If your Amazon Echo can’t hear you from another room, or you just want to control it when you’re not at home at all, you can do so using the Amazon app (on iOS) or Alexa (on Android).

CONNECTED: Do I need an Amazon Echo to use Alexa?

The Echo far-field voice recognition technology is one of the device’s most popular features. This allows Echo to hear your voice from across the room, even when music is playing. However, the biggest obstacle is the walls, and if you want to control the Echo from the next room, it might not hear you. Also, if you’re away from home and want to give voice control to Alexa, you obviously can’t.

However, Amazon’s own shopping app on iOS and the Alexa app on Android allow you to send Echo voice commands through your phone, effectively removing the need for the $30 Voice Remote Remote. The phone apps don’t directly control your physical Amazon Echo device, but they act like a virtual Echo device, linking to your Alexa account and allowing you to control your smarthome devices with your voice using Alexa on your phone.

Note: Amazon has announced that the Alexa app on iOS will also offer this feature in the near future.

How to control Alexa from your iPhone

Alexa in the Amazon shopping app on iPhone uses the existing microphone button in the app used for voice search. Of course, you can still use it for this, but now Alexa is fully built in. Here’s how to quickly set it up and get started.

Install the Amazon app for iOS if you haven’t already. Open it and then click the microphone button in the top right corner of the screen.

Click the «Allow access to the microphone» button at the bottom.

Click OK to allow the app to use your iPhone’s microphone.

After that, you can give commands to Alexa by first pressing the microphone button and then speaking your command — you don’t have to start with «Alexa» either. She listens whenever the blue bar below lights up.

How to control Alexa from an Android phone

Luckily, Alexa on Android makes a little more sense since Amazon has integrated it into the Alexa app itself.

To start using Alexa on your Android phone, first update the app to use the latest version. Open the app and then click the «Alexa» button at the bottom.

On the next screen, tap the «Allow» button to allow Alexa to use your phone’s microphone and location so it can hear your voice commands and help with location-based queries.

Click «Done» at the bottom.

After that, you can immediately start issuing Alexa commands. Just press the «Alexa» button and start talking.

The benefit of using Alexa on your Android device (as opposed to the Amazon app on your iPhone) is that Alexa uses the screen to show you more information about your request. So, for example, if you ask about the weather, you will automatically see a pop-up forecast on the screen.

The same applies to other things, like Alexa asking about nearby coffee shops — it’s like the Echo Show or Echo Spot right in the palm of your hand.

Of course, the only downside to these apps is that they’re not as quick to use as the Voice Remote (where you can just pick it up and speak) and they don’t have constant Echo listening. , But if you want a cheaper alternative that you can also use while away from home, the Amazon app and Alexa have you covered.

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