Amazon today is bringing Alexa to the Amazon Music app on iOS and Android, allowing listeners to use voice controls with their music. The feature is available in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Australia, the company says, and will let users do things like request a song, artist, or music for various activities or moods, like "road trips" or "running," - the same as you can do with Alexa on Echo speakers.
You can also ask Alexa to play songs where you don't know the name of the track, but only the lyrics - another option Echo owners have had for some time.
Playing music is one of the top use cases for the Alexa-powered Echo speakers, along with other day-to-day tasks like asking for the weather, the news, or setting timers and reminders. So it makes sense that Amazon would want to offer similar voice controls in its native music app.
The move to introduce Alexa in the Amazon Music app also offers Amazon a way to differentiate its third place app from the market leaders, Spotify and Apple Music. While Apple Music works with Siri, it's designed for those already in Apple's ecosystem who listen on their iPhone. Apple Music on Android, however, doesn't have a voice control option.
This is not the first time that Amazon has expanded Alexa to its mobile applications.
The larger goal here is to give Amazon a way to introduce Alexa and the virtual assistant's capabilities to those who have not yet invested in an Echo device, allowing them to test out Alexa and grow comfortable using voice commands. Putting Alexa into Amazon's suite of apps is a good way to offer a demo to those potentially interested in buying an Echo - after all, if they're already using Amazon Music to stream their favorite tunes, they're probably more likely to consider an Echo speaker over the Google Home or Apple's forthcoming HomePod.
Amazon says the Alexa integration will be available in the latest version of the Amazon Music app for iOS or Android, which means you'll need to update if you have an older version of the app installed.