Amazon’s Alexa mobile app, available through Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes, is primarily used to configure Alexa settings and view additional information related to Alexa actions. All of the remote capabilities the app provides revolve around controlling music. Currently, you can start and stop music playing through the Amazon Echo or Fire TV, but you can’t transmit voice commands to Alexa through the app. It appears like that’s about to change.
Alarm.com announced their upcoming Alexa integration, and in doing so, may have inadvertantly revealed an upcoming feature of the Alexa app. In Alarm.com’s blog post they mention being able to say “Alexa, turn off the kitchen lights” to control smart bulbs configured to work with the Alarm.com home automation service. That Alexa capability has been present for a while, but the post goes on to say that when you’re “away from home, you can do the same – simply give the same instruction to your Alexa app.” That is currently not possible with the Alexa app as we know it today. You cannot speak to the Alexa app in any way. Only the Echo and the Fire TV voice remote currently accept voice commands for Alexa.
Adding the ability to speak voice commands into the Alexa app, while home or away, makes perfect sense. The Fire TV Remote app has always had the ability to facilitate voice commands to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, although the mobile device running the app must be on the same local network as the Fire TV. With both the Amazon Echo and the Fire TV gaining more home automation capabilities month after month, the ability to control Alexa on these devices when away from home is quickly becoming a desired feature.
Being able to issue any voice command to an Alexa capable device through the mobile app, as if you were in the same room as the device, will make Alexa even more of a home automation hub. Alarm.com’s Alexa support is slated to arrive “early this year,” so it’s plausible they’re waiting on an update to the Alexa app with these new remote voice capabilities before releasing the feature.