[Hands-on] HTC launches Amazon Alexa support for the US

And it's already learned a big new trick for its second Android phone: voice recognition. Starting from today, the HTC U11 users in the USA can head to the Play Store and install Alexa app.

Alexa has been estimated to hold a dominant 70% market share in the USA, outselling Google Home 3-to-1.

Amazon Alexa has a vast library of skills. If only it had access to the full set of Alexa Skills, the set given to the Echo.

There is no information on price, but Amazon plans to launch the new Echo some time this fall, Engadget says.

HTC has announced the launch of a new Amazon Alexa app on their HTC U 11 smartphone and the app works hands free on the handset. Say, "Alexa, what's my flash briefing", or "Alexa, what's the weather", and it'll respond accordingly. If you were looking for yet another reason to take a look at the latest and greatest HTC phone, you now have it: Alexa. If you're thinking Google Assistant, it's already there but this time, HTC made a decision to add Alexa instead.

The minimalistic Alexa app pops up from the bottom of the screen and covers about a third of the display, and it will automatically start listening for your command once it is opened. With Alexa, you cannot access services such as Spotify or Pandora, like you can do on the Echo. (NASDAQ:CAR) is now allowing customers to place vehicle rental reservations through Amazon.com, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Echo devices.

Before this update, HTC has tried hard to synchronize the device with the Alexa correctly. You can also add things to your Alexa shopping list and place orders through Amazon.com.

It's self-evident that 911 was alerted to the incident somehow, but the odds of Alexa being involved in a meaningful way seem to be dwindling by the day. Now the time has come - with a new software update and an app install, you can use your U11 nearly identically to the way you'd use an Amazon Echo sitting on your kitchen counter. The user hasn't actually been able to get it to work yet, though, so perhaps HTC needs to make some server-side changes or push an OS update to get things up and running. It will, however, raise and lower the volume when asked.

"Now, HTC U11 customers will have Alexa with them at home and on the go", Amazon Alexa VP Steve Rabuchinsaid in a press release.