Roger is an Android and iOS app that lets you send and receive short voice recordings with family and friends. The app has recently been adding support for additional services like Slack, Dropbox, and SoundCloud. Now it has added support for Amazon’s Alexa, which makes Alexa accessible through a free mobile app for the first time.
Roger’s integration with Alexa is nothing like the Lexi app that appeared last week. With Roger, it’s more like an endless game of phone tag with Alexa. Similar to the Alexa Web App, you tap a button in the Roger app and begin speaking to Alexa. But instead of hearing an immediate response, you’ll receive what is essentially a voicemail from Alexa a few seconds, with a recording of her response.
Roger’s Alexa integration is a bit clunky to use if you’re expecting the rapid responses and back-and-forth nature that you get with Alexa through Amazon’s hardware. Asking Alexa for something like your flash briefing results in a complete mess where the Roger app continuously alerts you every few seconds as Alexa sends you a never ending stream of voicemails containing your news alerts.
Alexa access through the Roger app is much more suited for Alexa uses where you don’t really care about Alexa’s response and instead just want to issue a command for Alexa to act on. If you’re a heavy Alexa shopping list or to-do list user, you can easily add an item to your list using your voice through the Roger app while on the go. With Alexa turning more and more into a smart home hub, it’s handy using the Roger app to turn off a light or change the temperature through Alexa while on the go, instead of using numerous first party apps for your connected devices.
There only a limited number of scenarios where Alexa through the Roger app is the best way to achieve something while away from your Echo or Fire TV, but it’s nice having the option available. You have to assume Amazon has to be working on a full fledged Alexa app that lets you take full advantage of Alexa’s capabilities while on the go, but until such an app is released, limited integration, like the one with the Roger app, are your only options.