Amazon to integrate Alexa into its Android app starting this week

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While it's odd to be using a virtual assistant in a shopping app, it's a great way for the masses to try Alexa out and buy Echo devices if they like it.

Amazon quietly bought Graphiq, a data visualization company a few months ago to beef up its popular Alexa virtual personal assistant, according to The Los Angeles Times citing unnamed sources. In the Alexa app, the users got a notification alerting them of a new Alexa device being added to their accounts, which turned out to be the Amazon mobile app.

Amazon Alexa is jumping on board Android phones beginning this week as announced on Twitter Friday SGT by software engineer and Alexa champion Nick Schwab. Hence, the Android version of Alexa is very limited. The voice assistant is now discoverable on the Amazon app but has not been enabled yet.

As to why Amazon would include the virtual assistant in the shopping app, the answer is pretty simple: the Amazon app on Android has somewhere between 100 million and 500 million installs. In fact, they feel like it is more like an Alexa demo than a daily functionality.

Graphiq was said to have attracted bid interest from Google and IBM before agreeing a deal with Amazon. The point, then, is to make Alexa more visible and bring it to people who have never seen it in action prior.

The new Android integration comes after Alexa last week expanded to TVs and the company's own media streamers. However, this week, Alexa will be coming to Android too.

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