product) or convert the computer language back into sound signals so that you get the information back in speech form.
If your internet connection is working properly, and Amazon’s back-end service is also working well, the answers can be given very quickly.
For products like the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, the answers are only given in an audio format. With Echo Show and to a limited extent on a smartphone, the information is also provided via screen displays.
With an Alexa-enabled Amazon device, Alexa can also issue commands to other compatible third-party devices, such as lights or heating systems.
Since the cloud-based Alexa Voice Service is required to answer questions and perform tasks, an Internet connection is required – no Internet, no Alexa interaction. This is where the Alexa app comes in.
You can speak directly to Alexa via the Android app since January 2018 (update for iOS devices will follow shortly). This means you can ask Alexa questions and have tasks performed without using the Amazon Shopping app, the Alexa Reverb app or an additional Alexa-enabled device. With the updated Alexa App, you are able to control all Alexa-enabled devices.
Since June 2018, iPhones or iPads can also be controlled with Alexa. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can now use voice commands to ask Alexa questions, play music, or let your Echo communicate with other devices.
However, since Apple has its own SIRI assistant, you still need to use the Alexa app to enable Alexa. Thevoicemarketer.health will be happy to advise you and provide you with information about “Alexa setup for iOS devices”
- When you open the Alexa app, two symbols are displayed in the lower line that were not previously available. On the far right is a link to “Settings” with the Alexa symbol
- To start with Alexa in the app, tap the Alexa icon below. Tap “Allow” to open the prompt to give the Alexa app access to the microphone and location data of your iOS device. The app will then give you some example commands. Tap “Done” to complete the setup
- When you tap the Alexa button, the Voice Assistant is displayed, and you can carry out voice commands in the same way as with the Alexa speakers in your home