This post originally appeared on Gizmodo UK, which is gobbling up the news in a different timezone.
There’s already a load of stuff you can control with just your voice using smart assistants like Alexa, but Amazon has decided to add third party apps to the mix.
Previewing its new feature Alexa For Apps, the company set out its plans for smartphone voice control via Echo Buds or whatever other mic-enabled phone accessory you happen to be using.
If you’re wondering what on earth the point would be, we can see lots of potential uses. Remotely start recording a Facebook Live video. Order an Uber while your hands are full of shopping and/or kids. Tell Spotify to go to the next podcast episode. And so on.
There’s also the tantalising possibility of setting up Alexa routines using third party apps. So you could set “Alexa, take me home” to automatically order a car to your current location, or “Alexa, I’m hungry” to order your usual from Dominos.
Obviously, doing this out loud in public would be somewhat excruciating for Brits, but Americans seem completely fine with talking to their tech in front of other people. Maybe we’ll get used to it, or maybe this is a feature we’ll only use in our own homes.
According to Slashgear, app makers signed up for the program already include Uber, TikTok, the Yellow Pages (seriously?!) and Zynga games.
App developers have to request access to Alexa For Apps at the moment, it’s not freely available – although it is free. The feature will work on any smartphone app that supports deep links, across both Android and iOS.
We don’t yet know when Alexa-controlled mobile apps will become available to the public – especially not in the UK, as this stuff often launches in the US first – but we’ll be keeping an ear out. [Slashgear]