AMAZON'S ALEXA has added yet another string to her bow with the ability to send SMS messages using just your voice.
The skill, which is live in the US now with other countries expected to follow, can send messages using either the Alexa Messaging System for fellow Alexa users or via SMS to everyone else.
Except not quite everyone else, at the moment, because SMS message receipt only works for Android phones.
Alexa is capable of routing the text appropriately all by itself, or if you'd rather send an SMS you can choose to override it.
Instructions will appear in a pop-up in the Alexa app, but just in case, you can go to the Conversations tab for the Alexa device you want to set up, select Contacts, My Profile and enable the Send SMS toggle.
It's becoming fairly clear now that the ultimate goal will be to have Alexa as your main home phone service. But more than that, it is integrated with your mobile and offers the most sensible approach to video calling we've seen yet.
It was only a few years ago that we were lamenting the slow take-up of video calls. Now, in a few short years, it has all changed.
US users can even bolt a full home service to Alexa, and it surely won't be long before the same is true here.
It makes for interesting times for Google, which is fighting back hard in the home assistant space. With the Android ecosystem already laid out before them, it will be significantly easier for the search giant to give everyone similar functionality at the drop of a hat, and it will need to do this in order to keep up with the runaway train that is Alexa.
Meanwhile, neither company will be able to integrate with Apple users for some time as Apple keeps its messaging API under lock and key. Plus ca change.
With Apple HomePod preorders just beginning it seems unlikely that Apple will want to play sharesies anytime soon.
US users can try the Alexa SMS function now. The rest of us, stand by your beds, it won't be long. µ
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