Alexa finally arrives on all Android phones via Amazon Shopping app

Exactly a month ago, Amazon confirmed that Alexa would be added to their Amazon Shopping app on Android device, just as it was added to the same app for iOS devices earlier this year. It has finally happened so Android phone users can now access Alexa on the go. Just be sure you have the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app and tap the microphone icon in the top-right corner to talk to Alexa the same way you do on Fire TV or Echo devices.

When you first press the microphone button in the Amazon Shopping app, you’ll be prompted to enable Alexa. Once you do so, you’ll be given a few examples of the types of things you can say to the voice assistant. Future presses of the microphone button will immediately jump you into talking to Alexa.

Nearly all of the Alexa capabilities available on devices like the Fire TV and Echo are available through the app. This includes access to all of the Alexa skills. The main thing that is not available through Alexa on Android devices is the ability to play streaming audio through 3rd-party services like Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, or Pandora. You can, however, play Amazon Music just fine.

When you initially enable Alexa in the Android app, you’ll be asked if you want to open the Alexa app to set your location settings. This is something you’ll want to do if you want to use any of the location dependent functions of Alexa, like checking the weather and asking for local business information. Alexa will not pull in your location from other Alexa devices or your Amazon account. You’ll need to go in and manually set this yourself.

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12 comments
  1. John C. says:

    I’m confused here…

    In terms of Alexa functionality, what’s the difference between having the actual Alexa app on an Android mobile device vs. also or instead having the new Alexa-enabled Amazon Shopping app?

    • Jim Carter says:

      The Alexa app is used to configure/alter the behavior of your devices. For example; if I no longer wanted NPR as part of my news briefing, I’d have to use the Alexa app to accomplish that change. To actually hear the news briefing, then the functionality mentioned in this article will serve the purpose.

      • AR says:

        so what is the best android app to use to remotely control alexa?
        i have used 3rd party app roger to talk to alexa to operate my smart home devices when am away from the house, unfortunately i had to RMA my phone and setting up roger was a dreadful experience i do not wish to have to repeat ,plus it was slow and clunky so is there a better app i can use to talk to alexa when not logged into my wifi to control smarthome devices when i am away?

  2. Jeb says:

    Amazon music does not work with Alexa on my Moto G5. At all. Does Amazon music only work on certain android phones?

  3. Craig says:

    They could’ve atleast released an Alexa microphone widget to place on the launcher home screen? I don’t wanna have to load the Amazon Shopping app just to control my Wink lights and Harmony hub. Also? Yeah, music playback doesn’t work, but it does play Audible audiobooks. Lame as it stands right now.

    • Jim Carter says:

      Music playback with Amazon Music does work. I paired my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with my Google Home and initiated music playback via the Alexa functionality built in to the Amazon Shopping app.

      • Jeb says:

        Nope. Amazon Music is not working via Alexa on the shopping app on my Android phone. A friend is reporting the same thing to me. Are you activating it in some way?

        Is everyone able to use Amazon music?

  4. Josh says:

    I’m confused about the Amazon apps. I have the Amazon underground app? I think…It does not work on the app I have. What’s the different apps?

    • John C says:

      The Amazon Shopping app is a separate and different Android app from the Amazon Underground app. Though I thought I recalled Amazon planning to phase out Amazon Underground at some point.

      The Amazon Underground app has its black and orange icon. The Amazon Shopping app has a white background with a blue-color shopping cart graphic below the “Amazon” name.

      • Josh says:

        Thanks for the reply John. I installed the shopping app and uninstalled the underground app because I figured I didn’t need the underground app anymore. I remembered reading on here that Amazon was getting rid of underground and figured the shopping app world be more up to date. Later, I tried to play a game on my phone, Bard’s tale, that I had purchased on Amazon but it would not let me play because I had uninstalled the underground app! Very odd… I ended up uninstalling the shopping app and reinstalled the underground app.

        • John C says:

          You can have both apps on your phone at the same time — no problem. That’s what I’ve had for a long time.

          The Underground app has served as Amazon’s equivalent to the Google Play app. AFAIK, it’s the on device app that, at least in the past, has managed the Amazon apps you decide to install on your device through Amazon.

          The Shopping app, AFAIK, is just that, an app mainly intended for buying things thru Amazon, and now with the added capability of Alexa control. I don’t think the Shopping app serves as an Amazon app manager/app store on Android devices.

  5. John C says:

    Curious… I had the Amazon Shopping app for tablets downloaded from the Play Store on my Asus OS 6 mobile phone, and clicking the recently arrived mic icon on it only launches an Amazon products search.

    So then I uninstalled that app, and installed the regular Amazon Shopping app from the Play Store on the same mobile phone, and then immediately I got the same Alexa screen and prompts that Elias describes above.

    Then within the regular Amazon shopping app, I tapped the Alexa voice button and asked it to play an album via Amazon Music, and it began playing the album immediately on my phone. Though not thru the Amazon Music app exactly. The screen while the album was playing asked me if I wanted to switch to the Amazon Music app.

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